Careers

Find the Career of your Dreams with a Foundation in Chemistry

Government agencies predict that there will be severe shortages of scientists in the very near future. Thus, students now entering chemistry programs should expect to find an extremely good job market upon graduation. If you choose to major in chemistry, you will have a strong educational foundation for:

  • A career in the chemical or related industries
  • Teaching high-school chemistry
  • Entry into graduate school
  • Transfer to a medical or dental school,
  • Entry into the many environmental fields which are increasingly important, or
  • Employment in the myriad of industries which depend on chemists for their continued success. Among these are careers as diverse as biotechnology, agricultural chemistry, environmental chemistry, geochemistry, food and flavor chemistry, and materials science. 

What about FHSU chemistry graduates?

Typically, about two-thirds of FHSU alumni who graduate with a degree in chemistry go into health-related professions, primarily medicine and pharmacy.  About one-third enter the workforce immediately, some as teachers and others as chemists.  Recent alumni work for the following organizations:

  • Hays Medical Center
  • Fuller Brush Company
  • Kansas Bureau of Investigation
  • Hospira
  • Quintile Pharmaceuticals
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • KU School of Medicine

Still not sure what to do with an undergraduate degree in chemistry?  Check out the American Chemical Society Web  site for a large number of career options for graduates with a strong background in chemistry or visit FHSU’s Academic Advising and Career Exploration Center for additional career counseling.  Feel free to contact the Department of Chemistry to speak with a faculty advisor.

The world is at your fingertips. Are you ready?

FHSU Chemistry graduates - out in the world

GinnyCurrierJames
Ginny (Currier) James (2002)

Research and Methods Development Scientist
Lincoln, NE
I develop methods for extracting and quantitating various compounds – generally pharmaceuticals – from biological matrices. This involves daily use of organic, biological, and analytical chemistry, all of which I received a strong educational foundation in at FHSU. I am currently in charge of the training and day-to-day progress of one team in the research and development department. FHSU provided me with plenty of collaborative, hands-on opportunities that not only supplemented my classroom work and learning experience, but properly prepared me for what my future career had in store. Working as a lab assistant and being president of Chemistry Club helped me develop confidence and a comfort level with teaching others, as well as taking on important leadership roles.

 KhanhHuynh
Khanh Huynh (2008)

Student
KU School of Medicine
Mission, KS

My degree in Chemistry at FHSU prepared me well for the basic science courses so far in the first year of medical school. I found that Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry helped me a lot, because they don’t take the time to explain every step of the pathways so it helps to have some background knowledge. Although I don’t see “bench science” in my future, I’m certain that I will use some aspect of my skills in the near future. Being vice-president of Chemistry Club, a mentor in YouthFriends, and a youth leader at my church exposed me to a sense of community and the need for good leadership. I want to work with the urban poor and/or the uninsured in a community health setting in the future so my experiences with those activities help validate those goals.
FranklinCarmanFranklin S. Carman III (1984)
Professor of Biophysical Sciences
Western Nevada College
Carson City, NV
I’m a third generation graduate of FHSU with the same name. I completed the Biochemistry graduate program at the University of Nevada (School of Medicine, Division of Biochemistry) in Reno, Nev., in 1990. Shortly after, I was employed by Western Nevada College. In the last almost 20 years at WNC, I have held positions from Teaching Assistant to Acting Dean of Instruction. It is as Professor that I find the most gratification: working with the students, helping them learn difficult concepts, watching them fulfill their dreams and goals to become productive and contributing members of our global society. Eight faculty members from FHSU greatly impacted my choice of career and continue to influence my daily classroom and laboratory activities. They stuck with me every step of the way and taught me many of the skills I use today. My days at FHSU were second to none! Thanks for the opportunities then and now.
JoshLeck
Joshua Leck (2001)

Pharmaceutical Chemist
McPherson, KS
While attending FHSU, I felt that my laboratory training and experience was first-rate. Shortly after starting at Abbott Labs, my hunch was confirmed. My laboratory classes at FHSU introduced me to nearly every type of analysis I perform at my job. I was surprised to learn how different the college experience was for many of my co-workers. The research project I participated in while at FHSU brought all that I learned in class together, which gave me a broader understanding of what it means to be a chemist. The broader understanding of why individual tasks are performed is needed, whether it is to lead a project to completion or direct a group of people to complete those tasks. However, it was the critical thinking and problem-solving skills I received in both the laboratory and classroom that have been the most beneficial to my career. The chemistry professors – along with many others – were more interested in training students how to think rather than prompt them to repeat facts.