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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 11 Issue 6 (2006) pp 445-450

Education and Training of BS Analytical Chemists for Entry-Level Positions in Industry: A Survey

Angela M. Fahey and Julian F. Tyson*

Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003,
Received November 28, 2005. Accepted May 27, 2006.

Published online: 7 November 2006

Abstract. Surveys, in 1993 and 2003, of industrial employers of BS analytical chemists show that respondents consider employees’ abilities to work as a team member, solve problems, write and communicate orally, work safely with a positive ethic, perform calculations, and apply basic chemical principles to be the most important. There is dissatisfaction with the preparation of graduates with regard to communications skills, safety training, and problem-solving abilities. Respondents also indicated that graduates should have had hands-on experience with a variety of chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques as well as some techniques not commonly encountered in the teaching laboratory, such as auto-titration, microwave digestion, and optical microscopy. Examination of recent surveys of the content of analytical chemistry courses shows a decline in the extent to which electrochemical techniques feature in the curriculum, with the possible exception of cyclic voltammetry and potentiometry, and an increase in the prominence of spectroscopy and separations, in line with the expectations of industrial employers.

Key Words: Of Special Interest; analytical chemistry, curriculum content, instrumental analysis, survey, industrial viewpoint

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Issue date: December 1, 2006

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