A career in the sciences requires a sharp mind and a lifelong dedication to learning. If you want to become a scientist, you’ll need to hone your critical-thinking and research skills. With these research tips for aspiring scientists, the road to your dream career will grow clearer. It’ll be a challenge, but you’ll reap the rewards of an engaging and fulfilling job.
Learn in Your Free Time
Start listening to science podcasts and lectures in your free time. If you’re an aspiring chemist, learn more about biology. If you’d like to be an astronomer, listen to lectures on physics. The sciences are inextricably intertwined with one another; learning about disciplines outside your own will benefit you in your research.
Practice Taking Notes
Lab notes are a little different (actually, very different!) from English notes, and there’s a learning curve to writing complete and thorough notes on your work. Invest in an archival-quality laboratory notebook and learn how to use it most effectively. Use a pen to write out every step, and resist the urge to scribble out your mistakes. In the sciences, you learn just as much, if not more, from your mistakes as you do your successes.
Learn To Code
All scientific disciplines rely heavily on statistics. With technology advancing at breakneck speed, statistical analysis methods are growing more complex. Many scientists, such as wildlife biologists, write their own code to analyze their findings. Coding is easy—plenty of kids are learning how to do it!—and you’ll find an abundance of free courses online.
Get to know older, more experienced scientists in your field. They’ll give you valuable insights into what a career in science is really like. If you’re still a student, a mentor figure can point you toward classes that will be useful in your chosen career. And if you’re looking at graduate programs, they can write you a stellar letter of recommendation.
Pursue an engaging and rewarding career in science by laying the groundwork now. These research tips for aspiring scientists will keep your brain active and prepare you for new discoveries.