ARE YOU INTERESTED IN DOING YOUR CHEMICAL STUDIES IN THE UK
Are you already planning your future? What is your next step? These decisions are often difficult to make. As the world changes day by day making the right choices for your future becomes very important.
Chemistry opens up a world of possibilities and expands your choices. Chemistry will always be at the centre of science and at the heart of life.
Chemistry is the study of substances, what they are made of, how they interact and what role they play in living things. In fact it is the study of all materials and is vital to every aspect of your lives.
From the moment you are born and throughout your lives you are surrounded by chemistry; in the air you breathe, the food you eat and the clothes you wear. Everything you see, smell or touch is made up of chemicals and chemists are using their understanding of nature to modify molecules and create new materials.
Many new chemicals have useful properties that have improved all or lives - textiles and plastics, life-saving medicines, and cheaper, more plentiful food.
Chemists make medicines that help in the fight against cancer and Aids; improve the colour and taste of foods; investigate the formulations for cosmetics; improve the way the new materials are used in - e.g. roller blades, mountain bikes and trainers; and in the fashion industry with vibrant new colours and materials such as Lycra.
Chemists are also protecting the environment for future generations. Take a moment to think that without modern chemistry your life would probably be shorter and much less comfortable.
Careers in chemistry are everywhere too. From space research to the depths of the world’s oceans, chemists are involved in collecting valuable information.
This means that knowledge of chemistry gives you a greater understanding of the world we live in and could lead to a career which is exciting and enjoyable with lots of variety and opportunities.
Once you have a chemistry qualification there are many places you could end up working - e.g. in industries such as textiles, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food brewing, detergents, agrochemicals and many more.
Something you might find surprising is that chemists also work in banking, law, publishing, the media, advertising, accounting, forensic science and art restoration.
One of the great advantages of a chemistry qualification is that you can still go into almost any career open to those with a humanities qualification - e.g. law or advertising and there is the added bonus of being able to choose careers for which a chemistry background is essential or is helpful.
Chemistry based skills - creativity, numeracy and good communication skills - are much sought after by employers and a chemistry qualification is good currency in the job market. For those who choose to study chemistry to a higher level the challenges are great and the rewards are significant.
The biggest employers of chemists are the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. However, chemists also work in other manufacturing industries such as oil, mining, ceramics, electronics and fibres.
Others work in consumer based industries such as food, paper and brewing, or in service industries such as transport, health and water treatment.
In the manufacturing and service industries chemists work in research and development making new products and developing them for the market and also in production, marketing, sales and technical support.
In the service sector chemicals deal with matters of public concern such as food preservation, pollution control, defence and nuclear energy. The health service employs chemists as does the teaching profession.
In areas as diverse as finance, law, publishing and the media people with a chemistry qualification are in demand.
Agricultural scientist, conservationist, doctor, veterinary scientist, meteorologist and pharmacist, the list of jobs where a chemistry qualification is considered essential is long.
With chemistry you know you are keeping your options open even if you are unsure about what career you want to follow eventually.
Chemistry can provide career opportunities that are both stimulating and rewarding. Does your future offer such attractive possibilities?
The Author: John Johnson, The Royal Society of Chemistry
This article first appeared in Educational Courses in Britain & America