Year after year, recognised Nigerian universities and other institutions of higher learning produce graduates from all courses of study and programmes.
However, the teeming number of graduates with a degree is met with little to no opportunities within the country. Some people further their education and proceed to postgraduate levels to acquire Masters or PhD degrees, while others try their luck in the labour market with bachelor's degrees.
Either way, it is pertinent for university students and graduates of any course of study to be aware of the numerous professional career opportunities in their respective study fields.
There are several professional career options for chemistry graduates in Nigeria, irrespective of the type of higher institution attended. One of the least explored options is research.
Owning a chemistry degree from any recognised state or federal university or tertiary institution in Nigeria gives you some fundamental skills required to do research business in the science and engineering world.
It is also worthy of note that many groundbreaking discoveries happen in the laboratories where you will find experts in various scientific fields, including chemistry and engineering.
In the course of this article, we intend to look at professional career options for chemistry graduates, especially in the research field.
Check out other places a chemistry graduate can work in Nigeria.
The Role of Research Chemists
Chemistry has several sub-specialities which address various aspects of science and human development. Research chemists work in a specific laboratory to carry out one or more of the following activities:
Development of new drugs and health care products
One of the available jobs for chemistry graduates in Nigeria is to work in a laboratory where drugs and other related materials are produced. Typically, you will also see people with degrees in pharmacy or engineering working at these labs, but chemists are an integral part of the workforce.
Food and drink production
People that specialize in chemical engineering and other specific branches of food science are a significant part of the food industry. Most synthetic food materials are products of chemical reactions involving natural ingredients.
Hence, the more effort these experts put into finding new chemical combinations, the better the world's food situation management becomes.
Want to know about a pharmaceutical chemist? find out the functions of a pharmaceutical chemist.
Cosmetics and general products/materials
These professionals are also involved in producing cosmetics and beauty products/materials by making groundbreaking findings in and out of the laboratory. Besides, humans can't do without general products like home appliances, tools, and furniture that are products of chemical discoveries.
Reasons to Work in this Aspect of Chemistry
There are many available jobs for chemistry graduates in Nigeria, which is one reason to join the research train. Other reasons include:
Fulfilling professional career
It goes without saying that out of the numerous chemistry careers in Nigeria, joining these sets of professionals stands out as one of the best.
The reason is that you will be involved in making groundbreaking discoveries that will have a lasting effect on humanity. These experts also develop passion and enjoy what they do as they learn more about life and its resources.
Several job offers
There are several professional chemistry careers in Nigeria if you wish to become a researcher. There are also many entry-level positions for graduates interested in becoming a researcher with top firms all over the federation.
These firms understand that discoveries put them ahead of their competitors and look for people with unique qualifications. If you're a fresh graduate, you can apply to international firms with a need for research enthusiasts.
A learning opportunity
A postgraduate diploma doesn't give you all the skills and knowledge to make every discovery, but constantly working with researchers will give you some education and information about the field of study.
Researching opens your eyes to amazing things and puts you in a study frenzy. The more you explore, the more information and knowledge you acquire.
Apart from a recognised diploma, undergraduate, or postgraduate degree, working as a researcher will improve your portfolio drastically. It will also give you better chances at an international level.
Also, some firms have internship programmes for young graduates where they are taught everything in the business of chemistry research. All you need to be considered for these programmes is your recognised high school diploma or degree.
Learn about the role of an analytical chemist in Nigeria.
How to Join the Bandwagon
Becoming a chemistry graduate paves the way for many opportunities in the labour market. Suppose you do not wish to work in a university or secondary school as a lecturer. In that case, you can join the industrial part of the field where you can apply specific skills that you acquired in university.
The requirements to become a chemistry graduate in Nigeria starts with being among science students in senior secondary school. Before that, other requirements include that the prospective students must show interest in integrated science and introductory technology in junior school.
At the senior level, the pupil must offer subjects including physics, biology, and chemistry in addition to English and mathematics.
A minimum of five credits in these subjects are also required before gaining admission into a higher institution. Also, the student must have an excellent grade to be considered for admission in most programmes or courses.
One of the most crucial requirements is that you need to choose chemistry or allied courses and your primary department during the admission process.
Many higher institutions in Lagos state, Oyo state, Rivers state, and other parts of Nigeria offer courses or study programmes that can put you on track. During your undergraduate study, you will learn many courses including basic organic science, inorganic sciences and industrial applications.
At the end of four years, which is the minimum time required for an undergraduate course, you can try your luck for entry positions in the labour market or go further to earn Masters or PhD degrees in applied fields.
All these qualifications will come in handy when you submit your resume for a position at both local and international levels.
As a general rule, you need to be an excellent candidate, score high, or have a good grade at all levels to be considered in any firm or company in the business of chemical research.
One of the best ways of achieving this is to get a private chemistry tutor. You can use the Superprof platform to find a tutor and be taught all you need to put you in an advantageous position in terms of skills and knowledge.
The platform contains experts with mouthwatering qualifications in various fields of knowledge including chemistry. They can teach you the knowledge and management aspect and also how to build an attractive resume for your job search, including learning the English language.
However, you need to pay some fees in return for these services. The fees are in relation to the number of study hours and frequency. It's very important to note that the fees are quite affordable. However, the first lesson with any Superprof tutor is always free!
As a prospective chemistry researcher, you must also possess some skills which will give you an advantage in your job search locally and on the international scene.
First and foremost, the different types of jobs available to chemistry graduates require that you have impeccable problem-solving and management skills.
Even if you have a PhD, Masters or spend several years studying various courses or programmes, you must be able to prove to your employers that you can solve imminent human problems.
Besides, you must be patient and possess logical thinking abilities. The reason is that discovery takes years before you can see the fruits of your work. It also involves thinking critically about the steps you must change or revise.
Another skill that will come in handy in your job search is the ability to pay attention to detail. Newton discovered the laws of gravity by simply paying attention to a falling fruit.
The same principle applies to every sphere of discovery. You must be organized, methodical, and prudent if you wish to make a name for yourself in the field.
Here's it what it entails to become a chemical engineer in Nigeria.
Available Research Positions for Chemistry Graduates in Nigeria
There are several types of jobs available to chemistry graduates, especially those with a PhD, Masters, or studied a laboratory or chemical sciences course. However, such a candidate must score high on an aptitude test or have a good grade on his resume.
You must also have a good knowledge of the English language, especially for higher-level and entry positions. Apart from good English language skills, other specific minimum things that you require are processing fees and time in some instances.
Many chemical companies and government-owned establishments, both at local and international levels, require your services as a graduate, Masters or PhD degrees holder.
You can also get research careers for chemistry graduates in private labs and higher institutions. If you score high during your time as an undergraduate, the school management can retain you as an assistant for a chemistry researcher.
There are also many private researchers out there that need an assistant with a chemistry degree for their project.
Companies that produce food, drinks, drugs, health care products, cosmetics, and furniture need people with a degree and at least a year's worth of experience in the sciences. These are helpful places to learn about various professional careers for chemistry graduates.
Furthermore, you can get chemistry research jobs in Nigeria at environmental agencies and research councils. There are also many agencies where you can enrol in an internship programme.
The programme will teach you about the subject of various researches and give you basic education before you join the company's workforce. However, you must have a good resume if you're not the overall best candidate.
You can attend programmes that will teach you to be the best overall candidate with attractive résumés. You can also go on search engines and social media sites to look for available positions in the agencies listed above.
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