Studying chemistry allows you to develop a range of both subject-specific and transferable skills valued by employers.
As well as gaining knowledge in traditional fields of chemistry (organic, inorganic, physical and analytical), most chemistry degrees now also include modules in interdisciplinary areas (chemical biology and physics) and some may include modules in applied chemistry (medicinal, environmental). This gives a good balance of scientific knowledge, both specialist and general.
Courses which incorporate industrial placements provide you with experience of how this theoretical knowledge can be used in a business context and an appreciation of the wider application of your subject.
Chemistry is also studied in an environmental and social context, so you 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 also build up a range of other transferable skills, including:
- analytical and problem-solving – examining and interpreting results and making evaluations based on limited information;
- time management and organisation – planning and executing experiments, undertaking individual and team project work and completing your dissertation;
- written and oral communication – sharing your research findings via written reports and oral presentations to different audiences, assimilating scientific theories and arguments for discussion and debate;
- monitoring – systematically recording chemical properties, events and changes;
- teamwork – undertaking group project work;
- IT and technology – understanding and using computer software/models, processing data, using spreadsheets, word-processing and internet communication.
Consider the skills developed on your course as well as through your other activities, such as paid work, volunteering, family responsibilities, sport, membership of societies, leadership roles, etc. Think about how these can be used as evidence of your skills and personal attributes. Then you can start to market and sell who you really are, identify what you may be lacking and consider how to improve your profile.
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: August 2010
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via Chemistry: Your skills | Prospects.ac.uk.