A Comprehensive Guide on How To Become A Scientist In India

December 21, 2023
how to become a scientist

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Science is one of the most sought-after fields in India. The country has seen an increase in the setup of various R&D centers. In PhDs in science and engineering, India ranked third in 2022. If you are among one the science enthusiasts, this blog will help you and how to become a scientist today. 

A scientist researches in a chosen field of science. Becoming a scientist requires a high level of dedication and passion for the subject. Because of scientists across the world, the human race has advanced to this level. The importance of science and scientists only keeps on increasing day by day. 

India features some of the most prominent higher education institutes in the world. These institutes have a dedicated approach to research and development and are often on the lookout for high-quality scientists.  

This article covers all you need to know about how to become a scientist in India. 

Types of Scientists 

Science is a vast field. Different types of scientists have different roles and jobs. Today, scientists are no longer limited to laboratories. There are fields in which scientists are required to work in multiple environments. They may also need certain other skill sets based on their work requirements.  

Broadly speaking, there are 10 types of scientists in India and the world. These include: 

  • Business scientists focus on business and management skills in addition to scientific and technological knowledge. 
  • Communicator scientists work on communication skills as their areas of expertise. 
  • Developer scientists develop existing technologies or technologies designed by others and make them usable. 
  • Entrepreneur scientists focus on innovation in science and technology and make the technology usable. 
  • Explorer scientists work on furthering or exploring areas that are lesser known and are typically associated with research institutes. 
  • Investigator scientists delve deep into the subject mapping, observing, and understanding complex data. 
  • Policy scientists work with the government to draft policies using their scientific and technical knowledge. 
  • Regulator scientists monitor and regulate norms and work in regulatory bodies such as food and drug standards. 
  • Teacher scientists have good teaching skills and focus on sharing their knowledge with others. 
  • Technician scientists work in technical labs such as health clinics or material testing agencies. 
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Steps on How to Become a Scientist in India 

Many science students aspire to be scientists one day. But few know how to make this dream a reality and navigate the science career roadmap. Here is how to become a scientist in India. 

  • Basic education: The scientific field is highly competitive and requires a robust educational background. You must have a bachelor’s level degree to become a scientist. 
  • Higher education: If you are looking for steps to pursue a career in science, higher education improves your career prospects. 
  • Doctoral level: For a thriving career in science, going for a Ph.D. is recommended. This education seasons students and better prepares them for advanced work.  

 Educational Qualifications Required to Become a Scientist 

Being a scientist often requires years of hard work and study. You also need to be genuinely fascinated with your chosen subjects. There are many required qualifications to become a scientist. This depends on the nature of the job that you aspire for too.  

Here are a few tips for aspiring scientists: 

Importance of Science Stream in High School Education 

Wondering how to become a scientist after completing 12th standard? Your high school education lays the foundation for your career as a scientist. At this stage, students gain a general idea of the subjects available to them. This helps them gauge subjects they might wish to pursue further.  

Another important point is to gauge your skill level in your subject of interest. After completing the 10th standard, take up a science stream. 

In India, there are usually two options- PCM or PCB, with Physics and Chemistry being common – Biology or Mathematics. There is also the option of all four subjects. Choose this if your area of interest is something like biotechnology.   

Without having this background in science, students cannot pursue bachelor’s level science courses. This education greatly helps in preparing for competitive exams such as JEE or NEET. Some of the top science institutes in the country select students based on the scores of these exams. 

List of Science Courses to Pursue after High School 

There are four broad categories that students can pursue – Mathematics, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. Various subjects come under these four subjects. However, students require a basic understanding of all four to prosper in their careers. 

After high school, students can pursue bachelor’s level degrees such as – 

  • B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology) – Students can specialize in various technical disciplines, such as mechanical, electrical, computer science, etc. 
  • B.E (Bachelor of Engineering) – Through this course, students can specialize in different engineering disciplines. 
  • B.Sc (Bachelor of Science) – Specialisations can be done in mathematics, biotechnology, physics, chemistry, agriculture, zoology, radiology, forestry, microbiology, nursing, physiotherapy, bioinformatics, botany, information technology, or computer science. 
  • MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) – To become a doctor, this course is pursued. However, students can also pursue research in the medical field upon completing this course. 
  • B.Pharma (Bachelor of Pharmacy) – This course enables candidates to become a pharmacist in India.  

