Things they don’t tell you about Chemistry degrees

You may be wondering where a Chemistry degree can take you. It’s all just about lab coats and Bunsen burners, right? Wrong.

The fact is society needs Chemists. Over the next 10-20 years, there will be more demand for Chemistry graduates than ever before, all ready and able to tackle some of the biggest global issues of our time.

So, what does a Chemist do? Here are just a few things you can expect from a career in Chemistry.

Be an inventor

Whether you want to discover new ways to protect the planet or invent colour changing tattoos, Chemistry can take you there.

Since the government announced that they will ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars from 2040, manufacturers know they need to start looking at alternatives now. Current electric-car batteries simply aren’t cutting it, they’re too heavy and don’t hold a long enough battery life.

Material Chemists will be inventing new batteries and energy storage to store enough power to run the electric cars of the future.

Be an explorer

As a Chemist, you can travel all four corners of the globe and beyond. You can find yourself working on the analytical probes that are set to land on Mars. Or travel back in time, testing 10,000-year-old seabed samples from where the prehistoric Doggerland landscape once stood.

Be a lifesaver

One of the world’s biggest challenges is the resistance to antibiotics that are being developed in modern-day society. The more people use antibiotics, the more likely the drugs will simply stop working, putting everyone at risk of infectious outbreaks.

Chemists are looking at revolutionising the diagnosis of infections and the delivery of treatment. There is currently no way of knowing if an illness is viral without sending you for expensive tests. Through easier and quicker diagnosis, Doctors will be able to prescribe antibiotics to patients who certainly need them.

Scientists need to also discover ways to only administer the drugs to the infected areas, instead of through swallowing a tablet. This will help train our bodies to respond better to treatments.

Be diverse

A Chemist is completely adaptable and can go into a range of industries, for example, the same person can go from working on shampoo to nanotechnology, water treatment to biofuels.

Chemistry introduces you to complex ideas and gives you the ability to solve complex problems, self-learn and have your own ideas. You’ll develop skills in data processing, presentation and expressing your view.

What career you can find yourself in depends on how you choose your degree:

  • Materials Chemistry could lead you to work on polymers for antibiotics or in the automotive industry
  • Analytical Chemistry could see you working in forensic science, archaeology and even the paint solution industry
  • Medicinal Chemistry could lead you to work on developing new drug molecules
  • Mathematical and Computational Chemistry could allow you to design new molecules for drug discovery

However, at Bradford all of our Chemistry courses have a core first year, so you’ll have a good grounding Chemistry before you move into your specialism.

Be part of it

It’s no exaggeration that many of these things are happening in the labs at the University of Bradford. Researchers and academics are carrying out this work now and you could be working with them.

The forefront of research is going to be constantly evolving and you can make a real impact on society in the next decade.

Interested? Find out more about Chemistry courses at Bradford.

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