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What Will I Learn?

By successfully completing an associate degree with emphasis in chemistry you will have the ability to:

  • Transfer your skills to a four-year bachelor's degree-granting chemistry program.
  • Apply and interpret core concepts in general and organic chemistry.
  • Perform experiments using common laboratory techniques and analyze their results.
  • Adapt information to solve various problems.
  • Critically evaluate and analyze information.
  • Think critically in a scientific environment.

What Is The Occupational Outlook?

People with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry generally work as researchers developing new products or in quality control for a variety of industries. Government units also employ a large number of chemists for many highly technical jobs. The employment outlook has been rather flat for the last five years with only modest increases in the numbers of employed chemists. However, starting salaries continue to grow. The average starting salary for a chemist with a Bachelor of Science, as reported in Chemical & Engineering News for 2004, was $32,500. The average annual salary of all chemists as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor was around $63,500. 1

What Are My Options?

The associate degree with emphasis in chemistry is designed for students planning to complete the first two years of study leading to a baccalaureate degree and major in chemistry at a four-year college or university.

Courses completed in the associate in science degree at Heartland may be transferred to a four-year bachelor’s degree-granting institution to pursue a chemistry degree. Completing all or most of your first two years of a chemistry degree at Heartland has many advantages that include:

  • Small class sizes: The largest lecture section in science is 40 students and lab section is 20. At a large university, the lecture sections can be as large as 500 students.
  • More access to a dedicated, highly qualified instructor: Most large universities employ graduate students as teaching assistants who have little or no experience teaching.
  • Access to modern laboratory equipment and lab facilities: Freshmen labs at large universities may be housed in some of the older buildings on the campus.
  • Lower costs: Tuition and lab fees are considerably less at Heartland Community College.
  • Being prepared for junior and senior level work: The course content in chemistry courses is identical to that at any four-year institution. Upon transferring, community college students perform slightly better than native students at their respective institutions, based on GPA data.

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Chemists and Materials Scientists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos049.htm