After getting a degree in chemistry, you need to ask yourself, what do I want to do with my degree? There are several sectors to choose from: industry, government and academia. While not all sectors require an advanced degree, many chemistry majors decide to pursue a graduate degree. Many PhD programs provide stipends and tuition payments for their graduate students. This allows graduate students to teach undergraduate courses as well as work on a research project. Many scientist roles require a PhD as well as college level teaching positions.
There is a growing number of government funded careers which include public policy, forensics labs, patents and health and safety regulations. A career in public policy can help scope the country’s science policy as well as safety and environmental regulations. A career in forensics can range from analysis of evidence to being an expert witness at trial. Forensics scientists develop new methods for analysis of evidence and help collect evidence. A patent lawyer requires a background in both science and law, a chemistry degree is a good starting point to become a patent lawyer.
Working as an industrial chemist opens up opportunities across diverse research areas. Chemists are integral to the development of new products and materials in cosmetics, paints, plastics, food, technology, clothing, pharmaceuticals, and automobiles. Chemists have their hand in everything from developing new vaccines/drugs to developing the package your cereal comes in. Research scientists development new formulations for cosmetics and house paints as well as new materials for shoes and cars. As an industrial chemist you can have your hand in everything from development of new compounds, building chemical reactors, or making toys using new polymers.
A degree in chemistry gives you plenty of options. You can teach, do research, and even work in public policy. There are many options for you to work on fundamental research and advanced materials depending on what your scientific interests are.