I recently attended a careers event at the school of chemistry organised by Karen Butterworth, which had a number of guest speakers, all with a degree in chemistry, telling us briefly what they do now. It was such an enlightening event, and it answered so many questions. My burning one, in particular, was “PhD, or not?”
I listened to them speak, and it really helped me to realise what I wanted from my future – I want to be a Dr, I want that title in front of my name, and hearing it from others made me sure it was what I wanted from my degree. The next question, then? “Can I still get the job I want if I get my doctorate?” Well, the answer was yes. After the talks, I took the liberty of scouting out the professional Dr. Alvarez, who had burned an impression in my mind and really stood out, and asked her this very question. She told me that, in her field of work (radiochemistry, ie, nuclear stuff!) there’ll always be jobs available (I fully believe nuclear chemistry is the way forward, too, especially with the depletion of fossil fuels!) and there are opportunities to apply for applicants with, or without a PhD. She also explained how it was possible to apply to a graduate scheme, or work with a company and complete your further study with them as your sponser – earn as you learn! Studying has never been more appealing.
In general though, I really am so glad I went. I’ve had so many questions, and nowhere to find the answers, so to speak to someone who is in a position I’d someday like to be in, was inspiring, and extremely helpful! I’d fully advise you attend similar events if they’re available for your course.