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Topic: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?  (Read 68770 times)

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Offline Loucust

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Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« on: March 19, 2009, 04:01:44 AM »
Hi, I didn't know where to ask this so I figured if there are any chemists looking through the HS forum they could provide some insight. I'm wondering if there are alot of troubles with finding employment with just a BS in Chemistry, without involving the economy factor, or if the BS seems primarily for further education like Biology. I hear of alot of people who just have a BS in Biology finding troubles but could not find anything on people with just a BS in Chemistry with the same problems. Also how do the two median incomes compare? Feel free to give me a general idea, it doesn't need to be too backed up..

Thanks!

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009, 06:35:24 AM »
*SIGH*  When I started me career, back in the mid- to late '90's, it wasn't that much of a problem.  People were willing to hire a person with a Bachelors degree, and train them, especially if they had practical experience.  However, lately, as jobs are becoming more scarce, people in interviews aren't shy about demanding a Master's degree from their applicants.  If you browse the job websites, you'll see they are asking more and more for M.S. degree's for even the most mundane job descriptions.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline JGK

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2009, 02:23:52 PM »
Unfortunately, it seems to be a function of the expanded education system and the larger numbers remaining longer in higher education.

Even back in the 80s, as a new graduate, the first job I got was a position with pre-graduate entry requirements, but all applicants were graduates.

Later on, my department would advertise jobs where the requirement was a BSc but, over the years, would get an increasing proportion of MSc grads.  This situation continued, and eventually, we started getting PhDs as applicants in increasing numbers.

As a BSc, you can find employment, but the first job is the hardest to find. Once you get in and show some initiative/enthusiasm, advancement (or career alternatives) should come along.

I remember the old adage "its easier to get a (new) job when you already have one" and it has always held true in my experience.
 
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline mesh1

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2009, 02:26:35 PM »
As a graduate in july this year with a 2.2 BSc I understand your situation. I decided that I was going to go for a career in something a bit different, more hands on and less technical. I applied for many jobs in the waste industry and was fortunate enough to get a site chemist job at a hazardous waste transfer station. Not manty graduates apply for these jobs as they are not as glamarous as some other positions but can prove to be very financially rewarding. Plus your fresh out of uni mindset can give your employers a different angle on many of their operations. You start at the bottom but can quickly learn the job and lets face it, once you have learnt the job there is always going to be hazardous waste and it is therefore a stable option in the current economic climate.

Offline Astrokel

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009, 06:21:37 AM »
Well it is very true that employers are demanding masters. I'm thinking of going either applied or environmental chemistry once the posting is out in May. Just wondering, is environmental chemistry comparable to environmetal engineering in term of jobs offered? I know they are two different things(not exactly but you know what i meant) but i am certain i ain't engineering type of person. I know environment is a big concern now so probably it pays off to specialize in the field.
No matters what results are waiting for us, it's nothing but the DESTINY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline aldoxime_amine

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 01:46:32 PM »
Yeah, I was about to post something of this kind.
I just passed out of high school and I have to make up my mind really quick about which subject to take but in my case, its more like Chemical Engineering Vs Pure Chemistry ( money vs interest??? )

I'm not exactly sure what Chemical Engg. is all about. Can any of you, who has experience of both sides explain how the 2 of them differ?

Quote
I know they are two different things(not exactly but you know what i meant) but i am certain i ain't engineering type of person.

Its something like that. ^^

I've heard its about designing reactors and all but haven't heard anything else. Its not like I am uncomfortable with calculations (I love math as much as chemistry) but I don't know if it contains as much "theory" as pure chem.

Offline Astrokel

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2009, 11:04:26 PM »
From what i know, chemical engineering leans towards designing and improving industrial products such as waste and environmental. While pure chemistry works in molecular level. Basically, my thoughts are that chemical engineering has very less theory based contrast to pure and it goes something like this: chemists discover new molecular substance and chemical engineers used the informations to improve on industrial products for the beneficial of the community. You can google and see how it goes.
No matters what results are waiting for us, it's nothing but the DESTINY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline macman104

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2009, 09:07:59 AM »
From what i know, chemical engineering leans towards designing and improving industrial products such as waste and environmental. While pure chemistry works in molecular level. Basically, my thoughts are that chemical engineering has very less theory based contrast to pure and it goes something like this: chemists discover new molecular substance and chemical engineers used the informations to improve on industrial products for the beneficial of the community. You can google and see how it goes.
That's kind of how I've always explained the difference.  Chemists make the new things, and usually on small scales for research, and the engineers figure out how to make the really helpful new molecules on a large, industrial scale.

Offline c0d3

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 10:39:36 PM »
Yeah, I was about to post something of this kind.
I just passed out of high school and I have to make up my mind really quick about which subject to take but in my case, its more like Chemical Engineering Vs Pure Chemistry ( money vs interest??? )

I'm not exactly sure what Chemical Engg. is all about. Can any of you, who has experience of both sides explain how the 2 of them differ?

