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How Do I Get Work in a Research and Development Department?

People who work in research and development often have science or engineering backgrounds.
Article Details
  • Written By: Geri Terzo
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 15 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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The professionals who work in the research and development department at a corporation often have earned some industry designation, such as biologist, scientist, or chemical engineer. To work in this field, you should earn a college degree and major in a related field, such as chemistry or biology. Job experience often leads to new opportunities, but to win that first job, you may need to accept an entry-level position. Apply for jobs in the R&D department with employers that have several research facilities and have dedicated a suitable amount of resources to continually improve capabilities. It may be possible to obtain a paid R&D internship, which can lead to future employment.

Even without R&D job experience, a job candidate can qualify for an opportunity based on other credentials. Obtaining certain technical skills for the industry in which you wish to perform R&D may be a qualifier. For instance, working in product development, or acquiring skills relating to the materials that may be tested and used in an R&D role all support the process of finding employment.

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Also, a bachelor of science degree is a common educational requirement for obtaining work or an internship in the research and development department at a company. For certain positions, such as a job as a chemical engineer in R&D, you may need to earn a master of science degree or a doctorate. Consider attending job fairs, either at a university or possibly hosted by a recruiter or another organization, and connect with industry professionals to distribute a resume as soon as possible. When seeking an internship, be willing to accommodate the employer's time frame for the assignment.

To find employment in a research and development department, consider applying for a position at an organization that has a strong commitment, both through finances and personnel, to R&D. A corporation that has sufficient resources devoted to the process of R&D at multiple facilities is likely to offer the greatest number and scale of career opportunities. Plus, working alongside and learning from more experienced scientists and engineers can help you to advance in your own career.

Research and development is a field where writing skills are essential. Demonstrating a competency in current software technologies and an ability to use and interpret databases and spreadsheets may also be useful. An employer is likely seeking individuals who work well in a team environment, and interpersonal skills can support your candidacy for a job.

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