Employability

Infographic showing the benefits of a degree formt he School of Chemistry, as summarised in the text belowA degree in Chemistry is a wise choice for your future employability and earning potential.

Employers value the transferable skills that a chemistry degree provides, not only for roles as a professional chemist, but also for jobs in other sectors including finance, business, publishing, IT and teaching. Almost two-thirds of chemistry graduates work in settings beyond laboratories. Employers like the scientific and technical knowledge, but also the combination of skills in problem-solving, teamwork, numeracy, research, project and time management, and written and verbal communication that studying chemistry fosters. This is reflected in the very competitive salaries paid to chemistry graduates.

Employment Prospects

Each year the University of Edinburgh surveys the first employment destinations of its graduates.

  • 97.8 per cent of the 2017 Edinburgh chemistry graduates were in employment or further study six months after graduation, much higher than the UK average of 88.7 per cent.
  • On this measure Edinburgh ranked third among the 29 UK university chemistry departments, second in the Russell Group.
  • At Edinburgh, chemistry graduates outperformed those with degrees in disciplines traditionally associated with high employment levels such as business, veterinary medicine, law, informatics and economics. A chemistry degree from Edinburgh makes you very attractive to employers.
  • A 2018 report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies compared salaries at age 29 for graduates from different universities and disciplines. One of the key conclusions was that ‘Not all degrees are the same and subject choice appears to be a very important determinant of returns.’
  • According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, typical starting salaries for chemistry graduates are in the range £18,200 – £26,600, and in 2017 the median salary for its professional members was £49,500 including bonuses.

Employment Sectors

Pie charts showing the destinations of graduates, as summarised in the text below

Examples of chemistry graduate jobs and employers gathered from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17 survey:

  • Science
  • Management
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Business, HR and finance

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