Upon completion of your undergraduate studies, you have two options ahead of you - find a job or pursue higher studies in Chemical Engineering.
Jobs: If you take a look at the placement statistics of most universities, except for the IITs, NITs and other institutions of national repute, there are hardly very few companies coming to hire Chemical Engineering graduates during placement sessions. This is because Chemical Engineering job vacancies are not as high as software and IT industry, so most companies prefer to hire from top universities as they need only a handful of graduates for filling their vacant spots. The current scenario is such that in universities where core companies do not come for placements, most students end up joining software and IT industry. However, if you are really keen on getting a job in a core company, work hard by creating good networks and contacts through internships and projects, maintain a good GPA and be prepared to persevere to find a core job in Chemical Engineering. Chemical engineers find work not just in chemicals industry, but also in pharmaceuticals, oil and gas and manufacturing sectors. Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies, which are contractors who complete projects from start to finish for their clients, routinely hire chemical engineers for design related jobs such as designing petrochemical, industrial plants, refineries etc using various software tools. If you are not interested in working in an industrial setting, you can try for jobs in EPC companies. Electronics companies also hire chemical engineers for jobs such as material development, production and process control equipment design. Many students also join banks or analytics companies as these sectors require students with excellent analytical and quantitative skills for their financial modeling and quantitative research work. Following is a list of companies from various sectors that hire Chemical Engineering students in India.
Oil and Gas, Energy: Reliance Industries Ltd, Schlumberger, Shell, Cairn, BP, Chevron, Exxonmobil, Technip, Schneider Electric
Government: BPCL, ONGC, IOCL, HPCL, GAIL
Manufacturing and consumer goods: Asian paints, HUL, Procter & Gamble, ITC Ltd, MRF Ltd, Renault Nissan Technologies, TVS Motors.
Pharmaceuticals: Dr.Reddys Labs, Biocon
Chemicals: TATA chemicals, Galaxy Surfactants Ltd, Sumitomo Chemical Ltd, Va Tech Wabag, Zuari fertilizers and cements
Consulting firms: Frost & Sullivan
Salaries: As per the placement statistics at IIT-Madras, the salary for Chemical Engineering freshers ranged from Rs. 3.9 lakhs to Rs. 21.85 lakhs per annum for the 2012-2013 batch. However, the salary will vary based on your academic profile, the reputation of your university and the recruiting companies.
Studies: Chemical engineering students have a plethora of options for higher studies. They can do their MS, MBA, M.Tech or PhD from India and abroad. For MS and M.Tech degrees, students can do their master’s in Chemical Engineering while specializing in any one of it’s sub disciplines such as catalysis and reaction engineering, polymers and complex fluids, molecular simulations, biochemical and bioprocess engineering etc. Many Chemical Engineering students also do their MS in allied fields such as environmental engineering, industrial engineering, engineering management, biotechnology etc. MBA is another great alternative as Chemical Engineering students have strong quantitative and critical reasoning skills, thereby making them an asset to the banking, finance and management world.