3 answers

Are more innovative jobs available in chemical engineering or computer science during college? What can/should I do in high school to work toward each job?

Updated Fremont, California

I am a high school junior and I love the way I get to think in my chemistry class, but I also love engineering and making things with code. I am trying to decide on a major for college. #computer-science #engineering #chemistry #chemical-engineering #career-details

3 answers

Ani’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

I would this is currently the age of innovation. The field of computer science has crept into all the traditional engineering fields (such as Mechanical, Chemical, Civil, Electronics, Electrical, etc.) and has changed the way these fields currently operate. At this point, even Computer Science is going through a rapid transformation with the advent of innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Drones, Robotics, etc. Without knowing much about Chemical Engineering, I am sure it is probably going through a transformative change through the computer technologies. But on a relative basis, Computer Science currently has more innovative things happening.

Ani recommends the following next steps:

  • For both the fields, having a solid foundational knowledge of Math and Science is critical as in college you typically try to expand on these skills. So the better you are prepared in high schools, the easier your life will be in college. If you get a chance, try your hand on some basic programming skills to see if you really like it. As this could be one of your deciding factors to see if you want to study Computer Science and expand on your coding skills.

Shannon’s Answer

Updated Tallahassee, Florida
Hi Shefali, Both chemical engineering and computer science have plenty of job demand during and after college. To gain a better understanding of what would work best for you check out online job boards to understand what's out there in what locations, what types of jobs are available, and what employees are looking for in candidates. Here's an example from Indeed.com for chemical engineering positions in Fremont, CA. You can do a similar search for Computer science in any location you might be interested in working in the future. https://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=chemical+engineer&l=Fremont%2C+CA As for what you can do in high school, since you're deciding between two different majors consider enrolling in AP Chemistry and AP computer science classes if your high school offers them. That would give you a better understanding of what types of things you'd be learning in a college level class in those subjects. If for some reason your school doesn't have those classes as an option you can still get your hands on an AP test study guide for those subjects from publishers such as Barron's, Princeton review. etc. In addition, ensure you have a good SAT score when applying to colleges. There are also many study guides for the SATs and you can take the test multiple times if you aren't satisfied with your score. Beyond the academic stuff in high school you should round out your applications with extra curricular activities. Things like participating in school sports, after school organizations like chess club, student government, school band, etc. Colleges like to see students that not only get good grades but also are a involved in their communities. Meet with your school's guidance counselor to make a plan for graduation and applying to colleges. Good luck!

Joseph’s Answer


Both of Those career fields have a variety of innovative jobs. Look for programs that your school might have or even the college you want to attend to lead you in the right direction.