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Deep within each of us is a chemist. When we breathe, when we drive a car, when we visit a doctor or eat a meal, a chemical reaction takes place. We grow, mature and become stronger through chemical reactions, many of which are just now being understood by scientists.
The clothes on your body, the calculators and pencils used in school - these objects (and millions more like them) came about through the transformation of raw materials (iron, cotton, wood, etc.) - this too is a part of chemistry. The food consumed by our species arrives through fertilizers, preservatives, and the understanding of vitamins and minerals; and, if we are to save our planet from the harmful effects of human activity, to chemistry we will turn for the solutions to this vexing problems.
In addition to being a central component of our daily existence, chemistry is a fundamental subject in science which overlaps a host of other fields. Biology, medicine, engineering, physics, geology, astronomy, and many other disciplines rely on the principles of chemistry to complete their tasks. It would be unusual for someone with a geology degree to follow a career in biology, but in chemistry this is quite common: chemistry graduates readily move into other areas of science. Multiple doors of opportunity open themselves to chemistry graduates, and career opportunities are quite varied.
Chemists can be found in many areas; a partial list includes:
- All areas of industry: energy (oil, natural gas, nuclear fission), chemical and pharmaceutical companies and a variety of smaller businesses producing new and specialized chemicals and products
- in public health and environmental protection at all levels of government
- in research at universities, government institutes, industry and private laboratories
- in teaching: from middle school to higher education universities
- in patent agencies of law and in scientific media (journals, websites, more)
- in forensic science
A chemistry degree will literally open doors to you which would be closed otherwise. Your final destination may not be a "chemistry job" per se, but it could entail diving in the Caribbean for oceanography data or in monitoring space probes for the atmospheric conditions of Titan.
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