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After W&M

Life Beyond the B.S. in Chemistry

A B.S. degree in chemistry gives you many options in life. Many of our graduates go into professional programs (like medical school) or graduate school. Some go directly into the job market. You can see where our recent graduates went after W&M.

Students who enter the job market immediately after graduation are in an enviable position compared to some fields. Chemistry enjoys one of the lowest unemployment rates of any major job market. In the U.S., private industry employs roughly 60% of all chemists, 25% are in academia, and 10% are in government positions. Many sectors of private industry hire chemists. Look for positions in petroleum and natural gas; pharmaceuticals; electronics; paper; coatings, ink, & paints; plastics; food; agriculture; rubber; soaps and detergents; aerospace; and metals & minerals.

Most employers look for people with a solid background in chemistry and will typically pay for job-specific training. At the B.S. level, you can expect to work in research and development, quality control, production, or even marketing. Small companies tend to offer more opportunities for advancement to B.S. chemists.

If you wish to teach chemistry at the high school level, then you need an education certification. There is some support available for prospective chemistry teachers. If you wish to teach at the college level, you need a Ph.D.

The Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement provides extensive resources for career planning and job search. The American Chemical Society also provides listings of current employment opportunities.