Issue Date: September 5, 2016
The job landscape for new chemistry graduates
Newly minted bachelor’s degree chemists continue to face high unemployment and flat salaries, according to an annual survey of recent graduates by the American Chemical Society.
The unemployment rate for chemists earning bachelor’s degrees in 2015 is down to 12.3% in 2015 from 13.2% in 2014—and a peak of 14.9% in 2013. But it remains far higher than for chemists overall, who had an unemployment rate of 3.1% in 2015 (C&EN, Nov. 9, 2015, page 30).
Of new bachelor’s degree recipients who got jobs, slightly more found permanent positions in 2015: 29.8%, compared with 28.0% in 2014. The group’s median salary rose from $40,000 in 2014 to $41,000 in 2015.
The largest number of recent bachelor’s degree grads—33.9%—went on to graduate school, down from 35.1% in 2014. And this year, for the first time in at least a decade, the survey shows that the median salary for men and women is equal, at $40,000.
The survey includes respondents at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels who graduated between July 2014 and June 2015. The following tables and charts highlight data from 1,542 bachelor’s degree awardees because they made up the vast majority of respondents.
This is the last time C&EN will be presenting this and other surveys in this format. ACS is changing how it is surveying its members to get a more accurate view of whom ACS members are. We will be changing how we report that in response. More details are coming soon.
For more on the survey, visit bit.ly/2bLc3vv.
Note for all graphs: Survey of new graduates in chemistry, chemical engineering, and related fields at universities that agreed to share their information with ACS. Data collected between October 2015 and January 2016 from 1,974 people who graduated between July 2014 and June 2015. Only bachelor’s degree data reported. A total of 1,542 responses were collected from bachelor’s degree recipients.
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