There are many reasons why studying chemistry is a great idea. If you are considering to pursue a career in chemistry but are hesitant over the prospects of success, this average-length article should get you decided – hopefully. So here are 10 reasons why you should study Chemistry.
Table of Contents
Broad Field of Study
Chemistry has a broad field of study, which means you have endless options to specialize in after your first degree. Options are important because they give you a better chance of finding what you’re best at and makes everything more interesting. Although these courses have a lot in common, they vary significantly enough to warrant independence. In most cases though, a background in one qualifies you to study another at a higher level. This is particularly important if you want to switch professions since not only would you qualify for chemistry-related disciplines but also understand it easier.
The branches of Chemistry have traditionally been broken into 5 categories, namely: Organic, Analytical, Physical, Inorganic, and Biochemistry. But this is not the end. There are other disciplines relating to Chemistry that draws from a combination of the above categories. Examples include Nuclear chemistry, Polymer chemistry, Environmental chemistry, Bioinorganic chemistry, Biophysical chemistry, Nano chemistry, and many others. More are still being created as researchers discover new knowledge about the world around us.
Understand the World Around You
Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes it undergoes. This includes both visible and non-visible matter such as air and other gases.
A very important feature of Chemistry is that it’s everywhere. The matter is defined as anything that has mass and occupies space. This includes the invisible elements too.
Pretty much everything you know in life involves Chemistry. From what we hear to what we see, taste, smell, touch, and fill, there is a constant interaction and reaction between matter. Your ability to hear, see taste, and feel is due to some complex series of chemical reactions in your body.
Unlike what the average Joe might think about chemicals being some stuff in the lab, Chemists are convinced that everything consists of chemicals that can undergo change, including the food you eat.
So isn’t it exciting to know what stuff around you is made of? The basic elements that form them and what changes they can undergo and what new products they can form? That’s exactly what chemistry teaches you. Many mysterious things in our universe become clear. This knowledge will go a long way in helping you developed new products to benefit society in a different ways. And because the things around us made of chemicals are so many, you run out of interesting things to study.
Chemistry Helps You Better Understand the Things You Buy
Even a basic knowledge of chemistry helps you understand the information on many product labels. As a result, you can make an informed decision about most of the things you buy. You’ll know in most cases if a chemical product will work as claimed or if it’s a scam. Understanding how chemistry works lets you separate reasonable expectations from pure fiction. You’ll also help families and friends with their purchase of chemical products.
Great Entrepreneurship Potentials
The broadness and usefulness of Chemistry mean there are innumerable entrepreneurship opportunities in the field. As a graduate of chemistry, all you need a learn some entrepreneurship skills that’ll help you commercialize your skill as a chemist. With any luck, you should reap enormous financial benefits and also create jobs for others thereby contributing to the environment and economic development of the country.
It can be a small and medium enterprise that grows into a multinational corporation. So important is this business aspect of Chemistry that there is a whole course on it known as Chemistry Entrepreneurship. The big question is not so much whether Chemists can become multibillionaires, but how they can convert discoveries from the lab into investment opportunities to reap enormous financial benefits and create jobs. With the right approach, innovations and concepts developed by academic scientists in universities and research institutions can be used to develop new products that can be patented, licensed, and commercialized.
Governments around the world realizing the contribution to economic science courses can offer, have been adopting new policies that favor entrepreneurship, research and innovations. This is done in ways like easing restrictions on patenting, strengthening intellectual property rights, funding researches, advancing entrepreneurship skills, and providing grants and cheap loans to startups. So your profession in Chemistry offers you multiple paths to financial support and success.
High Salary Earners
Chemists can be classified among high salary earning professions. Depending on your qualification, position and location, the amount of yearly income you can earn as a Chemist can be anywhere between $40k to over $85k a year.
A successful Chemists have highly specialized skills that create a high barrier to entry and retain a favorable competitive environment. The high barrier to entry is what makes the salary so attractive. How much you earn also depends on the branch of Chemistry you study. Some are more intellectually demanding, and therefore, pay higher. Others are in higher demand or there are few professionals to satisfy the job market.
