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What type of career would be ideal for someone to go into after hopefully getting a doctorate in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering?

I am currently a junior in high school, but am hopeful to go far in higher education. I'm definitely not interested in academia, so an industry job would be most ideal after getting my doctorate. What would be a good recommendation to look into?

Thank you comment icon Hi, Sydney- A couple of the previous answers alluded to "thinking ahead". This is such great advice since no one really know what the world will be like 8-10 years from today! As you progress through your studies, keep an eye out, not only for emerging technologies and innovations, but also be aware of emerging needs of people! Environmental sustainability, food shortages, alternate energy, etc. are current areas that are highly impacted by chemistry! So as you work to create new innovations, please keep in mind how your innovations can best help solve future problems that matter. I wish you the best of luck in your career, Sydney! Ron Llanes

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Subject: Career question for you

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Abiola’s Answer

Medicinal chemistry
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Michael’s Answer

An advanced degree in chemistry or chemical engineering will afford you many opportunities in a wide variety of industries. Pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, automotive, alternative energy, government to name just a few. Since you are 8-10 years away from finishing your goal of an advanced degree the world of possibilities will change over time too. Good luck. Study hard and you will be successful.
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Nikolaos’s Answer

Hi Sydney,

Pursuing a doctorate in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering can definitely open a world of possibilities that go beyond academia, allowing you to make significant contributions to society while working in both dynamic and rewarding environments. For example you could excel in roles focused on research and development within pharmaceuticals, where you would be able to develop significant medications and therapies, or in the energy sector, where you could innovate sustainable energy solutions. Additionally, opportunities in materials science can give you the chance to create cutting-edge materials that support technological advancements. Such an approach could give you access to a career that is both impactful and intellectually stimulating.

I hope this helps!

Best of luck with everything!

Regards,
Nikolas
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Tasha’s Answer

Chemistry and chemical engineering are dynamic and thrilling disciplines that are poised for significant transformations in the upcoming decade. Holding a PhD in these fields typically implies that you'll be actively involved in groundbreaking research or at the forefront of innovative manufacturing processes.

The scope of these disciplines is vast, encompassing areas such as semiconductors, alternative energy sources, food and beverage production, pharmaceuticals, novel materials, petroleum, and much more. Opting for a career in chemistry or chemical engineering can unlock a plethora of opportunities for you.

It's also worth noting that many individuals initially obtain an undergraduate degree in these areas before transitioning into law or medical school. Wishing you all the best on your exciting journey!
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bill’s Answer

Wow, aspiring for a PhD is quite an ambitious goal, young lady! It's no small feat and the journey towards it is a long one. As you navigate through your initial four years of college, you might find your perspective and the world around you changing significantly. I can say this from my own experience of 45 years in the business world.

The previous responses to your question were insightful, and I'd like to add a bit more to them. As you step into this rapidly evolving world, it's crucial to think ahead. The rise of technology, particularly computers, is transforming numerous industries, and chemistry won't be an exception for long.

So, in addition to your chemistry studies, I would suggest delving into computers and computer science. This knowledge will be invaluable in your future endeavors. Best of luck on your journey!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Sydney,

It’s great that you’re thinking about your future career path so early on, Sydney! A doctorate in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering opens up a wide range of exciting possibilities in industry. Here’s a breakdown of some potential career paths, keeping in mind that the world of work is constantly evolving:

1. Research and Development (R&D):

Pharmaceuticals: Develop new drugs, therapies, and drug delivery systems. This is a highly competitive field, but the potential for impact is immense.

Chemicals and Materials: Create new materials with specific properties for applications in everything from construction to electronics.

Energy: Work on developing sustainable energy sources, like biofuels or advanced batteries.
Food and Agriculture: Improve food production, processing, and safety through chemical innovations.

2. Process Engineering and Manufacturing:

Chemical Manufacturing: Optimize and manage the production of chemicals, plastics, and other materials. This involves designing and operating large-scale industrial processes.

Petroleum and Natural Gas: Develop and manage processes for extracting and refining oil and gas.
Environmental Engineering: Apply chemical principles to solve environmental problems, such as water purification or pollution control.

3. Consulting:

Management Consulting: Use your technical expertise to advise companies on strategic decisions related to chemistry, engineering, and manufacturing.
Environmental Consulting: Provide expert advice on environmental regulations, risk assessment, and remediation.

4. Government and Regulatory Agencies:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Develop and enforce environmental regulations.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Ensure the safety and efficacy of drugs, food, and medical devices.
Department of Energy (DOE): Conduct research and develop policies related to energy and technology.

5. Other Emerging Fields:

Nanotechnology: Develop and apply materials at the nanoscale level, leading to innovations in electronics, medicine, and more.
Biotechnology: Combine chemistry and biology to create new products and solutions in areas like medicine and agriculture.

Data Science and Analytics: Apply your analytical skills to large datasets in various industries, including chemical manufacturing and environmental science.

Important Considerations:

Networking: Attend conferences, join professional organizations, and connect with people in your field of interest.

Internships: Gain practical experience and explore different industries through internships.

Stay Updated: The field of chemistry and chemical engineering is constantly evolving. Stay informed about new technologies and trends.

Remember: Your career path is unique to you. Explore your interests, develop your skills, and be open to new opportunities. A doctorate in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering provides a solid foundation for a fulfilling and impactful career.

God Bless,
JC.
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