Three women in a counselling interview

The professional profile of chemists has changed and broadened remarkably in recent years. This is due to the close and constantly growing interconnections between chemistry and other scientific and technical disciplines. But in recent years the occupational spectrum for chemists has broadened considerably.

The bachelor’s degree already provides a professional qualification. But most bachelor graduates follow on with a master’s programme. Bachelor graduates will be competing against people with non-academic vocational training qualifications (e.g. chemical technical assistant, chemical lab technician) for positions which do not necessarily require an academic scientific education. Future developments will show to what extent potential employers respond specifically to the advantages of a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

Young chemists start their careers in quite different areas, not only in the chemical industry, but also in the non-chemical sectors, for instance in trade and commerce, in research and development, in production, in marketing and sales, in management, in business consulting or in banking and insurance companies. Chemists also work in state and private research and analysis institutes, in patent offices or with environmental agencies at the local, state and national levels.  Large companies offer trainee programmes lasting one or two years.

Positions such as laboratory manager or project manager in industrial research usually require a doctoral qualification. About 90% of all master’s programme graduates subsequently begin doctoral research.

In the future, chemists will generally have a much broader spectrum of potential career options available to them, so that their overall career prospects are relatively good.

You can find additional information on the GDCh website.