Quote
I know they are two different things(not exactly but you know what i meant) but i am certain i ain't engineering type of person.
Its something like that. ^^

I've heard its about designing reactors and all but haven't heard anything else. Its not like I am uncomfortable with calculations (I love math as much as chemistry) but I don't know if it contains as much "theory" as pure chem.

i personally think that not much difference in the sense of money because it all depends on which company you are working in. So, i would say go for interest instead.

Offline JGK

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2009, 08:54:20 PM »
What I would say to anyone starting out in life is to follow your interests. Remember that your working life could be 30 years or more. Do you want to be doing a job you hate (albeit for decent money) or a job that you love at a reasonable wage.

Chances are you will excel at what you enjoy rather than the job you dislike and advancement may come more easily to you.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline Agent-X

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2009, 01:54:19 AM »
Why do some of you think this is happening? Is this because employers are trying to manipulate the crowd or because the crowd is too big? Are employers manipulate people to work for peanuts, or are there so many people and so little food that they must pay in peanuts?

I have American views.

I keep getting the impression that business people are stupid and are trying to find better ways to hire intelligent people for lower wages with the hopes that scientists are stupid. Call me racist and a nationalist, but I've been under the impression that foreigners got the ball rolling on the whole "I'll work for a lower wage" deal. I won't doubt that some foreigners come to America for money and a supposed "better life." I like the idea of communism.

Maybe today's younger professionals are stupid about how much they should be paid. I've known some young professionals to refuse to work for some places, because they don't want to ruin the profession and drive the wages down. Then again, I know business people who refuse to hire foreigners, because they don't want foreigners destroying the profession and simply coming to America for its money.

Yes, these are discriminatory views. Whatever. The world is dark and cold.
I've seen it and know it happens: That's what matters.

This is a contemporary issue. Actually, it seems like an issue that snowballed and brought hail.

I'm curious if any of you are old enough to discuss how the 70s recession and the 70s scientific profession/academia relate to what's happening right now.

I'd really like to read people's biased views.
Intermittent SFN member. Former RS member. Washu is the bomb.

Offline bellatricks

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2009, 04:03:42 PM »
This was actually mentioned in a recent New York Times article.

Undergraduate education (B.S., B.A.) in general has become devalued in today's society, and turned into a stepping stone for getting into graduate school. This is especially true in the sciences where it seems all my peers are going to graduate school because they feel like its their only option. So a B.S. in chemistry or biology, just put in perspective that most likely you'll have to go for a M.S. or a PhD no matter what you choose if you want to end up in an innovative and exciting job.

I know that right now income seems like a huge deal, but believe me, no matter how much money you're making, you won't be happy unless you're doing something you actually enjoy. Also, its never too late, to change your mind about something. :)

Offline Armani

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2009, 10:15:38 AM »
I just finished my first year of work as a "chemist" for a battery materials company. You should know, as a first year chemistry graduate, you are not a "chemist". You are a technician. I had a hard time finding my first job also, it took almost 3 months and jobs didn't start popping up until school started in Aug. I applied for state environmental jobs and was interested in working for the state water board. Those jobs are very hard to get and competitive. There was a test you had to take and there were many masters applying for the job. I got lucky and found my job off Manpower, but I also get paid a lot less. You'll be lucky to get 20-25 for first year technicians. But now, with a year of experience, I'm sure I could get a higher paying chemist job elsewhere easily. You have experience stories to tell for the next interview. If you go into chemistry, be sure you really enjoy it. I actually never liked chemistry, just happened to be stuck with it cause i thought a degree in biochemistry sounded cool.

Offline JGK

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2009, 03:20:22 PM »
I just finished my first year of work as a "chemist" for a battery materials company. You should know, as a first year chemistry graduate, you are not a "chemist". You are a technician. I had a hard time finding my first job also, it took almost 3 months and jobs didn't start popping up until school started in Aug. I applied for state environmental jobs and was interested in working for the state water board. Those jobs are very hard to get and competitive. There was a test you had to take and there were many masters applying for the job. I got lucky and found my job off Manpower, but I also get paid a lot less. You'll be lucky to get 20-25 for first year technicians. But now, with a year of experience, I'm sure I could get a higher paying chemist job elsewhere easily. You have experience stories to tell for the next interview. If you go into chemistry, be sure you really enjoy it. I actually never liked chemistry, just happened to be stuck with it cause i thought a degree in biochemistry sounded cool.

You're lucky, I came out of Universitynin the middle of a recession in the 80s and it took me 11 months to find a job. As a lab manager i became a victim of the current recession last October. I finally started a new job this month.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline jfac

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Re: Problems with employment with a BS in Chemistry?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2009, 01:26:38 PM »
This is kind of a side question, but do yo think doing a project management internship as a undergrad chem major would be helpful?

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