Studying chemistry allows you to develop subject-specific and transferable skills, which are valued by all employers, meaning your future career doesn't have to be in a lab…
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.
If you have not undertaken an industrial placement as an undergraduate, obtaining some relevant work experience is a valuable way of gaining an insight into your options and building your CV. If your chosen company does not offer a formal scheme, try sending a speculative CV asking for work shadowing or short-term work experience. As many manufacturing and scientific companies are global, there may also be opportunities to work and gain experience overseas.
Volunteering is an excellent way of enhancing your CV. Although you may not find many opportunities that directly relate to your chemistry degree, there are many schemes that focus on related areas such as the environment, sustainability, ethics and medicine.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
The main employers of chemistry graduates are in the chemical and related industries, such as pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, petrochemicals, toiletries, plastics and polymers. However, those who studied chemistry may enter many different sectors including the food and drink industry, utilities and research, health and medical organisations and scientific research organisations and agencies.
As well as developing excellent laboratory techniques during your degree, you will gain specific knowledge in the traditional fields of chemistry, including organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry. But chemistry overlaps with other subjects, too, meaning you'll pick up skills that are useful in biology and medicine, physics and engineering, and geology and earth science.
Chemistry is also studied in an environmental and social context, so you’ll gain awareness of its ethical implications, as well as issues relating to environmental impact and sustainability.
In addition to developing strong mathematical and numerical ability, you’ll build up a range of other transferable skills, including:
Many chemistry graduates undertake further study in order to increase their knowledge of one of the branches studied at undergraduate level, such as organic chemistry or analytical chemistry. Some specialise in areas of applied chemistry, such as cheminformatics or biochemistry. Others choose to develop knowledge in an area where chemistry graduates may be in demand, for example, forensic nanotechnology and forensic investigation.
Further study is highly valued by employers, particularly within scientific and technical fields, as it equips graduates with more advanced theoretical knowledge and practical sector-specific skills.
For information on funding opportunities available for further study, see the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) .
Almost 45% of chemistry graduates are employed six months after graduation. Around a fifth of these are in jobs directly related to their degree in the scientific research, analysis and development field. This includes jobs such as chemist, research assistant and chemical analyst.
Others enter careers that use additional skills picked up from their course. For example, a further 17% are in professional and technical occupations, while almost 12% are in business and finance professions, such as accountant and tax analyst.
A high proportion of chemistry graduates go straight into further study after graduating. Around a third are in full-time further study and a further 7% are studying while working.
|Working and studying||7.4%|
|Scientific research and development||18.2%|
|Associate professional and technical||17.2%|
|Retail, catering and bar work||13.3%|
|Business and financial||11.7%|
For a detailed breakdown of what chemistry graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
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