Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why study Chemistry?

Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is the central science and impacts on all facets of our lives. An understanding of chemistry is necessary to all other sciences from astronomy to zoology. All of the materials used by engineers and technologists are made by chemical reactions and we all experience chemical reactions continuously, whether it be breathing or baking a cake, driving a car or listening to a battery driven minidisk player. Chemistry is concerned with all aspects of molecules, their physical and chemical properties, their composition and structure, their synthesis and use in the 21st century.

A Chemistry-based degree gives you an excellent qualification for a wide career choice within science, industry or commerce. A Chemistry graduate is numerate, analytical, and practical and has good problem solving, presentation and communication skills. Jobs are to be found in small, medium and multinational chemical companies as well as in business, banking, accountancy, marketing, advertising, teaching, and the IT sector. Of course, you may decide to continue studying Chemistry and many of our graduates opt to do research for a further period of one to three years for a higher degree.
Chemistry is fundamental. To understand why an autumn leaf turns red, or why a diamond is hard, or why soap gets us clean, requires an understanding of chemistry. To design a synthetic fiber, a life-saving drug, or a space capsule requires knowledge of chemistry. The behavior of atoms, molecules, and ions determines the sort of world we have to live in, our shapes and sizes, and even how we feel on a given day. So chemistry is worth studying, first of all, just because it is such a good antidote for ignorance.

Chemistry is a worthwhile discipline too because it prepares us for the real world. A college graduate with a degree in chemistry is in a good position to choose a useful and interesting career. Food chemistry, polymer chemistry, dyestuff chemistry, chemical oceanography, chemical information, chemical sales-the list of career possibilities is long and varied. Even in times when unemployment rates are generally high, the chemist remains the scientist most in demand.

Chemists are very much involved in tackling the problems faced by our modern society. On a given day, a chemist may be studying the mechanism of the recombination of DNA, measuring the amount of insecticide in drinking water, comparing the protein content of meats, developing a new antibiotic, or analyzing a moon rock. Participation in important and interesting projects as a competent chemical scientist begins, of course, with a study of introductory chemistry as an undergraduate.

Chemistry is a challenging major. The undergraduate curriculum is demanding both intellectually and in terms of time. There are no "easy courses" to be found in it. One studies inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry and analytical chemistry, examining the most basic qualities of matter, mastering strategies of chemical synthesis, solving chemical mysteries in the laboratory, and learning to communicate facts and theories about chemistry to others. Elective courses may include biochemistry and chemical oceanography, or one may choose to delve more deeply into one of the other subdisciplines of chemistry. Research with a member of the chemistry faculty in the junior or senior year can provide valuable experience at the frontiers of the science.

Whether your goal is to become a surgeon or a research scientist, a teacher or an information specialist, you should examine chemistry as a major. It isn't for everyone; but those students who do choose chemistry usually find it as interesting as it is challenging, and they always take great pride in the degree they earn as undergraduates.

Chemistry Study Skills


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