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Rewarding Chemistry and Math Opportunities for Women

Here is a question posed at the 1939 Boston symposium entitled Training and Opportunities for Women in Chemistry: Should there be any differentiation in training young men and women in light of what is judged as to the probability of professional opportunities?

Though the question was ground breaking in 1939, it is well in the rear view mirror of today’s woman. Females now earn half of the BS degrees in chemistry, 47% of the MS degrees and 35% of all PhDs.

A degree in chemistry prepares students for a wide variety of careers, some of which may have never been considered. Though professions in chemistry are typically related to industry (production, research, development) and academia (science teachers, college lecturers, university instrumentation specialists, research professors), there are countless non-traditional careers combining science backgrounds that complement other skills. These include positions in sales and marketing, medicine, government agencies, technical service and writing, patent law, financial analysis, information/library science, art restoration, etc.

Typical starting salaries for chemists with a B.S. Degree is $38,000; $50,000 with an MS Degree and $68,000 for a PhD. Median salaries for all chemists with a BS is $68,000; MS $80,000 and for PhD, $98,000.

At Camden County College, we communicate the excitement of chemistry and its rewards to students of all ages and backgrounds. Our graduates earn an Associates degree that prepares them for entry-level positions or for transfer to a four-year institution. A Bachelors degree in chemistry is sufficient to be admitted to a PhD program. You do not have to have a Masters Degree before pursuing a Doctorate, and students in a chemistry doctoral program typically receive teaching and research assistantships that cover tuition and cost of living expenses.

The ability to think critically and analyze programs is valuable in any field. In addition to the sciences, mathematics play an important role as they both set the foundation of basic principles needed before more complex situations can be completed. Careers steeped in mathematics and science are what more and more women are counting on.

Of the top 200 professions listed by the Wall Street Journal last year, mathematicians ranked #1 on the “best jobs list.” Math also took top honors with actuaries placing second, statisticians third. All careers were judged on five criteria inherent in every job: environment, income, employment outlook, physical demand and stress.

According to a recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a tracker of college graduates’ job offers, Math is the common denominator in the top 15 highest-earning college degrees. The mathematician’s average median salary is $94,160.

The Camden County College Math Department creates a positive learning environment where students’ academic needs are competently addressed. A full range of courses includes Concepts, Topics, Structures, Geometry, Math for Liberal Arts, Intermediate Algebra, Statistics I and II, College Algebra and Trigonometry, Applied Calculus, Discrete Math, Statistics for Technology, Biostatistics, Calculus I, II and III, Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations.

Proficiency in mathematics and science is an important outcome of education at Camden County College. In a technological society, the ability for women to solve complex scientific problems and to use advanced mathematical skills critical to the Nation’s ability to compete in the global marketplace is something that attendees of the 1939 symposium could never have dreamed of.

On July 14, over 150 high school girls from throughout Camden County will have an opportunity to learn more about futures in math and science, when Camden County College hosts its Second Annual Women in Mathematics and Chemistry Career Day. It’s a great first step toward a wide open future of exciting possibilities in the fields of science and mathematics.

Article by Dr. Susan K. Choi, Chair, Chemistry Department, Assistant Professor and Dr. Carla A. Monticelli, Professor, Mathematics.

For further information contact (856) 227-7200, ext. 4530, or e-mail dinforzato@camdencc.edu.


 

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