How to use your Chemistry degree


A Chemistry degree looks at a whole range of things related to chemicals – their processes, compositions and manipulation.

You’ll have studied how materials are structured, how they react and change in different situations. Knowing this much detail at a molecular level, you can apply your knowledge in any number of ways as you can use the theories to analyse our whole environment.


Chemistry graduates are a sought after crowd – having achieved your degree, your skills will lie in a number of areas and having a scientific, logical and numerate mind makes you a highly desirable employee. During the degree you will have tested out theories and calculations demonstrating that you are able to think laterally and ask questions – pushing the boundaries to investigate what would happen if…?  You will have developed written and oral communication skills and demonstrated that you are able to manage your time effectively and organise yourself. The research and presentation skills you need to acquire and demonstrate during your studies are all transferable skills, along with your knowledge and use of IT.


There are a number of careers available within the chemical field in industries such as


·         Agrochemicals

·         Metallurgical

·         Petrochemicals

·         Pharmaceuticals

·         Plastics and polymers

·         Toiletries


Look for a course which includes some kind of industrial placement – giving you valuable experience and an insight into a specific company; potentially opening an opportunity for future employment if you work hard and prove your worth. Or apply for an internship to get some work experience within the industry.


About 33% of chemistry graduates go onto further study after gaining their degree and increase their knowledge – either in organic, inorganic, physical or analytical chemistry. It is also popular to specialise in applied chemistry in cheminformatics or biochemistry. Chemistry graduates are in demand in forensic nanotechnology and forensic investigation so these areas are worth investigating further. If you go onto further study, you will become equipped with more advanced and detailed theoretical knowledge and practical sector-specific skills.


Other roles and career options are available within many different industries such as


·         Food & drink

·         Utilities & research

·         Health & medical organisations

·         Government

·         Scientific research – and this opens a whole choice of careers – working in a university and combine research with teaching, a pharmaceutical company looking at new drugs, or in a public-sector research centre where you could ensure national healthcare keeps up with new developments in the private sector.


·         Software development

·         Schools & colleges

·         Environment consultants

·         Water companies


More unusual areas will include forensic analysis – looking at ways to investigate criminal cases; and environmental analysis investigating specific issues and the effects of the chemicals we use on our environment.


A chemistry degree opens up job opportunities in all sectors, you could help influence public policy if you’re conducting research to help shape the science policy as well as develop national health and safety regulations.


If you carry onto further study to become an expert in your field, then consultancy roles in areas such as the environment, agriculture and chemical diagnostics become open to you.


Chemistry graduates are highly sought after in the teaching profession. Not only are tempting bursaries and packages on offer, but teaching can be an immensely rewarding career as you pass on your knowledge and inspire the scientists of the next generation.


Find out more here at the Royal Society of Chemistry – as they say, not all Chemists wear white coats….


Good luck from the mybrink team!