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Should I go with a chemistry major or a chemical engineering major?

I like chemistry, but I've always wanted to be an engineer. What's the real difference between the two? #chemistry

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Adam’s Answer

There are commonalities between chemists and chemical engineers in regards to understanding material interaction and problem solving on a molecular level. However, there are distinct differences that separate these professions into their own entities within the field. The formative development of chemists involves understanding the background aspects of sciences which include classes/exposure in organic, inorganic, analytical, physical, and bio-chemical disciplines. These areas provide the fundamentals needed to apply within industry where chemists help develop raw materials and processes for handling them, measuring physical properties of substances and their limitations, and are also experts in laboratory analysis procedures and techniques. In manufacturing settings, chemists work within product development or analytical labs where they aid in material innovation/manipulation and analyze trends/track of a product and its material constituents.

The formative development of chemical engineers encompass the study of organics, physical, and bio-chemical disciplines but also includes focus on topics of physics and elevated mathematics/process oriented courses such as heat/mass transfer, fluid dynamics, kinetics, equipment design, thermodynamics, separations, etc. Chemical engineers apply theses acquired fundamentals by supporting material flow and transfer between unit operation processes from beginning to end and in between at full commercial scale production. Chemical engineers work closely with chemists and other science professions within product development/analytical labs as liaisons between the lab and operations.

Chemists generally stick to career areas such as analytical, clinical, forensics, pharmacy, research, or toxicology; however, chemists can also branch out into fields such as education (chemistry teachers/professors), environmental consulting, lawyers within patent law, scientific writing, and even chemical engineering roles. The same goes for chemical engineers though there is more of a wide variety of industries they can dabble in. A conventional discipline for chemical engineers is process engineering within pharmaceutical, food, oil, water, energy, bio, nutrition, and allied chemicals industries. Other disciplines include packaging innovation, product maintenance, project engineers, and refining engineers.
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Wael’s Answer

I found you two article which discuss this very issue. I hope you would find help in them.


https://ichemeblog.org/2014/08/01/ten-differences-between-chemistry-and-chemical-engineering-day-66/
http://chemistry.about.com/od/educationemployment/a/chemistprofile.htm

Thank you comment icon Hi Wael, Hope you are doing well. I would love for you to summarize these links. We have found that students often do not click on links unless they are explained. I would encourage you to go back and edit your answer if possible for the benefit of the student. Thank you, we appreciate your contribution on CareerVillage. Have a nice day Wael! Ben Landis COACH
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the feedback Ben. Could we move this conversation to email? I look forward to hearing from you. Wael Al-Rihawi
Thank you comment icon Absolutely. Feel free to contact me at ben_landis @ careervillage.org. Ben Landis COACH
Thank you comment icon Just to clarify for your convieniance, I had to add spaces before and after the @ symbol because the comment filter was not letting me enter in an email address. Looking forward to talk with you. Ben Landis COACH
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