The Best Tech Careers for Chemistry MajorsSeptember 21st, 2022 — Revature
A Bachelor of Science in Chemistry is a uniquely targeted degree that equips students with analytical and problem-solving skills and a strong understanding of how different chemicals interact, combine, and transform. But just because you’ve studied this specialized field of science doesn’t mean you are confined to jobs in the pharmaceutical or chemical industry.
Chemistry majors have found that their education makes them uniquely qualified for rewarding careers in computer and information technology (IT). If transitioning from science to tech interests you, learn how your experience coupled with a hire-train-deploy program like Revature’s can position you to succeed in one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S.
Transferable Skills Between Chemistry and Tech
Careers for chemistry majors require specific skills. Chemists conduct studies and experiments under specific conditions to test and see the results of adding or subtracting chemical compounds. This process of scientific inquiry is not that different from implementing new code into a website.
For instance, just as chemists create specific, controlled conditions to test a process, software developers and computer engineers test out code or script within certain parameters — loading a web page from a particular link, for example, or testing a form on multiple web browsers — to see if the results match their intentions.
This means that careers in both chemistry and IT require applicants to be fluent in analyzing, compiling, and interpreting data. To share their results, both chemists and IT professionals also must have solid interpersonal communication skills. Both roles require the subject matter expert to explain, both in writing and in face-to-face meetings, their processes and how their findings impact business strategy going forward.
What Can You Do with a Chemistry Degree?
Chemists work in a range of industries apart from medicine or the chemical industry. The agriculture, energy, and food industries all hire chemists to create new products and test the efficacies of existing technologies. Outside of applied chemistry, the chemistry careers list may include roles in teaching, policy analysis, or even laboratory management.
5 Jobs That Students of Chemistry Can Obtain in Tech
Perhaps you’ve explored careers for chemistry majors in the lab and the classroom and realized they just weren’t for you. Luckily, much of what you’ve learned and the skills you’ve acquired by earning your chemistry degree can be applied to jobs in tech. Below are five jobs that students of chemistry can obtain in tech with the right training and experience:
Data analysts, often called business analysts, collect and interpret data and use visualization tools to aid stakeholders in making decisions. These analysts are crucial to the operations of organizations, as the advent of big data has changed the way decisions are made. Chemistry graduates will find the functions performed by data analysts are similar to those performed by chemical analysts: Both roles require clearly defined procedures, understanding and working with large data sets, and presenting findings in ways that make it easily actionable.
Like chemists, data scientists create models and processes to forecast desirable outcomes. Data scientists identify patterns and trends in data sets to identify areas for improvement or business development. Unlike data analysts, data scientists form their own questions and identify areas of investigation with specific goals in mind.
Information Security Analyst
Cybersecurity is a growing concern for companies worldwide. Information security analysts design and implement countermeasures to protect their organization’s data. Just as epidemiologists look for vulnerabilities in a community’s health, these technicians spend time looking for vulnerabilities in their organization’s tech structure. By identifying potential weak points in a company’s firewall, information security analysts can recommend processes and software to increase their organization’s safety.
IT Support Specialist
Individuals exploring what they can do with a chemistry degree may be more interested in working with individuals than on technical projects. Similar to the way pharmacy technicians work with patients to explain their medications, IT support specialists help individuals find the information and resources they need to complete operational tasks. These positions require strong problem-solving skills and are ideal for those wanting to work directly with users.
Like laboratory managers or natural science managers, IT directors spend more time managing people than projects. IT directors are responsible for supervising a team of IT specialists tasked with implementing and executing specific initiatives the organization requires. Individuals will need to gain several years of experience in tech before advancing into this management position.
How to Make the Switch from Chemistry to Tech
Switching professions doesn’t have to be a headache. The first step in launching an IT career as a chemistry major is to identify how you will learn the technical skills you’ll need to succeed. Common methods include self-taught courses, college courses, and independent training programs.
Many online tools exist that teach fundamental IT skills. However, while online video tutorials and apps can teach you the basics of coding, they typically do not offer one-on-one tutoring services or real-world applications.
Some graduates with a degree in chemistry return to school to earn a second bachelor’s degree in computer science to learn these skills. Since many of their basic courses transfer, they often do not have to start from scratch. However, given the cost and time required, many choose alternative training methods. Bootcamps are one option that can provide skills training in a short timeframe, but they can still be costly. At the end of their training, bootcamp students are often left to their own devices to find a job.
Alternatively, training programs like Revature’s not only offer 10 to 14 weeks of hands-on training and job placement services after the training is complete, they also pay their associates throughout the process. Associates work in teams to tackle real-world problems under the mentoring of expert computer engineers. Revature designs its curriculum based on the most needed technical skills in the market and places their trained associates in positions with top industry leaders like SalesForce and Tableau. Take a leap into a new career with Revature.