The NESACS Blog
From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
Categories:

Archives:
Meta:
November 2012
S M T W T F S
« Oct   Dec »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  
11/08/12
Undergraduate class. Future of chemistry careers
Filed under: Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:21 am

Yesterday, I was invited to offer a class to freshman chemistry
majors.  Instead of lecturing what I thought they should know,
we did something different.  We asked:  what are your
questions and concerns?

The whole class involved fielding their questions.  This
entry includes several of their questions and a short
summary of our discussion.

Q:  Which fields in chemistry are relatively new
and unexplored in terms of research?

-  energy sources:  biofuels, new processes from non-food
sources;  nuclear ; ’smart roofs’
-  food:  nutrition, nutriceuticals;  safety, toxicology
-  future cities: nanotechnology for sustainability ; 
choices for a reduced ‘carbon foot-print’
 -  human health:  genomics and disease prevention;
public health ; fast, accurate tests
-  water and air:  desalination and electrified nano
filters  ; reducing disease sources  ;  complex
photochemistries of NOx and aerosols
-  raw materials:  biodegradable plastics ; conservation
and recycling of scarce resources  ; sustainable designs
decomposing unsustainable chemicals

Q:  What opportunities are available for chemists
outside of a research lab?

-  Referred the class to a page in Nov., 2012, The
Atlantic

Q:  Will jobs in chemistry be sent overseas?
-  This is not a problem;  this is an opportunity.
Let em explain why.   We live in a globalized,
mostly open, free market economy.
-  General conditions were set up by a series of
negotiated “free trade agreements.”  [eg, NAFTA]
Jobs move to where they make the most economic
sense.  Lower wage jobs move to locations where
it makes economic sense, to lower wage locations.
-  Globalized economies result, affecting nearly
all business areas.
-  Build on strengths of the US:  available
capital, markets, free enterprise, rule of law,
entrepreneurial spirit, educational system.
- DYNAMIC SITUATION RESULTS:  Learn
foreign languages, work in multicultural
environments and programs, apply for and seek
internships, learn to become adaptable
  committed networking
  wise skills

Q:  What kind of start up company would be
the best to start if you are a chemist?

-  Today’s WSJ had a great example —
company Kurion
entrepreneur  Mark Denton

2 comments