The reason we have amazing things like smart phones and space shuttles and key hole surgery, is that some scientist took the time to imagine and test the concepts that allow them to function. Scientists have a natural curiosity about their world and a desire to find out once and for all how it works. They're methodical and intelligent and they don't mind working hard. If this sounds like you, perhaps a career in scientific research is something you should consider. Here's how you can make it happen.

While you're still in high school, you're going to want to take as many science courses at higher levels as possible. Even if you think you want to focus on biology, don't neglect physics and chemistry and mathematics, as all scientific subjects tend to overlap each other, and if you change your mind you may find that some doors have been closed to you. Take your ideas about cures and other subjects and put them into practice early during lab time and participate in all the science fairs you can.

If your marks are good enough, you can apply for admission into the university department of your choice. Your starting point will be a Bachelor of Science degree and your first year will be very broad, encompassing everything from tutorials to titrations. As you progress through your program, however, you will be asked to narrow your focus to one specific field, such as biology or physics, according to your inclinations. If you decide to go on to a masters or PhD, you will specialize even further.

During your time at university it's important that you don't just complete your course work and attend classes. Get to know your professors. Offer your assistance on their research projects. Apply for jobs within the department, such as lab assistant or teaching assistant, especially during the summer. Shoot for your honors degree and come up with a compelling argument for your thesis that will bring you to the attention of one of the professors in your field.

If you intend for your scientific research to be conducted in the private sector, often a Bachelor of Science is all that is needed to evaluate reviews or work in a company laboratory. However if you intend for your research to be academic in nature, you will have to go on and do your masters and likely your PhD as well before you will be able to get a position at a university. Researchers working for companies tend to work on the problems presented to them while academics do more self directed research for its own sake. At a university, you will be expected to publish your findings in peer journals and teach as well as research.

What kind of job could you land in the scientific research field someday?

Plant Pathologist for Agriculture Canada
Pharmacokinetics for a private research company
Mold Specialist for HouseMaster
Precision Medicine & Bioinformation for HUAWEI

Learn more about the various fields of science.

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