“What in the world isn’t chemistry? “ - Unknown

Chemistry is a science that studies matter and all its properties such as composition, structure etc. Chemists are scientists who are trained in the study of chemistry. They study the composition of matter, its acidity, density and its chemical properties.

Chemists contribute to all industries, especially those related to manufacturing. Chemists work with other chemists, technicians and chemical engineers in a team.

What do Chemists do?

Chemistry can be broadly termed as the science of matter. The basic purpose of it is to transform everyday materials to create useful things. The idea is to use the chemical properties of two or more products to create something new and useful.

The main job of a Chemist is to study and research about the composition and nature of materials. They try to get to know as much as possible about a substance, from its physical properties such as texture to its chemical properties such as density. On the basis of their study, they come up with theories that they look to prove through experiments.

Chemists regularly perform experiments by making two or more substance react. They do this to find out the different ways through which two substances reach with each other. This helps them create new substances that are useful.

A lot of Chemists create new devices and equipment to help them study and inspect substances. They use these devices to find out about the properties and composition of substances, and predict how it will react with other substances.

Chemistry research is based on funding that is received from research based and educational institutions. Chemists constantly have to write grant letters convincing these institutions to fund their research.

Another one of the main jobs of a Chemist is to inspect the quality of each and every chemical and material that goes into manufacturing the product. Once the product is made, a Chemist tests its properties through sampling. This task is very important if a Chemist is working in the manufacturing industry.

An important job that a Chemist has to perform is to look to constantly learn about new substances and use that information to create artificial substances that are better than the previous versions in the market.

How to become a Chemist?

To become a Chemist, you would study Physics, Chemistry and Math at school. Once you complete your schooling, you should preferable try to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry or Science.

A Bachelor’s degree will provide you with opportunities to work in laboratories as an assistant or a technician. To become a full fledged Chemist, it is advisable that you complete your Master’s in Chemistry as well. After your Master’s, you should preferably do a PhD in Chemistry too.
This will help you gain experience as a researcher as well as build a strong educational base to obtain better opportunities to research and contribute.

Networking is extremely important for any scientist. You remain in touch with rest of the community as well keep them informed about the progress of your research. This can be done by attending seminars and conferences as well as writing for journals. The networking also helps you obtain funding for your research and identify institutions and organizations with similar research interests as yours.

Once you’ve completed your education, you can either get into private research or take up a job. Chemists can take up jobs in various areas of Chemistry such as Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Bio Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Theoretical Chemistry. They work in organizations and educational institutions.


There are a variety of institutes that provide you with excellent education in Chemistry in India. Institutes like the St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and Loyola College, Chennai are considered to be really good for a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. For a Master’s degree in Chemistry, the two best institutes in India are the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and IISC, Bangalore. IIT, Delhi and IISC, Bangalore are also the two best institutes in India that offer PhD courses in Chemistry. It is to be kept in mind that most aspiring researchers prefer to go study abroad for their PhD course, as there is a massive difference in terms of the scale of research as well as the standard of education.

What are the skills required to become a Chemist?

The life of a Chemist is full of experiments, chemicals and new substances. Therefore, possessing basic lab skills is an absolute necessity. A Chemist needs to have patience as experiments might have to be repeated a lot of times in order to come up with successful results. A Chemist needs to have strong observational skills as they are often required to study the changes in the properties of a substance after a reaction. A Chemist needs to have great communication skills as he might have to write grant letters and attend seminars. Not only that, a Chemist needs to be very strong in math and scientific reasoning. This is very important as both of them form the base of Chemistry. Contrary to popular perception, a Chemist should also be creative so that he can use new substances to provide solutions. Most importantly, a Chemist should be attentive and have high standards of safety to avoid any mishaps during experiments.

Is this the right career for me?

A Chemist’s life is spent in laboratories trying to create useful products from chemicals and other substances. It is a job that requires a lot of dedication and patience. It can take years for a Chemist to make any significant contribution to the field of the Chemistry. A lot of Chemists turn to teaching as an alternative career option while doing research. Chemists have to work alone as well as in teams.

So if you’re interested in playing with chemicals and coming up with new substances and if you’re willing to work for long hours without much appreciation for the sake of your love for the subject, then this might be the right job for you.


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Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.