First off, I think the term "chemist" as it was initially stated is a bit too broad for this conversation. Chemistry is such a large field that what may be a practical skill for one chemist may be absolutely useless for another chemist. The original thoughts that sprang to my head were the differences between the ab initio quantum chemist and the synthetic organic chemist. A purely theoretical chemist has little need for schlenk techniques, crystallization ability, or steady hands (easy on the coffee!). Likewise a synthetic organic chemist has little use for programming skills, or abilities in advanced mathematics. Granted, the chemist who is able to combine both of these attributes efficiently may be better off than the chemist who speciallizes only in one, however, the question arises, is the chemist specialized in everything better off than the chemist specialized in one thing? My answer and the answer of most people I know would most certainly be 'absolutely not'. The people I know have enough trouble becoming experts in one tiny portion of their field that I think be an expert in all things (or even more than a few things) is utterly impossible no matter what your age or intelligence. The progression of the science is just too quick to stay on top of all subjects at any one time. My opinion is, then, is that there are no "most important skills" that can be obtained at the end of a degree as the choice of one or more skills would decidedly be favored by my own chosen path as a chemist. No, I think the best thing a chemist can take from there degree, the most important thing a chemist can take from there degree is good, moral, scientific character. andale.