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Chemical engineering/education

berms720berms720 26 replies27 threads Junior Member
Hi so I'm really interested in sciences, specifically chemistry. I've read that if you're interested in chemistry, chemical engineering is a better degree than chemistry, with more job opportunities and higher pay.. I sort of wouldn't mind teaching high school chemistry though... So would I be able to teach high school chemistry with a major in chemical engineering and minor in education?
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Replies to: Chemical engineering/education

  • anhydriteanhydrite 574 replies1 threads Member
    edited February 2015
    Well, you may be able to teach, but a few things:

    Chemical engineering is difficult. It can have good job prospects if you do well, e.g. internships, research, co-ops, etc. If you don't intend to work in industry as a chemical engineer, it may make more sense to study chemistry as a natural science.

    If you're looking to become a research chemist at a university (or perhaps go into industry as well; this certainly happens, but with a slightly different emphasis than engineering -- e.g. chem as a natural science can be more theoretical, and / or applied, but you'd need be a high-performing candidate), you'd need to complete a PhD in a sub-field of chemistry. If you truly wanted to teach chemistry at the high school level, you probably could do this with a solid undergraduate program, perhaps an MS in chemistry; then, the proper respective high school education credential in whatever state you intend to teach in.

    edited February 2015
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  • berms720berms720 26 replies27 threads Junior Member
    @anhydrite‌ thanks! The problem I see is that I just don't have my mind set on either or.. Teaching or being a chemical engineer.. I think going into chemical engineering is what I'm thinking about because it pays better and there are more jobs, and I'm just using teaching as a fail safe.. But if I went into chemistry and I ended up not wanting to teach, I don't have a good alternative like I would with chemical engineering..
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  • anhydriteanhydrite 574 replies1 threads Member
    Hmm ... I sense a little confusion with your career goals. At your age, this is OK; your first years in college should help you solidify what you want to do.

    That said, I would recommend choosing either chemistry, or chemical engineering at a solid school, and intending to get the best grades possible in your major. If you become highly competent in a chemistry-related field, the high school teaching track should be open for you later on. On the contrary, if you do not achieve much in a chemistry-related field during your university years, you may not have the option of going into chemistry / chemical engineering fields later.

    It is generally the case that chemical engineering is industry-related, and there's a likelihood to obtain a good-paying position if, again, you apply yourself and do well. Chemistry as a natural science requires dedication, and one hopes, a love of chemistry. Several career opportunities may arise if you pursue advanced study in the natural science.
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