Chemistry, like most fields of study, is a broad term that contains several sub-fields. Whichever you choose to pursue is a matter of personal choice that should be informed p…rimarily by your interests and goals. Although the fundamentals of these sub-fields are similar, the content and areas of study can be very different. If you're still trying to figure out what branch of chemistry you want to pursue, take the following into account:At its core, chemistry is the study of the structure, evolution, and change of material things. Biochemistry, for example, is the study of the chemical structure and interactions that occur in living things, like people and animals. If your interest in chemistry has drawn you to the natural world, organic chemistry or biochemistry is probably the right place for you to develop your skills and understanding. Similarly, the world of physical chemistry is focused on the fundamentals of chemistry and how certain chemicals come into being.If, on the other hand, you are more interested in the applications and potential of chemistry, inorganic chemistry and its subfields may be a better fit. Unlike other branches of chemistry that deal with carbon-related matter (the building blocks of life), inorganic chemistry is concerned with non-carbon materials, like metals. Before choosing a specialization, it's important to identify what aspects of chemistry appeal to you the most. Knowing whether your interests are carbon-based or otherwise can help you narrow the list down and bring you closer to a conclusion.In most cases, people enter into a specialty with a certain career in mind, or at least some idea of what they want to do once they graduate. If you aspire to be a 7th grade science teacher, physical chemistry or biochemistry will likely suit you. If you think you want to enter a career in medicine or neurology, neurochemistry, the study of chemistry in the human brain and body, may be an ideal field for you.In many ways, chemistry is the kind of field that can be broken down into either research or application. This means that you could further narrow your choices down by deciding which of the two you would rather do. For example, if the idea of teaching chemistry to high school or college students makes you shudder, then there's a pretty good chance that research and development is the right track for you.There are a variety of different sub-fields in chemistry, each with their own area of focus and applications. If you have a sense of what career you'd like to pursue, this can be a great way to narrow down your list. If you're still unsure about what you hope to do, that's not a problem; there can be a great deal of overlap in these specialties, and some have broader applications than others.One of the most effective ways to figure out which type of chemistry is right for you is to try some of them out and ask questions. If you've declared your major and have a fundamental understanding of the field, seek out potential internships or assistantships that will allow you to see what the sub-field is really like. Moreover, make an attempt to take as many courses as possible that allow for lab work. This will allow you the chance to experiment with the theories and materials in a way that will rule out those that don't interest you. (MORE)
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