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What are your daily responsibilities as a scientist and what educational requirements do you have in order to become a scientist?
Question Date: 2016-01-06
Answer 1:

Scientists do many different things, so there are many different educational requirements. I am a biology professor now. I needed a PhD to get this job, and it helped that I had done extra research after my PhD. My daily activities involve actually teaching classes, planning classes, working with students, grading student work, and learning how to be better at teaching. I also meet with other professors about teaching and stuff that is less exciting. I work on things for a group of science professors around the country. I meet with people to plan activities for the community. I do a lot of writing.

Before I got my PhD, I had a master’s degree. I worked in a lab that studied ways to help protect brains when people have strokes. We used rats to understand humans. My day-to-day duties included mixing chemicals, making slides to study brain cells, improving the way we stained the brain slices so that we could see the cells better, ordering supplies, and keeping things organized. I really only needed a college degree for the job, but having a master’s degree helped me get it.

While I was working on my master’s degree, I worked in a crime lab. I tested blood and other things for drugs and poisons. I followed directions for many types of tests depending on what we were looking for. I also did things like mix chemicals and kept the lab clean and organized. I cataloged evidence that was sent in from police departments around the state.

My students with bachelor’s degrees have a wide variety of jobs. One works a state park ranger. She had to have law enforcement training as well as biology education. Another works with a soda company, making sure their products are safe and good quality. Another teaches kids about plants and animals at a nature center. Another works with the local blood bank. Some do medical tests at hospital or research labs.

Some of my students have gone on to graduate school, veterinary school, and medical school. There are many different ways to be a scientist. What would you like to do?

Thanks for asking,

Answer 2:

Every scientist has different responsibilities depending on what kind of science they study. Many scientists choose to work in universities where they teach students and research new ideas -- this is where new technologies come from. Other scientists work in industry -- this can look very different depending on the type of science. This can be making new materials for better camping gear, developing new software for computers, forecasting the weather, searching for gold deposits or making new medicines.

Whatever kind of science they do, all scientists go to university to be trained. All scientists have a Bachelor of Science -- this means that they go to university for 4 years and learn all about science. After that, they can choose to do a Master's in Science or Doctor's in Science.

Answer 3:

A scientist is somebody who uses the scientific method, rather than a specific job description. Scientists work for many different kinds of organizations, and they all have different requirements. For instance, university professors also teach classes in addition to doing research. Museum curators both do research and design exhibits. Scientists who work for corporations or many government agencies typically answer questions for the benefit of the corporation/government or do other services related thereto (e.g. National Weather Service meteorologists forecast weather as well as study it), while university and museum scientists choose what questions they work on.

Scientists can begin doing scientific research before graduating from high school, and people going into science usually begin doing research before graduating from college. Most scientific jobs however require a Ph.D. or similar degree to truly be professional.

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