High Employment Prospects
Just as the field of Chemistry is broad, so too is the employment opportunity. Sometimes you just don’t want to run your own business due to a lack of entrepreneurship skills or because you just prefer to be an employee. There are many roles a chemist can play across several industries. I’ll outline a few here.
A chemical technician must understand chemistry to a great extent because his job is to ensure that research chemists have all the equipment they need in the lab. He also ensures they understand how to and not to use it. A chemical technician also monitors equipment and comes up with new techniques to help in research tasks. You’ll find many companies with this position across the world.
A toxicologist has the responsibility of testing different tissue and blood samples to detect the presence of certain substances in it that might be harmful, like pharmaceuticals, poison, alcohol and others. They help with solving crimes by providing answers to certain criminal cases. That means you can work with a law enforcement agency and help with investigations related to chemical substances.
Be a Teacher
You can also teach in higher institutions or primary and secondary schools. Chemistry teachers develop curriculum for students of different grade levels and coming up with innovative and effective methods of transferring knowledge to the student. There is an innumerable number of schools looking for Chemistry teachers as you read the article. You can also find online jobs as a Chemistry teacher where the pay may be more than what you earn teaching in Nigeria. Or you could simply supplement your traditional teaching with online teaching for extra income.
There are many other jobs that a Chemist can perform. These three are just a small example.
The applications of Chemistry are wide, and that means greater productivity and opportunities to make money. Because everything you in our world is made of matter, anything that involves a change in matter or the understanding of its properties needs the attention of a Chemist. Chemistry plays a role in virtually every aspect of human life. From health to lifestyle, agriculture and defense, you can’t think of any product that the Chemists have not invested their knowledge in. That means you can’t compare it to courses like Geography because it’s not in everything that you find Geography. This wide applicability one of those great factors that make Chemistry such a sweet field of study.
Chemistry is Fun
Chemistry is a research-intensive field full of fun. Even when starting Chemistry as a beginner, I remember loving every bit of the natural science cos I understood it was talking about the things around me. For example, students of Chemistry normally start with the theoretical aspects of it, like learning to use the periodic table and interpret the information therein. They can also solve simple equations of chemical reactions.
While the initial stages of Chemistry are theoretical and may be boring for some students, it quickly gets really interesting when you start visiting the lab or using visual material to explain the concepts and processes.
Because much of what happens in Chemistry can be interpreted using physical experiments, students find it easier to understand the subject. Even as an advanced learner of Chemistry involved in research, the process is always fun because you’re always learning new knowledge or improving on the one you already have.
Chemistry Helps Humanity Live Better
The study of chemistry goes deeper to understand the building blocks of matter – which is central to our existence. Chemistry investigates the human body, food, energy, materials, Earth and everything in between.
The Chemical industry produces much of the materials we use to lead a healthy life or create other things. Not only that, its contribution to the chemical industry underpins much of the economic development societies witness. The industrial application of chemistry is responsible for much of what we eat, drink, wear, our transportation, the technologies we use to better our lives, medicines, electricity, and much more.
Again, Chemistry is leading in efforts to deepen understanding of our world, and seeking new discoveries that help us better cope with many future problems like sustainable energy, food production, environmental management, climate change, and many more. That’s the reason Chemistry is a humanitarian course as its goal is sole to improve the way we live.
Safety in the Home
Good knowledge of Chemistry helps you and your family & friends live safe. You’ll know which household chemicals are dangerous to keep together. You’ll also know which ones are dangerous to mix and probably even the effect of such chemicals on humans and the environment. Again, it gives you a better knowledge of handling chemical products, like where to store and how to dispose of such products. Some of the knowledge is easy to relate to families and friends and even teach others in society.
I’ve described 10 reasons why studying chemistry is a good idea. There are many more, but these should give you a grasp of what a future in Chemistry could mean for you. We’ve seen how its vast applicability opens up many opportunities in the job market and world of entrepreneurship. We’ve also seen how chemistry helps improve our lives by the many products we use, and how it contributes to keeping the environment healthy. These and others not mentioned in the article are enough reasons for the student thinking of studying chemistry to go ahead.