YPOV: Is a Nontraditional ChemE Career for You? | AIChE

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YPOV: Is a Nontraditional ChemE Career for You?


The rapid growth of technology, globalization, the changing demographics of the workforce — all of these factors have eliminated the former notion of a linear career path. Modern-day employment requires workers to be adaptable to any and every change that may come their way. Chemical engineers are very attractive to company recruiters, even at companies that are not associated with the chemical process industries (CPI), because the ChemE curriculum emphasizes critical thinking as well as scientific knowledge.

No chemical engineering student should feel that all that awaits him or her after graduation is only a job in a chemical plant. A chemical engineering degree makes you more than ready for a wide variety of careers, including those that are usually considered nontraditional.

If you are thinking of transitioning to a nontraditional career, consider the following advice:

Nontraditional careers can be found at any age

Pursuing a nontraditional job opportunity is not just for students and recent graduates. More-experienced engineers also have many options for moving into less-traditional roles.

For example, my friend’s father worked in a petroleum plant for ten years, until office politics made the job unbearable. He heard of an opening at a college for a philosophy teaching position. Now, a decade later, he is getting ready to retire from his post as the head of the literary department. Never pass up an interesting opportunity just because it’s not the norm...

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