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How Do I Become a Scientist?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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If you want to become a scientist, then you should consider a particular field or specialization in which you want to work and then focus on that field. You should work hard to make good grades in math and science, and continue your education at a college or university. A bachelor’s degree is typically required as a stepping stone, and most scientists enter graduate school and receive a doctorate of philosophy (PhD) in their respective fields before going on to work in research. While intelligence is important for someone who wants to become a scientist, you should also have natural curiosity, a willingness to perform detail-oriented tasks, and self-motivation.

One of the first things you should consider, if you want to become a scientist, is the field in which you want to work. Most scientists choose a particular specialization within the sciences, such as astronomy, biology, geology, or chemistry. Within these general specializations, there are also many sub-fields you can specialize in, such as microbiology, organic chemistry, or astrophysics. You should choose what field you want to perform research in and study once you become a scientist, as this impacts the classes you should take.

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Education is probably the most important requirement necessary to become a scientist, which begins with secondary education in high school. You should study math and science quite extensively and try to become involved in the sciences at fairs and local science centers. This can help you get into a good college or university, where you should continue to study science and ensure that you earn very good grades, especially in science and math classes. You need these grades to be accepted at a graduate school once you complete your bachelor’s degree in your chosen field.

At graduate school, you will continue to work on the education you need to become a scientist. You may be able to specialize in a more specific field of science while in graduate school, and you should look for opportunities to perform research with professors and researchers. While you may work on your master’s degree initially, most scientists have a PhD, which is typically required if you wish to perform research or work at a college or university. If you are interested in doing more applicable work within a scientific field, then you might consider becoming an engineer, which typically allows you to develop more commercial applications and products than you would if you become a scientist.

Other than your education, there are also some fundamental traits and habits you should have or develop if you want to become a scientist. You should be naturally curious, since much scientific research is performed to answer questions. Intelligence is important, but a diligent work ethic is just as important. You should also be able to work on detail-oriented tasks for long periods of time, and have self-motivation to create your own experiments and answer questions without someone else guiding you.

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