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How do I Choose the Best Research and Development Jobs?

Article Details
  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Professionals who work in research and development departments in a variety of industries come up with new ideas for products and manufacturing processes. Scientists and engineers usually work in teams to first conceptualize new innovations and then apply their research in order to create blueprints and physical prototypes. People who are interested in pursuing research and development jobs should carefully consider many factors. They should determine the areas of research in which they are most interested, the educational and training requirements involved, and the likelihood of finding work.

When choosing research and development jobs, an individual should consider the type of work he or she would like to do. Choosing between industries is often straightforward and simple; a person usually knows whether he or she wants to develop drugs or consumer products. In each industry, however, research and development jobs can differ considerably. Some professionals engage in basic research, which typically involves investigating existing products and brainstorming about ways to improve them.

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A person may prefer to conduct applied research and development, which involves putting basic research ideas into practice. Professionals create drafts and blueprints of new products or structures, or figure out the exact chemical compounds of new medicines. They might use computer programs to formulate schematics and put designs through simulated tests. Experts who are engaged in the development aspect of design build prototypes or models and tweak them to improve safety and efficiency. Pharmaceutical developers often conduct laboratory and clinical trials to determine the efficacy of new drugs.

Basic researchers are typically very creative people who are capable of considering new concepts from many angles. Applied researchers are usually inclined towards drawing and constructing things using their hands. A person should, therefore, take into account his or her personality type when is investigating different kinds of research and development jobs.

A bachelor's degree or higher is required to obtain most research and development jobs. Individuals usually choose to pursue degrees in mechanical, civil, or chemical engineering if they are interested in product development. Those who want to work in the pharmaceutical industry often receive degrees in biology, chemistry, or a medical technology field. It is important to consider the scope, length, and cost of educational training when planning a career path.

A final point to consider when choosing the best research and development jobs is the availability of work. People can look into job openings in their area to determine the need for professionals in a certain industry. Some very specialized occupations, such as those found at biotechnology firms, may require an interested applicant to travel far from home to work in an elite facility. By taking the time and effort to research different types of jobs, people can choose fulfilling, productive careers in a very important field.

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