I would really appreciate it if someone could help me!!!

Aptitude and background

I am from the UK, and for A-levels, I am studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry, and I am predicted decent grades in all of them.

For my Morrisby Assessment taken a year ago: Numerical reasoning 70%, Abstract reasoning 80%, Verbal reasoning, 95% - This was slightly lower for numerical then I expected, but it does make sense since I have to try pretty hard in maths.

For me, chemistry is my strongest subject, with physics close behind-ish



  • Pros: [1] Family likes the idea of me studying physics, [2] like quantum, thermal, chemical and nuclear physics, [3] opens the most doors out of compared to the other two, in that I can transfer into engineering/machine learning, [4] well-respected known undergrad for non-physics jobs.
  • Cons: [1] More difficult for me [2] dislike electricity, EM, fields, waves which are integral topics [3] On the surface, there seems to be less direct jobs related to physics compared to chemistry, in/out of academia (please prove me wrong though, i am only 18, hence why I am here asking!)


  • Pros: [1] Easier for me aptitude wise [2] Like all parts of chemistry, apart from some niche topics [3] (could be more transferrable to material science and nanotechnology? - therefore opening the 3rd option up as well [4] right now quantum chemistry and orbital approximations are my favorite subject [5] well-respected and known undergrad for non-chemistry jobs
  • Cons: [1] Less transferrable than physics [2] Don't want to be stuck in an industrial/pharma job, where I am glorified lab rat following a list of instructions [3] Lower job satisfaction on the internet compared to the other two

Material science

  • Pros: [1] Very large interest for it since it combines chemistry and physics components I enjoy [2] Possibly better paid, due to the large amounts of engineering involved [3] able to go into nuclear materials research, and medicinal too, therefore opening more opportunities than chemistry.
  • Cons: [1] less-respected well-known undergrad, and could always do it at postgrad level [2] Studying metals and ceramics seems boring, I prefer nanostructures!


Therefore, It would be amazing if you could answer the following questions! [or just provide info in general]

Is chemistry or a physics undergrad better to become a material scientist?:

Using the above information, which degree out of the 3 may be better suited for me?

Which out the 3 jobs, will be most in-demand in 6+ years, a chemist, physicists, or a material scientist?

  • 1
    "Which out the 3 jobs, will be most in-demand in 6+ years ...": I don't think anyone in here has the ability to predict the future.
    – Our
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 14:54
  • 1
    @onurcanbkts I realise this - but i was hoping maybe a scientist might know a hot topic which has good potential
    – Cay
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 14:59
  • 1
    @Dendrobium I appreciate the nice comments! I wish you the best for the future as well
    – Cay
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 14:59
  • 3
    Pick the one you enjoy most. Life is short. Don't waste it.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 15:12
  • 2
    Then stay flexible and don't specialize too soon. And don't choose a career based on what "might be true" in half a decade or more. Hopefully civilization lasts that long.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


My opinion.

At your age (at any age) planning years ahead is hard. I'd recommend doing what excites you most and what you're best at. That seems to be chemistry. Doors may open (or close) down the road that you can't foresee.

  • Thankyou for your contribution - it is hard to predict the future - although as a mathematician, i think subjects which have a higher mathematical component may open more doors. This is pure speculation though!
    – Cay
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 15:04
  • I voted to close as too personal, but I'll make an exception and vote this answer up.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 15:13
  • thank you @buffy
    – Cay
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 15:15
  • Yes, chemistry is the best route for you - unless you can find one of those Physics & Chemistry of Materials courses available ~ 20 years ago. I'm not surprised that your verbal reasoning is good since most chemists I know are far better communicators than physicists I've met. The only way to remain in research after doing a materials science degree would be if it was done at a really well-resourced (laboratories plus inspiring lecturers) department. Visit as many as possible. Most polymers, reinforcing fibres, advanced ceramics, etc have been developed by people with backgrounds in chemistry.
    – Trunk
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 17:04

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