What does a chemist do?
Everything in Earth’s environment from natural to man-made elements is made up of chemicals. Trained professionals understand and manipulate chemicals for everything we use in our environment from food and medicine to computers and plastics.Chemists study the makeup of matter and all of its properties. They as well seek and use new information about all types of chemicals and conduct chemical research to discover and develop a variety of materials such as drugs, paint, synthetic fibers, adhesives, cosmetics, lubricants, electronic components, and many other products and materials.
They also create processes including petrochemical processing and improved oil refining to help reduce pollution and conserve energy. Many chemists work in research and development centers or institutes.
In basic research, they examine the structure, composition, properties of matter, the reactions between substances and the rules that govern the mixture of elements.
In applied research, chemists develop new processes or products or make improvements to current ones. They usually use the information obtained from basic research. Chemists use computers and many different complex laboratory instruments for experimental analysis, simulation, and modeling. In fact, they often choose a specialty such as analytical, macromolecular, materials, medicinal, organic, and physical and theoretical chemistry.
UME subjects include Chemistry and two of physics, Mathematics and biology. Such a student is also expected to have Five (5) ‘O’ level credit to consist of English Language, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics.
For Direct entry, what is required is two (2) ‘A’ level passes in Chemistry and any one of Physics, Mathematics or Biology.
What kind of training does a chemist need?
Chemists typically need a bachelor degree in chemistry or other related area. Many research positions require a master or doctoral degree. Aspiring chemists should also have supporting courses in mathematics, computer science, and science. Computer courses are necessary because many employers prefer applicants who can apply computer skills to simulation tasks and modeling.
Chemists pursuing undergraduate degrees typically do not choose a specialty and actually have more job flexibility with a broad chemistry education. Most employers provide new employers with additional education and training.
A career as a chemist is a great choice for individuals who have a genuine interest in chemistry. Curiosity, perseverance, and the ability to focus on detail are necessary skills. Chemists must also have good communication skills and leadership ability. Being able to work effectively as part of a team is essential because chemists often rely on information from other chemists.
What to Do with Your Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry
With a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, you can qualify for entry-level positions in the chemical industry and teaching positions in secondary school-level chemistry classes, Research positions at larger pharmaceutical or biotechnology firms or at a university. Because it can be applied to so many issues, like drug development or biochemical research, chemistry research is likely to attract continued research funding.