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Chemistry is described as an ‘enabling science’ for a very good reason. The study of Chemistry can open the door to a huge range of exciting career opportunities.
We all enjoy our food! Chemistry can enable you to appreciate it all the more! You can become a food chemist, conducting research into the best ways to grow or to process or preserve foods, or you might be an analytical chemist who tests foods or wines or other drinks for quality control. Alternatively it can give you the background to become a dietician or a biochemist. The study of biochemistry can lead to extraordinary opportunities in medical research.
If you enjoy meeting people and talking about Science, you can become a professional science communicator and run special programs for a body such as CSIRO or a university chemistry department. Alternatively you can become a teacher - there is a huge need for enthusiastic science teachers right now, especially those who know their Chemistry!
If you are interested in cosmetic products, lotions and ointments, perfumes, or medicines, then Chemistry will enable you to study and develop new formulations or new designer medicines. Another huge field is that of packaging these kinds of products or developing more effective ways for drug delivery or for testing for disease. There are endless possibilities in materials research, including the development of dyes and other constituents of materials, which of course is also very pertinent to other industries, including fashion and sport.
The exciting field of nanotechnology is another new growing world of opportunity for someone with a background in Chemistry. Not only can this involve research into amazing new materials and formulations, but also research in areas of immense importance, such as energy. Already, for example, chemists have developed jackets for soldiers that contain a flexible solar cell that will power their GPS units and monitor and relay reports on their medical condition back to base!
Other key areas that offer huge opportunities for chemists are those of environmental and industrial chemistry. These include researching and developing new greener industrial and mining processes, water treatment and waste management systems. The testing of air, soils and water and the rehabilitation of damaged land and waterways provide further ways in which a chemist can make a real and significant contribution.
Then again, a chemistry background can be a huge advantage if you decide to work in areas such as sales and marketing, business administration, or law, including becoming a patent attorney.
Forensic science is another very important field for chemists. A background in analytical chemistry can enable you to perform such diverse tasks as identifying drugs or poisons or the culprit behind an oil spill or an accident or crime.
If, on the other hand, you are interested in industrial health and safety, there are career opportunities in both research in this area and in management of laboratory and production facilities, including at schools, hospitals and medical research institutes.
So, as you can see, Chemistry will open the door to many, many worlds!
For more information visit the the Royal Australian Chemical Institute website.