Written by Anomitra Dey
Why choose a career in Research?
Research as a career offers ample of opportunities, more than we could possibly imagine. If you are inquisitive, and would love to quench your thirst for knowledge; then why not choose a career in research. Yes, the process is bit longer and I think it’s worth it (completely). In today’s time post-graduation is the minimum education that is looked upon. After post-graduation you may pursue a career in research and development as a trainee and as your experience increases you level up; but eventually that is limited. However, if you want a complete research experience it’s always advisable to do a doctorate. Because being a doctorate can give an edge over the whole research idea. The duration for doctorate studies is usually between 3-5 years. (Disclaimer: this may vary accordingly). Therefore, to choose career in research I would say doing doctoral studies is mandatory.
Why do a doctoral course?
Main reason being you get paid for your passion and curiosity about technological advancements. You work on your own terms and conditions (this can be subjective). There are a numerous fellowship program that one can enrol in, however certain institutes do support self-funded Ph.D.’s (which I wouldn’t personally recommend). It’s usually during this time when you train yourself in developing the skill required for your future goals. Nonetheless it is also important that one’s goals are clear because if you are uncertain about your aim it is very likely you might land up wasting time figuring out what you exactly want of your doctoral degree. One of the highlights in sustaining this course is it can be a trigger for overall personality development if pursued in proper direction. The nature of the course is such that you are required to contact researchers now and then for various science (work) related query, further a lot of management is required in terms of time, experiments, deadline etc., sometimes you are also not appreciated for the things you do or not getting actual credit for a particular work. All this makes you stronger as person and teaches you patience. The curriculum requires one to give poster presentations, oral presentations, writing proposals and manuscripts. This makes your enhances your language skills and cultivates creative thinking. Thus, building an overall personality package that can face the real world with real problems.
Is research limited to science jobs?
Research definitely has more scope in scientific fields. But it is not restricted to science alone. Research has a pivotal role to play in any field of study or profession. However, research is directed towards new products, policy making, market research, development and analysis. Consultancy is a blooming area where, then and now people need to research different arena.
After you are done with your doctoral studies there are numerous avenues that open for you. However, making a choice, can be critical post your doctoral studies. Therefore it is essential to follow your passion and choose something that keeps your satisfied and doesn’t bring you any regrets later in life. The minimum entry level after PhD is at managerial post. If you are still interested in studying and researching further go for post doctoral position if its suits your needs. So how do you go about it; there are several fellowship for post doctoral programme. There are many prestigious fellowship that offer post doctoral studies in European countries and other countries as well. After post doctorate overseas, Indian government offers several fellowships to carry out own research and pursue a career in academia. This sounds lucrative but the roadmap isn’t that easy to decode. Else starting out on your own- Start up is always a great option (this not restricted to only people with doctoral degree anybody can do it).
With the current government initiatives like Make in India and Digital India, the scope in starting a new venture is quite good. Moreover, various grant sanctioned by BIRAC offers an initial monetary support as a seed fund for various start up projects. There are many venture capitalists those who are ready to investment in lucrative projects. But it is very important to pitch your idea with statistics and market growth and revenue. Across the country there are many such incubators that have been established to promote such start up ventures.
Thus in a nutshell, pursuing a research career path may be long but at the end it would be completely worth the effort. Also I would say it’s a once in lifetime experience. It teaches you a lot not just academically but much more beyond it.
Author Ms. Anomitra Dey
Research Scholar at ICT (Institute of Chemical Technology
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anomitra-dey-a73a8939/