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DonivanPorterfie
Contributor II

Statistics on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Dept enrollments

I had a question recently from a faculty member from a university in our Central New Mexico Local Section.  They were asking if ACS has available information on trends in undergraduate enrollments in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering departments in academic institutions?

At their university they were observing some students on the fence per se regarding major going into Chemical Engineering program based on expected higher career salaries for engineering majors.  In discussing situation with that faculty member it was also noted that the research of some Chemical Engineering faculty was increasingly hard to distinguish from that done by Chemistry department faculty.  So those students are perceiving no difference in chemical research they would be involved in during their academic career but expect higher career salaries upon graduation as a Chemical Engineer.

I wasn't sure if there were any metrics being compiled regarding the nature of Chemical Engineering department faculty research becoming more similar to Chemistry department faculty.  For example are Chemical Engineering department faculty tending to change the journals that their research is being published in?  Or conversely are historically Chemical Engineering focused publications including less pure engineering articles?

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3 Replies
lynnhartshorn
New Contributor III

Re: Statistics on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Dept enrollments

Many Chemistry departments collect statistics on the number of their students that are chemistry majors, biochemistry majors, etc. The smaller liberal arts colleges do not always offer a Chem.Eng major, so students may major in chemistry and then perhaps do an MS in Chemical Engineering, at a larger research university. Each chemistry dept that offers an ACS approved major needs to be re-certified every five years to check that their major is in line with ACS requirements. I think that it is the Chemical Education Division that does this, (I could be wrong) so they might have some statistics relating to this question. Lynn

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Joshkurutz
Contributor II

Re: Statistics on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Dept enrollments

Donivan Porterfield, you may be interested in checking out this report, entitled Advancing Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences, produced by the ACS in 2012: http://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/about/governance/acs-presidential-graduate-education-commissio...

It's a fairly comprehensive survey of the state of graduate education in Chemistry and, by dint of students' preparation for their graduate experience, also reflects on undergrad education.


For direct salary comparisons, I'd suggest going straight to the ACS' salary calculator tool:

https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/careers/salaries/salary-calculator.html

With it, one can dial up a set of qualifications, interested, employer type, and location to derive an expected salary range, and then change one's degree (I presume that ChemE is an option) to see how different it might be. C&E News often publishes salary trends, and one can look though them to see how ChemE's fare.


Please let us know what you find out!


Thanks. - Josh

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AnneOBrien
New Contributor III

Re: Statistics on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Dept enrollments

Think this is an important question, Donivan.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics used to (don't know if they still do) publish a very succinct and clear summary of salaries in all sorts of occupations/professions.  The publication was called "Manpower," and it was published periodically, perhaps monthly.   I should look it up!

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