How do you know if a career in research is for you?

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thisisatrek
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Is it for certain personality types? Do you have to be very academically motivated.
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TWard
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(Original post by thisisatrek)
Is it for certain personality types? Do you have to be very academically motivated.
In our school we got shown the Start website. It's a careers platform which has a quiz you can do to show to careers suited to you that you might not have thought of or you can search for a career and it can tell you your compatibility and the availability in your area, as well as paths to get into it, expected salary, working conditions etc..

It might really help you, here's the link: https://login.startprofile.com/RegisterOne.aspx
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LinaHearts
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The best way to truly find out would be to do some work experience.
anyway i have a parent in research so i can tell you what i know and hopefully it will help
You need to want to find things out! That's the whole point of research after all. You also need to be critical of yourself, especially when sending papers off and getting data.
You need to be motivated! You may apply for grants and not get a lot of them. Doesn't matter get a new idea! Try again!
You need to have initiate. A career in research gives you a lot of freedom. especially later on in your career. You need to make the most of any opportunities given, make connections, meet people, collaborate. It still surprises me just how much freedom researchers often have! and how much they are expected to themselves advance their own careers by building contacts and becoming more renown.

Does that sound like you? Ill tell you this much don't go into this if it isn't your thing. It does require a lot of work. But if it does sound good to you then go for it!
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thisisatrek
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(Original post by LinaHearts)
The best way to truly find out would be to do some work experience.
anyway i have a parent in research so i can tell you what i know and hopefully it will help
You need to want to find things out! That's the whole point of research after all. You also need to be critical of yourself, especially when sending papers off and getting data.
You need to be motivated! You may apply for grants and not get a lot of them. Doesn't matter get a new idea! Try again!
You need to have initiate. A career in research gives you a lot of freedom. especially later on in your career. You need to make the most of any opportunities given, make connections, meet people, collaborate. It still surprises me just how much freedom researchers often have! and how much they are expected to themselves advance their own careers by building contacts and becoming more renown.

Does that sound like you? Ill tell you this much don't go into this if it isn't your thing. It does require a lot of work. But if it does sound good to you then go for it!
Thank you for the insight!
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by thisisatrek)
Is it for certain personality types? Do you have to be very academically motivated.
Yes, you have to be extremely academically motivated, it's the core drive to a research career. The only way to know if the career is for you is to do well in exams (which demonstrates the right skills) at ever advancing levels. So do well and enjoy the study of A levels. Do well and enjoy the study of an undergraduate degree. Do well and enjoy the increasing research components of a Masters degree. Enjoy and do well in a PhD which is entirely research, and then decide if you want to do a Post Doctoral position, which is the first professional step as a researcher. It's one of the easiest jobs to decide if it's for you because it has such well marked out stages and clear options to continue or change path.
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Rasai
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Yes, you have to be extremely academically motivated, it's the core drive to a research career. The only way to know if the career is for you is to do well in exams (which demonstrates the right skills) at ever advancing levels. So do well and enjoy the study of A levels. Do well and enjoy the study of an undergraduate degree. Do well and enjoy the increasing research components of a Masters degree. Enjoy and do well in a PhD which is entirely research, and then decide if you want to do a Post Doctoral position, which is the first professional step as a researcher. It's one of the easiest jobs to decide if it's for you because it has such well marked out stages and clear options to continue or change path.
I am interested in a career in research. Is it possible to obtain a career in research from a sandwich placement, or getting a job as a research assistant after finishing an undergraduate degree?
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Rasai)
I am interested in a career in research. Is it possible to obtain a career in research from a sandwich placement, or getting a job as a research assistant after finishing an undergraduate degree?
If you want to actually lead the research, ie have the idea, design the project, get the funding, be involved in the research and publish your data, then you have to progress academically from undergrad, to Masters, to PhD, to Post Doctoral researcher and/or then in the sciences, get a job in a university or a large company that has a Research and Development team, and if in the arts, pretty much work in a university (there are some but few research opportunities outside that).

If you just want to work 'in research' then there is always a demand for lab technicians and research assistants. You will need at least a relevant undergrad degree, increasingly a Masters, and the pay is pretty low. The work might be interesting though.

Later on in life, with more experience, there might be more routes in, but these are the main entry level routes.
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Rasai
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
If you want to actually lead the research, ie have the idea, design the project, get the funding, be involved in the research and publish your data, then you have to progress academically from undergrad, to Masters, to PhD, to Post Doctoral researcher and/or then in the sciences, get a job in a university or a large company that has a Research and Development team, and if in the arts, pretty much work in a university (there are some but few research opportunities outside that).

If you just want to work 'in research' then there is always a demand for lab technicians and research assistants. You will need at least a relevant undergrad degree, increasingly a Masters, and the pay is pretty low. The work might be interesting though.

Later on in life, with more experience, there might be more routes in, but these are the main entry level routes.
I have attended insight days at various companies and have registered my interest in a 2021 research internship in Canada. Will this help me when looking for a career in research?
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Teigan182
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(Original post by thisisatrek)
Is it for certain personality types? Do you have to be very academically motivated.
You have to have genuine interest in the topic area that you're studying. For example, i'm studying a research masters in social science in september which I know I can do because of my passion. If you don't have a strong passion for research then you will absolutely hate it. It's not for the faint hearted and it's something that you have to consider very seriously as it's a very costly career to start out in
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Rasai
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(Original post by Teigan182)
You have to have genuine interest in the topic area that you're studying. For example, i'm studying a research masters in social science in september which I know I can do because of my passion. If you don't have a strong passion for research then you will absolutely hate it. It's not for the faint hearted and it's something that you have to consider very seriously as it's a very costly career to start out in
I developed my passion for cyber security, while at primary school, andwhen I hacked into my mum's Facebook account. Since then, I have always been interested in the ways websites protect user's information. I am currently studying computer science at university.
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gjd800
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I just sort of winged it.
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AnnaDaria
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does anyone know if what university you go to for your undergrad matters? I'm kinda worried cos the uni I'm starting in September doesn't rank highly at all but they still do research in my subject and I cant afford to move out to go to another uni?
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Rasai
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(Original post by Teigan182)
You have to have genuine interest in the topic area that you're studying. For example, i'm studying a research masters in social science in september which I know I can do because of my passion. If you don't have a strong passion for research then you will absolutely hate it. It's not for the faint hearted and it's something that you have to consider very seriously as it's a very costly career to start out in
In your opinion, would you recommend an undergraduate degree, specialising in your area of interest, or a generic one?
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Teigan182
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(Original post by Rasai)
In your opinion, would you recommend an undergraduate degree, specialising in your area of interest, or a generic one?
If you're already sure of your career choice then I'd go for a more specific degree. I studied a broad undergraduate degree even though I kind of knew I wanted to go into research and I'm honestly glad I did because of how much I got to learn that I wouldn't have otherwise but that's just my personal preference. It just depends on whether or not you want to specialise right now or if you want to branch out as if you do a more 'vague' undergrad degree then your job prospects are much wider
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Rasai
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(Original post by Teigan182)
If you're already sure of your career choice then I'd go for a more specific degree. I studied a broad undergraduate degree even though I kind of knew I wanted to go into research and I'm honestly glad I did because of how much I got to learn that I wouldn't have otherwise but that's just my personal preference. It just depends on whether or not you want to specialise right now or if you want to branch out as if you do a more 'vague' undergrad degree then your job prospects are much wider
Thank you for your response. I was considering this because I enjoy learning about the theory involved in my course, and I have the option to do an endorsement from my second year, which I will be starting in September.
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