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What can I do with a Chemistry degree?

123Sesame123Sesame Posts: 6Registered User New Member
edited June 2012 in Science Majors
I am currently an RN and am trying to decide on whether to get my BSN or go for a BA in Chem. My goal is to eventually go to Med School or work on an MSN. If Med school doesn't pan out, or I decide to major in chem and really fall in love with it, what can I actually do with a BA in Chem? What jobs are available and are they available across the U.S. or only in concentrated areas? I want to be able to stay in Southwest Florida if possible and am not interested in moving for a career at this time. Can a Chem major generate as much income as a nurse?

(sorry, this is a repeat post, I put it in the wrong forum before, I'm pretty new to this site!)
Post edited by 123Sesame on

Replies to: What can I do with a Chemistry degree?

  • ScientificmindScientificmind Posts: 305Registered User Member
    The answer is no. Pursue your BSN. You cannot do much with a BA in Chem. In fact, your salary would probably be lower than what you earn right now. Healthcare is a very important field in the United States, especially with many baby boomers retiring soon. The Chemical field is in decline in the United States, due to President Obama's call for so-called "clean energy" and the pharmaceutical industry is also in decline do to the strangling over-restrictive regulations by the FDA. It costs more to design a new drug, compared to just selling existing less effective drugs.
  • Commodore15Commodore15 Posts: 117Registered User Junior Member
    A BA in chem is actually not a very employable degree. For the purpose of medical school, it would be a good choice as it would allow one to perform well on the MCAT and to learn some of the material taught in medical school with greater ease. However, for chemistry-related employment, it is less useful than a BS in chem or chemical engineering.

    Even with a BS in chem/chemical engineering, however, it is unlikely that you would make yourself any better off than if you were to remain a nurse. Nurses are sought after and are paid nearly as well (and in some cases more than) chemical engineers. Considering the time and money that would be required to achieve such a degree, I really doubt that it would be worth it (unless you really want to work as a chemist/hate being a nurse).
  • 123Sesame123Sesame Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    "Even with a BS in chem/chemical engineering, however, it is unlikely that you would make yourself any better off than if you were to remain a nurse. Nurses are sought after and are paid nearly as well (and in some cases more than) chemical engineers."

    This is the saddest thing I've ever heard! When I was in high school I was strongly encouraged to go into Chem because of the hiring potential. I guess I was being lied to by non-Chem majors...well this is depressing.

    Does it make a difference in hiring potential and salary if you go for a higher degree in Chem or is the whole field just dead?
  • csh123csh123 Posts: 186Registered User Junior Member
    The field is dead. DO NOT go into chemistry, you will regret it.

    During my high school years, I was told as well that the sciences were always great careers. The teachers that told me that were liars. That's why they were science teachers, because they couldn't find a job in their fields.

    A higher degree in Chemistry is simply not worth it. An MS is no better than a BS with 2 years experience. PhDs have worse prospects from what I've heard.
  • sschoe2sschoe2 Posts: 659Registered User Member
    With a Chem BA you will be very lucky to get a temp lab tech job for $12-17 per hour no benefits. Don't bother. Heck I'd trade my MS in Chemistry for an AS in nursing right now.
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