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Chemistry, General


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What to Expect

What are the benefits of having a chemistry degree? It won't train you for a specific job, but it will make you employable in a wide variety of jobs.

"You can get a job anywhere!" exclaims Ryan Holbird. He studied chemical engineering at Clayton College and State University in Georgia.

Holbird's chemistry education showed him the value of applying logic and critical thinking to all problems. "It has made me use reasoning and common-sense ways of doing things, creating ways of doing experiments by using the cheapest, easiest, fastest or more reliable method," says Holbird. "All companies of any type can appreciate this."

Although some of the courses are tough to handle at first, with a little hard work anyone can succeed at chemistry, says former chemistry graduate student Michael Shaver. "The professors really respect people who try hard," he says.

Typical days are spent going to morning classes and working on experiments in the early afternoon. From mid-afternoon to early evening, Shaver either taught undergraduate classes or worked in the laboratory. "Evenings [were] spent either having fun or working on a thesis or other coursework," he says.

When Marianne Ariganello began her studies in chemical engineering, she felt chemistry and chemical engineering were closely related. But she soon learned that engineering isn't as chemistry-focused; it covers a much broader range.

"They are close, but chemical engineering is a lot more applied chemistry, [and] a lot more physics and math," she says. But she likes the applied chemistry focus.

"You need to understand the basics of chemistry for chemical engineering," she explains.

How to Prepare

Shaver advises future students to begin reading science journals as soon as possible. "As long as you get familiar with some of the concepts," he says, "it doesn't matter whether you fully understand every small aspect of it."


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OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.