• Question: How difficult was it to get a job to be a scientist

    Asked by ands499pan on 19 Mar 2024. This question was also asked by aced1new, jean499huh, dav1d.
    • Photo: Andrew McDowall

      Andrew McDowall answered on 19 Mar 2024:


      It did take me a little while but that was in part my own fault. I didn’t prepare effectively for the interviews or assessement centres by finding out what reasoning or prioritisation tests were or how best to tackle them. I also managed to talk myself out of a couple of roles, one by using an alternative definition of “motivation” and not seeking clarification (they meant willingness to work, I meant reason to work, but by then it was too late), the other by insisting I wanted to be a laboratory research chemist when the company was looking for an experiment designer.

      I could, with hindsight, have made things a lot easier for myself by properly preparing for my interviews and having a broader idea of the roles I could do.

      I’ve recently lost a number of colleagues to reorganisation and their experiences suggest there are plenty of roles out there, at least in my area.

    • Photo: Georgia Lambert

      Georgia Lambert answered on 19 Mar 2024:


      I’d say for me it has been more time consuming than difficult. I want to be a research scientist in a university and to get this job you almost definitely need to have a PhD (with some very rare exceptions). To get to a position in which you can earn a PhD you first need to do an undergraduate degree, then maybe a masters (although not always) as well as spending your summers and spare time doing extra projects to build up your experience in research. This takes a minimum of 3 years but can take much longer. Then to earn a PhD you need to do roughly 4 years of orignial research. So you end up spending a lot of time as a student before you actually qualify as a scientist! Having said that, if you enjoy doing research projects like I do, that just means you get to spend years learning new and exciting things so its not necessarily a downside πŸ‘©β€πŸ”¬

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