Anytime you’re considering a particular career, it’s always important to know the implications of that choice in terms of the rest of your life, and what other types of jobs or careers may be available to you. A career that provides education and training to enter many different fields or sub-disciplines is one that will ensure you always are able to find suitable employment and intriguing opportunities. With all of that in mind, what are the career alternatives for chemical engineering degree graduates?
To begin with, this is a question that a lot of people have been asking over the past few years, and it stems from a concern based upon the latest information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS projected that from 2008 to 2018 there will actually be a slight decline in employment in the field, dropping two percent over that period of time. Obviously for students and prospective students, that’s not something that is very appealing as you’re working towards your degree.
However, the raw data is a little bit skewed on the surface, because more chemical engineers are simply finding work in areas which will fall under the scope of different engineering disciplines. In fact, a degree in chemical engineering will open up the doors for you to find work in almost any type of engineering field, discipline or industry. So keep in mind that while chemical engineering specifically is projected to drop two percent, engineering on the whole is up 11 percent for that same period of time according to the BLS projections.
Career alternatives within engineering for chemical engineering graduates include many other fields, such as in-demand and lucrative positions in areas such as petroleum engineering. With a focus on developing cleaner fuels and more efficient use and obtaining of fuels, there’s a need for the work of chemical engineering graduates here.
Chemical engineers are also finding work in one of the most rapidly expanding fields of engineering, biomedical engineering. In addition, agricultural engineering, aerospace engineering, materials engineering, mining and geological engineering, industrial engineering and environmental engineering all have a need for the types of skills and training that those with a background in chemical engineering have. Obviously, that’s a very wide range of choices, and it’s just scratching the surface in terms of what is available as a potential career alternative for you.
The problem solving and analysis skills of chemical engineers also make them candidates for some unexpected positions, such as business analysts, economist analysts for industries of many types, and more. Being able to take raw data or scenarios and turn it into forecasts, models, more efficient strategies and so forth is something that chemical engineers work with, and it’s a skill that’s in very high demand.
Clearly there are many different potential career alternatives and paths for chemical engineering graduates. Don’t be scared off by the projections of jobs declining for chemical engineers, simply broaden your perspective and embrace being able to work in many other fields as well.