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5 Reasons Why You Should Study Chemistry Abroad

With a degree in Chemistry you can travel the world, receive a good salary and be part of something inspiring. Read our article covering the top 5 reasons to study chemistry abroad and get an idea of what a future career in the field could mean for you.

Chemistry is a science has been around for 1000’s of years but it still has a huge impact in the way the world is shaped today. The achievements in the field are being celebrated this year, as 2011 is the International Year of Chemistry – chosen particularly as it marks the 100th year anniversary of the award of the Nobel Prize to Madame Marie Curie for her work with Radium and Polonium.

We’ve listed our top 5 reasons why we think studying chemistry abroad is a great way to kick-start a successful career in science, if you have any other reasons you would like add to the list please include them in the comments section at the bottom of the article.

1. Lots of Career Opportunities – With Multinational companies including 3M, Shell, GlaxoSmithKline, DuPont, BASF and ExxonMobil you have many different specialisations in many countries worldwide that you can pursue, from material coatings to pharmaceuticals there is a reliance on chemists across most fields.

2. Work on Rewarding Projects – Most chemists work in research and development (R&D) or applied R&D environment which allows you some flexibility in choosing the area of chemistry you are passionate about. Dependent on your role you can expect the majority of your time at work to spent in the lab or office depending on how theoretical or applied your work is, as you progress through your career the more managerial your role the less likely you are to be in the laboratory environment.

3. Be Part of something Truly International – Chemistry is a worldwide industry with most key employers having offices and laboratories in many countries across the globe. Studying chemistry abroad will help you show to your future employer that you are as internationally-minded as the company you want to represent. This international focus means you will have many opportunities to see the world, both when exploring new employment prospects or attending conferences and exhibitions.

4. Benefit from Good Financial Rewards- The average salary for chemists is above the mean average salary for the working population across the world. The official figures are released sporadically but as a reference, in 2009 the American Chemical Society (ACS) reported an average salary for chemists with bachelor degrees as $66,000 and masters degrees at $80,000. This compares favourably with national average wage index of under $42,000 for the same period.

5. Work with like-minded people – In the laboratory environment you can be surrounded by people with the same analytical thought-processes and motivation to succeed as yourself, this can be an extremely rewarding environment to work in.

To work in the field at an entry level you will need at least an undergraduate degree in chemistry or a closely related topic but you may also find a postgraduate degree (taught masters or research) will help you achieve a higher salary and improve your chances of getting the jobs, research projects and funding you want.

If you are considering studying a Bachelors degree (e.g. BSc Chemistry) abroad then you will be expected to have taken lower level qualifications in mathematics and at least one of the sciences in order to be successful with your application. The majority of any chemistry course will be lab-based but you can top-up your job related skills by taking part in a internship or sandwich degree where a period of time is spent with an employer.

If you are interested in studying chemistry abroad then use our course search facility on our Sciences directory or read our Study Abroad Advice pages for more information. If you found this article useful please share it with friends, colleagues and family using the Facebook, Google +1 and Twitter buttons below.

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