How to Become a Researcher?

7 minute read
How to Become a Researcher?

Anyone who is inquisitive by nature may enjoy a career as a researcher. Research practices are carried out in a large and varied number of fields. With a strong earning potential and the chance to delve into research in a variety of different fields, many find this field very fulfilling. Understanding the steps that one will need to take in order to become a researcher will help you to determine whether this role is the best for you. In this blog, we discuss what researchers do, top universities offering research courses as well as career prospects.

What Does Research Mean?

Research can be defined as a mechanism of systematic enquiry that adds to existing knowledge. It is also defined as the creation of new knowledge. It also uses the existing knowledge to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could consist of synthesis and analysis of archival research to an extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes. 

Who Can Become?

Anyone currently pursuing or already with a master’s degree is eligible. However, it always helps to possess a certain set of skills in order to have a successful career in a research field. Some of them are jotted down below.

Project Management

  • Project management means high-quality planning, also needed in research. 
  • Researchers need to make step-by-step plans to achieve their final objective. 
  • They set realistic milestones and procure other necessary resources (manpower and finances).

Handling Data

  • The data researchers collect involves statistical evidence, lab experiments, and material from interviews or archival research. 
  • The researcher needs to successfully handle large amounts of data. 
  • Without effective data skills, they will never be able to analyse their collected data and derive results.

IT Skills

  • Closely linked with data management is the necessity of developing IT skills. 
  • Researchers use analytical tools for working with a large amount of data
  • Developing new IT skills could help researchers present their work more innovative, and convincingly. 

Critical Thinking Ability

  • Researchers need to observe and think critically about the subject they are studying.
  • Critical thinking ability may help the researcher to derive new knowledge or better the existing. 

Step-By-Step Guide

1. Complete a Bachelor’s Degree 

Aspiring researchers can start by pursuing a relevant bachelor’s degree in the field they’re most interested in. If you are unsure, a general degree in clinical research can be a good option. If the student wants to research medicine, biology, or chemistry, a degree in biochemistry, biology, pharmacology or pre-med can work. Similarly, if the student is interested to research in the social sciences field, then a degree in BSc in Social Work is appropriate. 

2. Complete Master’s Degree. 

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, aspiring researchers are suggested to begin working towards a master’s degree. These programs normally last two to three years. The coursework the student needs to complete as part of their program varies depending on the degree they’re pursuing and is relevant to the field they’re entering. However, some common topics in many fields are:

  • Teaching skills
  • Writing for research papers and grants
  • Advanced mathematics courses
  • Public speaking classes to prepare students for presenting research findings

3. Gain Experience 

In order to better qualify for research positions in the industry, aspiring researchers should consider gaining work experience of one to two years before pursuing a PhD program. Another option is to defer their master’s degree for one or two years and work as a research assistant to obtain hands-on experience before continuing further academic studies.

4. Pursue Certifications

Having a certification can differentiate the aspiring researcher from other candidates as he/she sits for jobs. While it is not necessary for the researchers to get certificates in order to obtain licensing, getting them is still considered a plus on one’s resume. 

5. Consider Doing a Doctorate

Researchers can consider pursuing a doctorate after completing their master’s program. Doctoral programs usually span between four to five years. Doctoral candidates are required to perform original research during their time as a student. Their progress is also monitored by the college faculty or advisor. Moreover, the candidates are also needed to defend their research through formal processes, like presentations and vivas.

Eligibility Criteria

Any person who has completed or is currently pursuing their master’s can conduct research. Moreover, researchers who wish to pursue research projects while completing their doctoral degree can apply for a PhD after completing their master’s. 

Top Universities for Research 

Many colleges having a research curriculum offer courses in different and varied fields. Research work can be conducted in fields ranging from social sciences to biology and computer sciences. Following are top universities that offer research-oriented courses.  

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Most of the research positions require a master’s degree that has research coursework or a PhD that requires that require the candidates to pursue personal research in the field they like. However, having a bachelor’s degree can get some people entry-level jobs like Junior Researcher, Research Assistant, etc. The student can look for jobs in private as well as government institutions as a survey researcher. Moreover, candidates that want to make a career in market research must take up internships under large business houses. 

Many sectors hire researchers. Few of them have been jotted down: 

  • Government Institutions
  • Educational Institutions
  • Corporate Institutions
  • Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Insurance Companies
  • Private Commercial Companies and Industries

Moreover below is a list of some popular jobs that candidates pursuing careers in research might be interested in:

Market Research Analyst: The job role of market research analysts consists of examining the conditions of the market. This helps the companies decide their target market and the kind of products or services to offer them. They also monitor sales and predict the consumers’ future purchasing habits. These predictions help the marketing team develop strategies.

Forensic Scientist: Forensic scientists work on collecting evidence from crime scenes and examine them in the laboratory. They then use the results of their research to reconstruct the crime scene, including how the crime happened and who may have committed it. Forensic scientists sometimes also testify their research in court to help juries decide on a verdict.

Research Psychologist: A career in research with a specialization in the field of psychology includes the study of humans, animals, and their behaviours. Students pursuing this course work at schools, universities, and health sectors after completing their masters. 

Archaeologists: Archaeologists study artefacts. They use their knowledge of science to extract artefacts from sites and examine them in laboratories. To understand the age and significance of these artefacts, they study historic climate patterns and other environmental concerns that may have affected life during those time periods. Their research helps people gain knowledge about history since the origin of time, including about older cultures and civilizations.

Business Analyst: Business analysts help companies improve operations in order to meet the company objectives and goals. The employees working under this job role identify areas for improvement and provide systems that boost sales. Business analysts also monitor project performance, give solutions for greater employee productivity, and create strategies for how to maximize IT resources. 

Scientists: Scientists in fields like chemistry, physics or physiology use standard research methods to explore concepts. Through the process of experimentation, they attempt to find correlations between different data and recognize patterns that help them solve problems. After analyzing results, scientists create research reports that they use for future research or contribute them to the field for referencing by other scientists.

Actuary: The work of an actuary is to analyse the risk of financial activities in the insurance industry. They calculate how certain events affect a company’s profit. Actuaries use the data they collect to make scenarios that show how much an insurance company would pay considering specific circumstances, such as illnesses or accidents. They, then create insurance policies and make premiums based on what they think to be the least risky approach.


Job RoleSalarySalary In INR
Market Research Analyst$55,141 per year 42,45,857
Forensic Scientist$60,314 per year46,44,178
Archeologist$61,128 per year47,06,856
Business Analyst$74,906 per year57,67,762
Historian$83,973 per year62,97,975
Scientist$92,048 per year70,87,696
Psychologist$94,568 per year72,81,736
Pharmacologist$99,183 per year76,37,091
Economist$109,115 per year84,01,855
Actuary$113,382 per year87,30,414
Professor $122,248 per year94,13,096


What are the 7 steps in research?

Step 1: Identify or select a topic.
Step 2: Find background information.
Step 3: Find books related to the topic.
Step 4: Find articles related to the topic
Step 5: Search for sources from the Internet
Step 6: Evaluation/Analysis of Information.
Step 7: Citation.

What a researcher should do?

Choose a topic
Locate information and data on the topic you have chosen
Evaluate and analyse the data you have collected
Write, organize, and communicate the analysed data
Cite sources

What is a professional researcher?

Professional researchers are professionals that are paid for their data collection and research analysis. They are responsible for conducting research on a specific topic for which they have to gather, organise, and interpret information from different online and offline sources.

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