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UMM Home > Career Services > Career Planning & Decision Making > What can I do with a Major in... > Chemistry


Description of Major
The chemistry curriculum focuses on the structure of matter and the conditions required for material change. It is designed to prepare students for graduate study in chemistry or related fields or for a career in the chemical industry, or in secondary school teaching.

A liberal arts education and study in a particular major will lead to the acquisition of a group of skills which enable one to solve problems, communicate effectively, and perform complicated tasks. These skills are essential in any career. The following is a list of important and commonly agreed upon career skills identified by UMM chemistry faculty as a part of the project to Improve Public Understanding of Liberal Learning (IMPULL). The skills are those which all or most students studying chemistry are likely to acquire through classroom instruction, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities.


Leadership/Management Skills:
- judging
- applying data
- organizing
- managing time, energy and resources
- conceptualizing
- ability to work self-directedly
- analyzing
- identifying the critical issues and making
decisions quickly and accurately


Communication/Writing Skills:
- comprehending written material
- speaking effectively to groups
- demonstrating premises and reasoning
to their conclusion
- listening objectively
- summarizing
- written linguistic skills in foreign
- writing effectively
- describing objects or events with a
minimum of factual errors
- writing factual material clearly and
- ability to articulate
- reporting accurately


Instructing/Educational Skills:
- explaining - ability to hear and answer questions


Research/Analytical Skills:
- sorting data and object
- cataloging information
- understanding and using organizing
- manipulating information using expertise
in mathematics
- reading calculations
- gathering information
- reviewing large amounts of material and
extracting essence
- using a variety of sources of information
- designing an experiment, plan or model
that systematically defines a problem
- using laboratory techniques
- identifying information sources
appropriate to special needs or problems
- compiling and selecting information
- applying information creatively to solve
specific problems
- evaluating information against
appropriate standards
- using library and research facilities
- organizing and classifying using numbers
as a reasoning tool
- breaking down principles into parts
- perceiving and defining cause and effect
- applying appropriate methods to test
the validity of data


Artistic/Creative Skills:
- dealing creatively with symbols or
- illustrating, displaying, creating two or
three dimensional images
- visualizing spatial relationships


Technical/Manual Skills:
- using tools
- setting-up
- operating machinery
- using computers
- assembling
- making models
- doing detailed and accurate work
- operating complicated electronic equipment


Skills Peculiar to the Chemistry Discipline:
- the use of conceptual models  


Jobs Obtained by UMM Chemistry Graduates
Studies conducted by the UMM Career Center have shown that graduates obtain jobs that are both related to their major and jobs that may not be formally related to the major. About 75% of the chemistry graduates from 1964-1998 said there job was in the same field or related to their undergraduate major. Other studies have shown that liberal arts graduates find employment that makes use of their skills, special knowledge, values, and interests, even though the employment field may not be related to their academic major. Listed below are some jobs obtained by UMM chemistry graduates:

Analytical Chemist
Architectural Historian
Biophysical Chemist
Biotechnology Scientist
Business Manager
Chemical Analyst
Chemical Engineer
Chemical Sales
College Professor
Commodity Broker
Community Outreach Worker
Computer Administration
Computer Programmer
Computer Systems Analyst
Corporate Staff
Crime Lab Analyst
Development Scientist
Environmental Consultant
Environmental Engineer
Fisheries Biologist
Fisheries Specialist
Gene Therapy Research Scientist
Hospitality Manager
Industrial Hygienist
Laboratory Manager
Law Clerk
Manager, Scientist
Manufacturing Engineer
Mass Spectrometrist
Mechanical Engineer
Medical Director
Medical NCO, Military
Molecular Orbital Theorist
Network Analyst
Nuclear Chemist
Optical Technician
Pharmaceutical, Analytical Chemist
Pharmaceutical Regulations
Pharmaceutical Research
Pharmaceutical Sales Rep.
Pharmacy Technician
Plastics Technologist
Postdoctoral Associate
Power Plant Chemist
Product Development Chemist
Product Manager
Production Supervisor
Program Manager
Project Analyst
Quality Analyst
Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Assurance Specialist
Registered Nurse
Research Associate
Research Director
Research Chemist
Research Scientist
Research Technician
Science Teacher
Service Engineer
Software Engineer
Soil Scientist
Support Scientist
Systems Analyst
Technical Manager
Technical Project Leader
Technical Service
Technical Specialist
Training Director
Vice President of Operations
Youth Minister


There are many occupations that do not require a specific undergraduate major; they are often learned as a result of on-the-job training rather than prior education. What is sought among prospective employees is the development of certain skills and abilities that can be developed not only through an academic major but through courses taken as part of one's general education, and through internships, directed studies, tutorials, seminars, study abroad, work-study and summer employment, and volunteer experiences.

Chemistry (Adobe Acrobat Supplement)
CSI: Ewing
Graduate/Professional Schools in Chemistry
FSU Match Major Sheets