Dr Satyajit Mondal & Dr Soumendra Nath Bandyopadhyay
Chemistry is an integral part of the day-to-day life of human beings and society. From the very ancient days of alchemy to today’s modern high-tech chemistry, the subject marched a long way down the path of technological advancements and ground-breaking inventions.
The rapid development of chemistry in the twentieth century completely changed the way we live today. Possibly the greatest perceived benefits came from the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The development of life-saving drugs and medical methods boosted the average life expectancy of human beings way above our ancestors by almost 30 years! In our everyday life, we became completely dependent on chemical industries. Almost anything that we use today is actively or passively linked to chemical industries. The overwhelming power of chemistry provides infinite opportunities to pursue this subject as a career building option for young students.
Chemical industries are booming all over the world. And why not? Beginning from the toothpaste, soap, oils, clothes, any plastic or metallic materials, colors, medicines, drinking water, food, fuels etc. to whatever products we use is a direct or indirect product of chemical industries. A few of them are listed below but this is only the tip of an iceberg that opens our eyes to the opportune world of chemistry.
Food: Nowadays due to the high population, crops are grown in the fields with the fertilizers-a product of chemical industries. Insecticides and pesticides are being used in a controlled and regular manner. The recent locust attack is also dealt with pesticides. Biochemistry helps to produce more fertile grains and crops. Artificial flavouring agents are a direct product of chemical industries. Every machinery that is being used is built from metallic or plastic parts-a product of metallurgy and polymer chemistry. Then comes the packaging procedures. Preservative production and regulation is a big industry on its own apart from packaging industries. Water in urban areas is also chemically treated to make them fit for drinking and household usage (iron-free or arsenic-free, water softening reagents).
Clothing: artificial fibres (like rayon or nylons), dyes, waterproofing, and other surface finishing chemicals are extensively used.
Home: Cement, paints, building materials, plastic materials, and metals that are used in making TV, mobile phones, computers, etc.
Transportation: Production of fuels (petrol, diesel, natural gas), metallic and plastic parts of vehicles.
Medical aspects: medicines, materials for medical instruments, artificial limbs, disinfectants, anaesthetics, cosmetics, etc.
Others: There are many more usages of chemistry in society. Everything we use in school, office, even in sports are related to the chemical industry.
Depending on the huge demand for chemical products, there are huge job opportunities if a student pursues chemistry. Apart from the huge demand in industries, there are also aspects of research and development of any product and companies regularly recruiting scientists for this purpose. Of course, there are job opportunities if a person wants to become a teacher in chemistry. That is the academic part of the job opportunity. Also, quality control officer posts are filled from the chemists generally.
Fellow of chemistry may become an entrepreneur by manufacturing of different chemical products. Among the vast job opportunities available for a chemistry student, some of them are listed below:
 Teacher in Schools
 Assistant Professor in Colleges, Universities and other Higher Education Institutes
 Scientist in Research Laboratories
 Chemist in Central Ground Water Board
 Chemist in Forensic Science Laboratory
 Chemist in Indian Bureau of Mines
 Chemist in National Test House
 Chemist in National Tea Research Foundation (NTRF)
 Chemist in Ordnance Factory
 Chemist in Thermal Power Plant
 Chemist in National Fertilizers Limited (NFL)
 Chemist in Drugs Testing Laboratory
 Chemist in Railway
 Scientific Officer in Pollution Control Board
 Scientific Officer in Atomic Research Centre
 Scientific Officer in Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO)
 Scientific Officer in Geological Survey of India (GSI)
 Scientific Officer in Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)
 Scientific Officer in Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change
 Officer in India Government Mint
 Quality Control Officer in Oil Refineries Companies
 Food Safety Officer
 Examiner of Patents & Designs in Patent Office
 Scientific Officer in Cosmetic Industries
 Scientific Officer in Soaps and Detergent Industries
 Scientific Officer in Personal Care and Home Care product manufacturing Industries
 Scientific Officer in Pharmaceutical Industries
 Chemist in Food Industries
 Chemist in Paint Industries
 Chemist in Soft Drinks Industries
 Chemist in Liquor Industries
 Chemist in Petrochemical Industries
 Chemist in Polymer Industries
 Chemist in Cement Industries
 Chemist in Textile Industries
 Chemist in Enzymes Industries
 Chemist in Paper Industries
 Chemist in Chemical Industries
(Dr Satyajit Mondal and Dr Soumendra Nath Bandyopadhyay are Assistant Professors, Department of Chemistry, ICFAI University Tripura. They can be reached at email: [email protected]
and [email protected]