The pursuit of science and research is so much more than just a career option. To define it very briefly,a Scientist is a someone who comes up with or tests hypotheses in their respective fields and works towards expanding the existing know-how in their domain of study. Broad classifications for the fields of a scientist include science-related subjects like Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Botany, Statistics and applied domains of all the above and more. Humanities related subject also afford you the chance to become a social scientist with a diverse set of fields that include Economics, History, Psychology, Politics, and Philosophy.
Threadbare requirements to become a Scientist
Following pointers are what one should keep in mind before diving headlong into the process of becoming a Scientist:
- Choose your Field of Study:
The first and foremost step in the journey to acquire the acumen of a Scientist is to narrow down what field is the one that excites and stimulates you to aspire for a deeper understanding of its postulates and intricacies. The end goal of a Scientist is to be a repository of knowledge about the functioning of a particular branch of study and how one can exploit it to further the advancement of the human race. How can mathematicians derive further knowledge of Maths from the existing pool of resources? How can an Archaeologist gather more knowledge from the relics of the past so that more answers can be pondered upon in future? It is absolutely crucial that you have zeroed in on your field of study by the end of schooling years to plan accordingly.
- Enrolling in a Bachelor’s in your chosen field:
This is your first concrete steps towards consolidating your future as a person with a supreme thirst for knowledge. You can enroll in Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts or B.E/B. Tech according to the field of study you have chosen. To enter into the premier institutes of the country, various entrance exams like IIT-JEE, KVPY (for IISc. Bangalore), NEST (for NISER) and performance in Class 12th board is also a metric for entrance into Delhi University (For BSc and BA). These programs are majorly 3 or 4 years in duration.
- Continue with your chosen field in Graduation or switch to something else:
This is the last chance for a candidate to change their preference of study. For example, if you did BSc in Mathematics and now want to pursue Masters in Statistics, you have to appear and qualify in entrance exams offered by institutes like Indian Statistical Institute, Chennai Mathematical Institute, and others. They also vary in duration from 2 to 3 years. Although one is considered a Scientist in their field after completing Masters and can apply for Research Grants or teaching positions, there is one more step that is now being pursued by many.
- Acquire A Ph.D.:
Getting a Ph.D. in a particular subject or topic is considered the zenith of knowledge one can acquire in a particular subject. Their duration is highly variable and depends on your patience and acumen. On an average, it lasts for about 5 years. At the end of your Ph.D., you have to get a thesis submitted to the professor under whom you are pursuing the Ph.D. and also get dissertations published in relevant Science Journals. After the successful completion of a Ph.D., you are officially recognized as a Doctor’s in your subject of study.
Becoming a Scientist is a lifelong pursuit that requires brains and grit alike. All the best!