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15-10-2008, 10:59   #1
O.P.H
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Is A Chemistry Degree Any Good?

I'm a mature student(25) in second year undenominated science at NUI Galway. I'm doing chemistry, microbiology and botany. I hope to do chemistry and microbiology for 3rd year and major in chemistry for my final year. I don't think I would stay on to do a PhD if I was offered one as I'd be in my 30's by the time I'd get work etc.

I just want to get some opinions about a chemistry degree, is it any good? Originaly I wanted to do Pharmacology but could'nt due to subjects I chose and I was told chemistry is a way of getting into that area, that with a chemistry degree you could get into drug reasearch etc. I'm finding the chemistry very difficult and just want to know if I was to slug it out and maybe get a 2/1 what kind of work is out there, are the prospects good and can one make good money with a chem degree.

Last edited by O.P.H; 15-10-2008 at 17:20. Reason: .
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15-10-2008, 18:59   #2
DennisSabre
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Chemistry and botany would be a good combo - drugs from nature! When people ask me what they can do with a chemistry degree I always say

"Not all chemists wear white coats"

http://www.rsc.org/education/teacher...l_Chemists.htm
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15-10-2008, 21:40   #3
O.P.H
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Originally Posted by DennisSabre View Post
Chemistry and botany would be a good combo - drugs from nature! When people ask me what they can do with a chemistry degree I always say

"Not all chemists wear white coats"

http://www.rsc.org/education/teacher...l_Chemists.htm
Thanks for the link, its quite an eye opener. I realise it's their job to make chemistry look as appealing as possible and that colourful adds like that don't make chemistry any easier, but when you see that it can lead you anywhere it does make the hard work seem worth it, cheers!
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16-10-2008, 17:16   #4
napapa
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just some words of advice considering you want to pursue a research career..you will find it extremely difficult to get a research position without a PhD. I know its an extra few years but its well worth it in the end.

good luck with college
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16-10-2008, 21:57   #5
DennisSabre
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And to prepare you, this is what a typical chemistry lab looks like:

http://media.photobucket.com/image/c...iress.jpg?o=20
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22-10-2008, 05:47   #6
SoCal90046
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Originally Posted by O.P.H View Post
I'm a mature student(25) in second year undenominated science at NUI Galway. I'm doing chemistry, microbiology and botany. I hope to do chemistry and microbiology for 3rd year and major in chemistry for my final year. I don't think I would stay on to do a PhD if I was offered one as I'd be in my 30's by the time I'd get work etc.

I just want to get some opinions about a chemistry degree, is it any good? Originaly I wanted to do Pharmacology but could'nt due to subjects I chose and I was told chemistry is a way of getting into that area, that with a chemistry degree you could get into drug reasearch etc. I'm finding the chemistry very difficult and just want to know if I was to slug it out and maybe get a 2/1 what kind of work is out there, are the prospects good and can one make good money with a chem degree.
It depends on your ultimate goal. If you're thinking of a life in R&D, then I'd continue and get a PhD. There are examples of people with an undergraduate degree advancing up the research ladder in industry, but most people in the upper echelons of research companies--those on the research ladder--have PhDs.

If you're planning a career in something other than research, a PhD isn't really necessary, though it can be useful. There are many successful professionals in, say, technical sales who haven't gone further than an undergraduate degree.
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26-10-2008, 20:03   #7
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If you are happy with QC/QA type of jobs chemistry is a good degree to have. I got Chemistry and Physics Joint degree from UCD, but I hate chemistry..
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29-10-2008, 11:52   #8
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I have a degree in Medicincal Chemistry from TCD. Good degree, although very few of the people that graduated in my class are working in the area directly (person who finished top of the class is now a pilot!!!).

If you're looking for a research role, you will really need to love your area and you don't want to be struggling in your final couple of years. As a general degree I would recommend it, although I still think people studying more business-orientated areas get better career prospects (at least outside of the lab) and more money for less study
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07-11-2008, 15:08   #9
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I have a degree in Medicincal Chemistry from TCD. Good degree, although very few of the people that graduated in my class are working in the area directly (person who finished top of the class is now a pilot!!!).

If you're looking for a research role, you will really need to love your area and you don't want to be struggling in your final couple of years. As a general degree I would recommend it, although I still think people studying more business-orientated areas get better career prospects (at least outside of the lab) and more money for less study
Is it fair to say that a majority of Med Chem graduates end up in an analytical role, as opposed to more drug/pharma development roles?
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01-12-2008, 13:56   #10
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The majority of people with Chemistry degrees tend to work in pharmaceutical companies or related industries, mainly doing routine analytical testing initially.
I have a MSc in Chemistry, but have hardly used it since I graduated, but I do work in the pharmaceutical area - mainly in the engineering type roles. It seems to me that a degree is really only a stepping stone, its typically a requirement to get into industry, but once you're there you'll have oportunities to move into varying roles. Not everyone fancies being struck on a lab testing all day (it's NOTHING like CSI or any other image portrayed on TV, its much more boring than that).
While the majority of my class ended up working for pharmaceutical companies, others went down the teaching / research routes & some switched carreers completely.
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05-12-2008, 15:49   #11
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Originally Posted by Zuisse View Post
The majority of people with Chemistry degrees tend to work in pharmaceutical companies or related industries, mainly doing routine analytical testing initially.
I have a MSc in Chemistry, but have hardly used it since I graduated, but I do work in the pharmaceutical area - mainly in the engineering type roles. It seems to me that a degree is really only a stepping stone, its typically a requirement to get into industry, but once you're there you'll have oportunities to move into varying roles. Not everyone fancies being struck on a lab testing all day (it's NOTHING like CSI or any other image portrayed on TV, its much more boring than that).
While the majority of my class ended up working for pharmaceutical companies, others went down the teaching / research routes & some switched carreers completely.
chemistry degree is handy but if you don't wanna work for the americians in a boring but ok paid and safe enough role its sometjhing you may have to adapt

what else might you do
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05-12-2008, 16:04   #12
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I have a degree in Medicincal Chemistry from TCD. Good degree, although very few of the people that graduated in my class are working in the area directly (person who finished top of the class is now a pilot!!!).
When you say 'Medicinal Chemistry from TCD', do you mean Pharmacy. It's just me bruvver has a Pharmacy degree from TCD and is also a pilot with a well known Irish airline. Just wondering !
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05-12-2008, 19:11   #13
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No, Medicinal Chemistry is just that. Pharmacy is Pharmacy.
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09-12-2008, 16:59   #14
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Agree

Chemistry is an excellent thing to get involved in. The prospects are phenomenal due to the large amount of pharmaceutical companies in this country.
Jobs are also available in education both second and third level and the Government have made proposals to make Ireland the centre of European Drug Research.

Overall, you are making the right choice choosing chemistry. It's not too difficult if you put your mind down to it. Good luck with the degree.
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16-12-2008, 12:56   #15
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The vast bulk of people who study chemistry will work at some time or another in Pharmaceuticals or similar sector. The work will usually involve routine work, but there is always the chance you could get pushed into more engineering roles. QC is widely available but pay varies at the lower level, QA is more or less technical report preparation.
Development roles are highly sought and usually you need a bit of experience to get them.
As with all jobs there will be supervisionary roles which require that you manage a set number of tasks and deliverables.
Research on the other hand takes a while to complete for qualifications, but there is always the chance that you can do a MSc/PhD part-time (maybe even through work).
There are several oppurtunities for entry level research scientists at the moment in research centres as full time positions.
The choice is yours..... Money, however, isn't fabulous but that's life!
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