MS in Chemical Engineering: Career Advice
An MS in chemical engineering degree is a great asset.
You’re sure to be exposed to more job opportunities and high-paying career options.
Tips to Get Instantly Hired by Top Chemical Engineering Companies
1. Get a degree that stands out
More reasons to pursue your MS in chemical engineering! Employers look to hire those with the qualifications needed to add value to the company.
You can also consider completing these certifications:
- Professional Engineer (PE) License: You’ll need a PE License to practice engineering in the United States. This will show your expertise in chemical engineering and improve your chances of getting employed.
- Six Sigma: Six Sigma is a set of tools used to improve process quality and reduce defects. This certificate will showcase your ability to analyze processes involved in chemical engineering.
- Certified Process Safety Professional (CCPSC): Keen to work in the chemical process industry? We recommend getting CCPSC-certified. This is offered by the AIChE.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification: This is offered by the U.S. Green Building Council. It serves as a proof of your expertise in sustainable design and construction practices. If you want to work in the environmental / energy sector of chemical engineering, this will come in handy.
2. Gain relevant experience
Most organizations highly value work experience. Apply for internships and co-op programs to gain hands-on experience in the field.
There are several ways to find internships in chemical engineering:
- University Career Centers: Your university must have listings for chemical engineering internships. Check with them and enroll yourselves.
- Online Job Boards: Many job search websites have sections dedicated to internships. You can search for chemical engineering internships in your desired location on these sites.
- Company Websites: Visit the websites of companies to look for internship opportunities available. Most companies will have a “Careers” or “Internships” section on their website.
- Professional Associations: For example, the AIChE often has job boards. Through these, you can easily meet potential employers.
- Networking: Talk to professors, classmates, and friends who work in the chemical engineering field. They may know of companies that are looking for interns or be able to connect you with someone who can help.
- Job Fairs: Attend job fairs at your university or in your community. These events often have recruiters from companies looking for interns and are a great way to make connections.
3. Build your network
Building a network is easy with the following tips:
- Attend conferences and industry events: If you want to connect with potential employers, this is the best way. You’ll also learn about the latest advances in your field.
- Join professional organizations: Consider joining organizations such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) or the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE).
- Take part in online communities: LinkedIn and Twitter are great places to engage in discussions about industry topics. Join relevant groups and follow industry leaders to expand your network.
- Build relationships with colleagues and mentors: This is an important part of building your network. Share ideas and collaborate on projects to build lasting relationships.
4. Develop relevant skills
Having technical skills is great. But chemical engineering companies also value communication, leadership, and problem-solving abilities. Develop these skills to improve your chances of getting hired.
Two key skills include: strong technical knowledge and problem-solving skills. To learn about more relevant skills –
5. Research the companies
Understand the company culture, values, and mission. This will show your interest in the company during the interview. It will also help you tailor your application to fit the company’s needs.
Some ways to research the company include:
- Connect with current or former employees: Reach out to people in your network who work or have worked at the company. Get their perspective on the company culture, work-life balance, and the interview process. Also, ask them about their experience with the hiring process.
- Find out about challenges the company is facing: A good way to do this is to look up recent news/press releases. You can also find out about their competitors and see how they’re navigating through similar challenges.
- Check out their social media: Follow the company on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. This can help you learn about their latest activities and initiatives, and all the latest trends.
6. Customize your resume and cover letter
Highlight relevant skills in your resume. Customize your application based on each company you apply to.
Follow these tips to increase your chances of employment:
- Highlight relevant projects: Describe the results you’ve achieved. Use data and statistics to add credibility to your achievements.
- Incorporate visuals: Consider incorporating visual aids into your resume. Graphs, charts, or diagrams will showcase your technical skills and highlight your accomplishments.
- Use industry-specific language: Use language that is specific to the chemical engineering industry. This will make it easier for recruiters to assess your qualifications. Using keywords like “chemical processes,” “design optimization,” and “safety protocols” instantly attract employers.
7. Prepare for the interview
Research common interview questions and practice your responses. Display your knowledge about the company during the interview.
Some other tips to follow:
- Improve communication skills: Practice your verbal and written communication skills. Prepare concise, well-organized responses to interview questions. And practice explaining technical concepts to someone who is not a chemical engineer.
- Dress appropriately: Make sure your attire is appropriate for the company’s culture.
- Be on time: Arrive on time or a few minutes early for your interview.
- Prepare questions: Ensure to ask the interviewer about the company, its culture, and the position you are applying for.
8. Be persistent
You’ll face competition while applying to a chemical engineering company. Don’t be discouraged. Continue to refine your skills and you’ll get what you deserve.
We wish you all the very best in your job hunt after your MS in chemical engineering!