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Chemistry Careers + Alumni

Hit the ground running

Graduates from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry find opportunities immediately after graduation, whether they seek employment directly, or choose to pursue advanced studies in graduate or professional school. Our major programs provide a skill set that is relevant, marketable, and adaptable to a wide variety of career paths.

Education and Training – an unbeatable combination

Our degree programs provide you with two essential elements that will move your career forward. For one, you’ll be equipped with the fundamental skills that are the hallmark of a Blugold liberal arts education – communication, critical thinking, and people skills. These are highly valued by all employers, and we place a much greater emphasis on them than most technical universities. Couple this with a major that provides you with a range of technical training and problem-solving skills, and you have a winning combination that will land you that first job, and enable you to advance in it.

One additional advantage of a chemistry or biochemistry degree is broad applicability. Many STEM degrees are quite specialized, and thus offer graduates a fairly narrow set of career options, which is fine if you know exactly what you want to be doing in 10 years. By contrast, chemists and biochemists work in a wide range of industries and organizations, thus you are not only more likely to find a job that you are genuinely interested in, you’ll also have more mobility should you choose to move from one to another.

Anna Dahl, Nestlé, Eau Claire, WI

Where do chemists work?

Chemists and biochemists are employed in a great variety of industries, many of which are in plain sight. The fact is, chemistry is everywhere, and it underlies the development of many of the products we use or consume each day. Yet, what chemists do and where we work is easy to overlook. Examples of fields and industries in which employ chemists and biochemists include: 

Health Care / Pharmaceuticals
Food / Agriculture / Nutrition
Environment / Sustainability
Paint / Coatings / Ink
Adhesives / Lubricants
Plastics / Materials

Personal Care Products
Detergents / Cleaners
Energy / Fuels
Electronics / Semiconductors
Law / Patents / Licensing  
Paper / Construction Materials   

Jennifer Dahl and Tayo Sanders

Thinking of continuing your education?

While some of our students pursue advanced studies in professional graduate programs such as medicine, pharmacy, and even law, many others pursue an MS or a PhD in the field chemistry or biochemistry. These advanced degrees are not just for careers in academia, but also lead to research positions in corporate R&D, or at national laboratories working on a variety of societal challenges. One advantage of pursuing an MS or PhD degree is that one can do so without accumulating additional student debt. Most graduate programs in the chemical sciences offer paid assistantships for their students, which provide a salary for teaching and/or conducting your graduate research, health benefits, and a tuition waiver. Moreover, our students have attended graduate programs at some of the nation’s top universities:

Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Northwestern University
Ohio State University
Purdue University
Yale University 

University of California-Berkeley
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
University of Oregon
University of Pittsburgh
University of Michigan
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Chemistry at UW-Eau Claire

Nestle connection to UWEC chemistry

Learn More
Dr. Mike Carney (center), a 1983 UW-Eau Claire graduate who now teaches at his alma mater, and his student research team are working on a project with a UW-Eau Claire graduate who now teaches chemistry at Northland College.  Three generations of Blugolds

Blugolds reducing plastic waste

A research team that includes three generations of Blugolds is gaining international attention for developing a new method for converting waste plastics into useful chemicals.

Generations of success

Presidential Early Career Award Winner

Biochemistry Molecular Biology Graduate, Katie Kindt (Class of 2000), started her research career as an undergraduate in the UWEC Chemistry Department, and went on to win a Presidential Early Career Award in 2016.

Alumni Success Story

Blugold chemists — we want to hear from you!

Alumni: Please let us know what you are up to and how you are doing. Send a letter or an e-mail (pictures are great!) to one of your old professors, your advisor, your research mentor, or even the Chair. We really enjoy hearing from you! Please stay in touch.

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