4 answers

What are some relevant careers involving biology or chemistry and what should I major in to enter those careers?

Updated Fremont, California

I know I'm interested in a career in biology or chemistry or both, but I don't know what major I should choose to have flexibility in choosing careers in both fields. I want to enter a high-paying career that will not expire in the near future. Or maybe my uncertainty as a junior in high school doesn't matter because I can just switch majors if things don't work out as an undergraduate. #biology #chemistry #biomedical-engineering #chemical-engineering #biotechnology #biochemistry #career-details

4 answers

Taylor’s Answer

Updated Seattle, Washington

Hi Abigail! Really broad question but I think the real question you should be asking yourself is what you want to do after college? Do you want to pursue a graduate degree or PHD? If you're looking at industry work, do you want to work in the oil field or the medical field? Deciding your after college aspirations will help you determine what major will fit you best!

I know that you tagged biotech, chemical engineering, and biomedical engineering, so I'll touch on each of these. For the the biomedical field and biotech field, its a bit hard to enter that industry without a PHD or graduate degree (speaking from the perspectives of some of my peers that are in those majors). Those companies are really looking for specialists that know the area well. The undergraduate degree just doesn't cut it. For my friends that are in biomedical engineering, it can be quite challenging to find a job after your undergraduate degree. The majority of my peers went on to do research or to pursue a medical/graduate degree. The few that did enter the industry went to pretty selective/unique departments (like Baby Care at Procter & Gamble which required medical and engineering applications).

From the chemical engineering side, that's a super broad field where you can enter many different industries. From helping create photovoltaic solar panels to working at a refinery at a big oil company, the job opportunities are super broad and very in demand.

Engineering in general is pretty stable compared to other disciplines and the pay is good out of college. Non-engineering science fields usually have a tougher time breaking into industry and tend to be more research/R&D focused.

I wouldn't be too worried about your major choice. You have plenty of opportunities to change majors and try different things before you commit. My advice would be to talk to someone working in that field or currently in that major to get a sense of what its like. Good luck!

Neelam’s Answer

Hi! Based on my experience where I thought I wanted to do Genetics but ended up choosing Biochemistry as my major, it is possible to change to a major of your interest after your first year in college. Both biology and chemistry majors have a lot of exciting careers to offer depending on the passion you develop for a particular sub field in either or both of these areas. I would recommend checking out some job websites like biospace.com, indeed.com, monster.com, Glassdoor.com etc., just to get an idea of any job titles/descriptions that catch your attention. There's a high demand for chemical engineers/process engineers, data scientists, regulatory scientists from some of my searches. For high paying jobs in biotech or a chemical company, I think doing a Ph.D will help or going into patent law or getting a business degree after an undergraduate science degree will help too. Good luck!

Andrew’s Answer

Updated Mountain View, California
Doctor: earn money and respect but have to pay with their time of continuous studying and testing (maintaining the licence, and enriching knowledge) and with insurance. Engineering: Require mathematical head (less memorizing than a doctor) but have to learn deep and continuously practice. Researching: working with test and formulate conclusion from data (require shape and hornet people with discipline and patient) such as cosmetic researcher, food and beverage researcher... Instructor/ lecturer: maintaining information from generation (but have to deal with students and drama they created) Science field related: Technician (chemical, biological plant), operator (chemical plant), Forensic Scientist (crime investigate),...

Janani’s Answer

Hi Abigail, I was Biotechnology major as an undergraduate and I used the time to explore and figure out what I wanted to do in grad school. Depending on your interests you can choose, you should be able to get better clarity once you are in college.I am impressed that you want to enter a high-paying field. Stay up to date with new technologies and keep checking out what is evolving. You can also try and do an internship/shadow a professional to understand better. Good luck! Janani