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Author Topic: How to get organic chemistry job in USA?  (Read 5626 times)

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am

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How to get organic chemistry job in USA?
« on: March 17, 2012, 02:47:38 PM »

I've done PhD in Natural Product chemistry from Pakistan but could not get a job here in USA. Do i have to do a new PhD from USA in organic chemistry as this seem to be the only solution. Can any one help? any guidance?
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Arkcon

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Re: How to get organic chemistry job in USA?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 03:25:46 PM »

No, that's not necessary.  I've worked in many laboratories with scientists whose PhD (or other degree) was conferred by a foreign university.  Convincing a company to sponsor you for a US work visa, now that is difficult, if you're specialty isn't very close to something they need, but can't find in the US.
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That all depends on how reasonable we're all willing to be.  I just want my friends back, except for Cartman, you can keep him.

am

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Re: How to get organic chemistry job in USA?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 03:34:52 PM »

i am thankful that you replied but i am already in USA and looking for job dont know what to do?
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Arkcon

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Re: How to get organic chemistry job in USA?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2012, 01:42:10 AM »

OK.  What have you tried?  Are you affiliated with any US university in any way?  As a post-doc?  Did you ask any current university adviser what their opinion is?  Any scientist you've spoken to lately?  Anything like that?
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That all depends on how reasonable we're all willing to be.  I just want my friends back, except for Cartman, you can keep him.

am

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Re: How to get organic chemistry job in USA?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 09:37:02 AM »

well i live in virginia and there is only George Mason university close to me, I talked to a professor he said that they do not offer post doc or research fellow jobs so the only possibility is to enroll for PhD. Currently I am doing nothing.
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Doc Oc

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Re: How to get organic chemistry job in USA?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2012, 02:51:05 AM »

Getting a PhD in the US will not help you.  The issue with getting a job has nothing to do with where you got your PhD, but what your citizenship is.  There aren't many jobs for organic chemists, and most companies are only interested in hiring citizens or green-card holders.

What brought you to the US?  Did you have a job before or did you just come here hoping to find one?  If you had a job before, does your former employer have job placement services?  One thing you should look into is connecting with your local ACS chapter and try to meet people.  Don't go and just ask everyone to help you find a job, otherwise you sound desperate.  Get to know some people, then later on you will find them much more willing to help you.

Virginia is not a good market for chemists.  Are you willing to move somewhere with more opportunity like Boston, New Jersey, or Connecticut?
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Jasim

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Re: How to get organic chemistry job in USA?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2012, 07:03:10 AM »

I disagree that there aren't many jobs for organic chemists. Or for chemists in general in the US. Sometimes those jobs may not be for typical chemistry though.

I am a chemist with an IT degree. I studied computer programming during my undergraduate years. I get multiple job offers every week. Just recently I got an offer for an organic synthesis job in industry. They were using programmable robots to control the entire synthesis process, so my IT background looked very inviting to them.

My recommendation is to work on your resume/CV, consider getting some professional assistance. Get your resume/CV out on big job listing websites. And be open to the idea of moving to a different state. Some areas are much better for chemists than others. I live near Indianapolis, home of Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly pharmaceutical, and other Biocrossroads (http://www.biocrossroads.com/Home.aspx) affliates.

In case you are wondering I turned it down. I'm currently in a job I'm happy with. I'm currently working as an analytical chemist, but would like to get into synthesis someday. As an analytical chemist I utilize my background in programming and computational data analysis every single day at work. All of our instruments are networked and computer controlled. Our LIMS system and even our electronic laboratory notebooks are other aspects of my work where my IT background comes in handy.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you need to make yourself marketable. Sometimes just appearance can make getting a job difficult (not your appearance, the appearance of your credentials). I highly recommend getting some professional assistance with your job search and your resume/CV. Kelly Scientific helped me with my resume for free awhile back. Some resume writing services can cost hundreds of dollars.

Get registered and make contacts with scientific staffing services and ask them for help. Volt and Kelly Scientific are just two such services.


Also, with the way the economy is the academic scene in many places may not hold much opportunity for you. I was in an academic lab about a year ago and our grant funding started drying up. From what I understand even my coworkers who managed to hang on are now looking for new jobs as grant money continues to run dry and doesn't seem like it will pick back up for awhile.

You could also do some research on major chemical and pharmaceutical companies and apply directly, get in contact with their HR department. Sometimes it takes some assertiveness and initiative. If it is really looking grim I recommend looking at other areas of chemistry beyond organic. The analytical market is booming right now. My company (http://lancasterlabs.com/) has several vacant positions they are trying to fill just in my area and many more vacant positions across the US.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2012, 07:14:57 AM by Jasim »
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