Opportunities Education

Rekindle your curiosity

The pandemic has forced people and governments to realise the importance of research.   | Photo Credit: Pixabay

We are all born with curious minds, and this curiosity makes us natural scientists. Have you ever noticed how a baby will fearlessly crawl under a table to pick up a shiny, yellow bead, observe it carefully before popping it into her mouth to check its taste and texture?

This baby is a scientist who hypothesised that random objects on the floor could help relieve her teething pain. She will test this hypothesis repeatedly to see if the results validate her thoughts. Upon reflection, she may conclude that using the chewy toy her parents bought is a better option, even if it is a lot less fun.

This shows how we all have the scientific method ingrained in us. Then, how does one decide whether using this curious mind to make discoveries or invent things is something they would like to do all their life through a career in research?

Many students pursue professional courses such as engineering, medicine, and law instead of studying pure sciences. Many factors could contribute to this decision, such as job opportunities, good pay packages, and clearly defined career growth. This trend, however, is slowly changing, and many are now choosing to study sciences in their basic form.

A career in science and research no longer means being cooped up in a laboratory. Today, it can take you along diverse paths.

Myriad options

As a scientist, you could join R&D teams of aviation or automobile companies. If you like managing projects, you could do research management for pharmaceutical companies. If science communication is your thing, you could pursue writing, editing, or science promotion as part of the academic publishing industry. If you are passionate about translating research into practice, you could work with governments and international organisations to influence policy.

If you enjoy analysis, you could do market research to analyse big data and compare products. Quantitative analysts can also work with financial institutions doing statistical modelling for predicting trades. If you excel at understanding complex systems, you could use your skills in Business Development to forecast revenues for companies. If problem-solving and collaborative teamwork are your strengths, Management Consulting could be your calling. The avenues are limitless.

This is a great time for science across the world, as the pandemic has forced people and governments to realise the importance of research. Even the Government of India recently released the draft Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP) 2020, which proposes the recruitment of scientists with domain expertise in related ministries. India also has some top-notch institutes to pursue the sciences — Indian Institute of Science, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and the Indian Institutes of Technology — to name a few. So, if you would like to delve into this research-conducive environment, know that the opportunities are aplenty.

Abhishek Goel is CEO, Cactus Communications. Shilpi Mehra is Head, Publication Support Services, Cactus Communications.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 4:24:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/rekindle-your-curiosity/article33949541.ece

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