Why Do Students Choose Chemical Engineering

Have you ever wondered why students pursue Chemical Engineering?


Image source: UCL

Have you ever wondered why students pursue Chemical Engineering? Well, here are a few reasons as to why students choose such a hell-driven major:

‘Chemical Engineering is like Chemistry’

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Most of the Chemical Engineering students have the misconception that Chemical Engineering is equal to Chemistry. Students, who are good at and even like Chemistry, hence choose Chemical Engineering as their major, thinking that there will be a lot of Chemistry involved.

Well, first of all, there is hardly any Chemistry involved. Even if there is, it’s unfortunately the worst subjects of Chemistry like Physical chemistry and Organic chemistry. Students will literally think,’ Why did I like Chemistry again?’.  The major is mostly concentrated on applying concepts from Physics and Maths, and so, there is hardly any room for Chemistry. The concepts from both Physics and Maths are basically mixed together, heated up to the point of boiling and then poured onto the students, hence, burning them. Therefore, get it out of your mind that Chemical Engineering involves a lot of Chemistry. One of the basic things the major teaches us is, how to produce those chemicals on an industrial scale. It will definitely teach students about Chemistry, for example, what’s happening to the chemicals and why its happening. However, it will mostly be focused on the atomic and the molecular level of the chemicals, all the more, making it worse for us students.

Parents’ Pressure/Legacy

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In Asia, or should I say South Asia, parents sometimes choose the majors for their children. In the engineering department, some of the students are purely doing the major for their parents. Most of the parents have a desire to make their children become doctors and engineers. Their desire is like a force. They will want it for their children in such  a way, that the ‘want’ will orient the children more towards that field, making them believe that they are eligible for it. Some will pay any amount to get their children in that particular field. Sometimes, it’s also the siblings. If one sibling can do Chemical Engineering, then why not the other?

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Well, Chemical Engineering is not an easy major to begin with and not everyone can do it. That’s something parents fail to realize. Unfortunately, this has become a trend, but parents should realize that every mind is not an engineering mind and if you force it, the mind may just burst beyond repair. At least, at the end, the children will not blame the parents, but that will happen, only if they are willingly allowed to choose their majors.

‘The course’ names sound good’

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This is the reason why me and my friend chose the major. I was so fascinated by the names ‘Fluid Dynamics, Corrosion, Thermodynamics’, that I decided to do the major. It sounded so technical and something to be proud of, to say that, ‘Yes! I did Thermodynamics!’. This is probably the most ridiculous reason why some students, like me, chose the major. However, we later suffer the consequences of not doing thorough research on the major. The names probably sound good now, but, they will surely make you contemplate quitting.

‘Diversity’

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There are some sensible students in the major, who actually do proper research before entering the Chemical Engineering field. They keep it in their heads, that no matter what, they will go for Chemical Engineering. Why? It’s a diverse field. The field provides knowledge of various other fields and is very versatile in terms of occupation. Say, one can work in petroleum, renewable, pharmaceuticals, food industry, water, environment, plastics, ceramics, medicines, etc. The nature of the field is such that, it prepares students for many different fields and with that, the students learn a lot and can work anywhere; as long as there are job prospectives.

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‘We don’t know’

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These are people who are probably in their 3rd, 4th year or are maybe graduates. The major most probably made them forget their original reasons, since it always tends to keep the students ‘ ass-on-fire’. Or maybe, they just end up in the field, just like that, maybe for job prospects or for whatever reason, but, unfortunately they have forgotten their original reasons.

‘Give me the money!’

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Some of the students go into such a hell-driven major, because, they know it will be raining money on them. Chemical Engineering is one of the highest paid jobs around the world, therefore, sometimes money influences people to do some crazy stuff. On top of that, if students are interested in the mixture of Physics, Maths and a bit of Chemistry, then why not? The money will probably make them forget their years of suffering.

Afsana Alam

Afsana Alam is a chemical engineering student at American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. She is a broke blogger and a huge fan of animes.

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Why Do Students Choose Chemical Engineering

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