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Title: Career challenges and opportunities in the global chemistry enterprise

item WU, MARINDA - American Chemical Society
item Cheng, Huai
item SHAH, SADIQ - The University Of Texas-Pan American
item RICH, ROBERT - American Chemical Society

Submitted to: American Chemical Society Symposium Series
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/23/2014
Publication Date: 9/5/2014
Citation: Wu, M.L., Cheng, H.N., Shah, S., Rich, R. 2014. Career challenges and opportunities in the global chemistry enterprise. American Chemical Society Symposium Series. 1169:1-28.

Interpretive Summary: The global chemistry enterprise is changing, with globalization having both a positive and a negative impact on employment and research opportunities and with noticeable changes in the ways that industrial R&D is conducted in the U.S. In view of these changes, three symposia were organized in the American Chemical Society (ACS) national meeting at Indianapolis in September 2013 to examine career and workplace challenges, particularly career opportunities, entrepreneurship, and diversity. A symposium book is being prepared (with Cheng, Shah, and Wu as Editors) that includes chapters contributed by most of the symposium speakers. The current article is the overview chapter of this book that provides a summary of the major findings, plus a section on the career-related resources available at ACS. The key message is that the chemistry enterprise is changing, and chemistry professionals need to be aware of the global trends in both research and employment. They need to be flexible, keep on gaining new knowledge, and stay active professionally. They also need to be acquainted with the full range of career options open to them – chemistry jobs, chemistry related jobs, science related jobs, science inspired jobs, and non-traditional career paths. Furthermore, in the chemistry workplaces, diversity and inclusion is increasingly important. Diversity benefits the organization, enhances teamwork, provides more balanced viewpoints, and increases the recruiting pool for the future. With respect to these career and workplace opportunities, ACS has many resources that can help, and many of these resources are summarized in this article.

Technical Abstract: This article serves as an overview of the various career challenges and opportunities faced by chemistry professionals in the 21st century in the global chemistry enterprise. One goal is to highlight a broad spectrum of career paths, including non-traditional careers, and to showcase examples of chemists who have successfully followed these paths. Successful examples of entrepreneurship by chemistry professionals are also shared as one of many different career advancement opportunities to explore. All of these career paths use chemistry or a scientific background and analytical problem-solving skills to organize information, identify creative solutions, and make meaningful contributions to society. Another goal is to cover topics on diversity in the workplace as it relates to these paths. Included in this article are global employment trends and services that the American Chemical Society offers to help chemists to search for jobs and to manage their careers.