Majoring in Chemistry: What’s Next?

If you’re interested in securing a career after graduation, you’ve already taken the first important step. Majoring in Chemistry or a related fields positions you to enter a dynamic and diverse career field. Whether you are interested in academia, industry, government or elsewhere, you have both options and opportunities. In fact, in 2014, the American Chemical Society reported that the unemployment rate for US chemists was 3 percent, the lowest since 2008-2009. Yet, a separate survey of new chemistry graduates indicated an unemployment rate of 14.9 percent. (C&EN, June 2, 2014 page 28). Picking a great major was an important first step, but it is by no means the last one.

In the aforementioned C&EN article, Steven Meyers, assistant director of ACS’s Career & Professional Advancement department suggested that job seekers improved their chances of obtaining employment by networking, improving their CV, incorporating effective search strategies and managing their online profile. For example, of those surveyed most (26%) of the new graduates landed their jobs from popular websites like, and others, followed by faculty advisors (20%), networking (17%) and placement services (9 %).

To better assist students and new job seekers enter the workforce effectively the American Chemical Society launched a new website called College to Career. The website is a one-stop portal with comprehensive information on nearly 40 careers, guidance to help you prepare now for your career, and advice on developing professional skills to succeed in today’s workforce. As a member of CSW, you also have access to a network of thousands of professionals in the Washington, DC area. Connecting with your fellow members is essential to building the network that can help you no matter what career path you choose.

It is never too early to start developing a plan for your future. By leveraging resources like these, you can ensure that you continue on the right path towards the career you want.