Upon completing such programs, students gain a better understanding of their skill sets and interests. These scientific career paths can guide you to your goals. 

Importance of Obtaining a Degree in Science 

A degree in science is required to start a career in science. This helps develop a basic skill set to ensure a successful career in science.  

  • Undergraduate degree: Choose a Bachelor’s degree course in science, engineering or technology, medicine, pharma, etc., as per your interest. Be sure to choose a subject that you find intriguing and interesting. This will be a crucial step for advancing your career. 
  • Graduate degree: Upon completing a bachelor’s degree, students are eligible to further study in a post-graduate program. From here on, students can begin to research and conduct in-depth studies. A lot of opportunities open up for those having a master’s degree.

Eligibility Criteria for Pursuing Higher Education in Science 

Students who have a master’s degree in addition to a bachelor’s degree are eligible for doctoral-level programs, like a Ph.D. program. Typically, students pursue research in their areas of interest.  

Some universities also have the option of Ph.D. students acting as guidance counselors. 

However, to enroll in top universities and colleges, aspirants must have a track record of good scores. If studying science is something you genuinely enjoy, this shouldn’t be difficult to achieve. 

Also Read: Steps to Becoming a Data Scientist

Skills and Traits Required to Be a Scientist 

The science field is complex and demanding. You need different skill sets to be successful in this field. 

Inquisitive Nature 

If you are inherently inquisitive about science, then research is the best field for you. 

Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving 

Scientists have to often think out of the box to solve complex issues. This is one of the most obvious skills required to become a scientist. 


In science, you rarely get quick results in your work. You must learn to remain patient and determined. This trait is one of the most important skills required to become a scientist. 


Time and again, scientists come across unexpected results during their research. Being open-minded is one such skill to have to adapt to and accept new ideas. 

Communication Skills 

Communication is important in all job types and scientists are no exception. Scientists have to be able to explain their work to their peers, their teams, and other people. Good communication skills can help in improving their careers. 

Management Skills 

Good management works wonders. Scientists have to manage their time well to complete their tasks on time. 

Career Path for Becoming a Scientist in India 

Science is a vast field. There are many specializations that you can choose from if you wish to become a scientist. The five basic subjects – mathematics, physics, chemistry, botany, and zoology – further branch into many other disciplines.  

Opportunities in the field of science are never-ending. Whichever subject you choose today, many research institutes and centers are catering to various specializations. Based on your skills and interests, opt for your program of choice.  

Work experience is highly valued in the field of science. With a constant need for scientists, you can get exposure. It is also recommended to gain as must work experience as you can.  

Scientists can also work in private companies in research and development teams. Some of the top private companies offer the most competitive salaries to scientists. You can only reach this level through outstanding work. 

Public sector institutions such as ISRO, DRDO, etc., offer lucrative offers to scientists in relevant fields. These prestigious institutions offer many perks in addition to good salaries.  

Top Institutes for Pursuing Science Education in India 

India has many top science research institutes today. These institutes offer education and training for scientists across many fields. Some of them are listed below. 

  • Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore 
  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi, Bombay, Chennai, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Roorkee, Hyderabad and more locations 
  • Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) in Pilani, Hyderabad 

Many such private and state universities offer great science courses. Research institutes in India continue to improve and are ranked well across the world. There are more than 20 IITs across the country offering excellent levels of education.  

You can become a scientist by mapping a career path right after the 12th standard. You must have an idea of what you want to study to become a scientist. Shortlist the programs you wish to pursue and the universities that offer them.  

Gauge your skills and interests and compare those with your shortlisted programs. This will help you choose an appropriate institution per your interests. 

Job Prospects and Opportunities for Scientists in India 

As we constantly strive to improve and innovate, every field requires research and development. This makes scientists needed across all sectors. Depending on your level and subject of education, there are numerous job prospects in the field of science in India. 

Some of the research institutes that offer jobs in scientific research are – 

  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) 
  • Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) 
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) 
  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) 
  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) 

Almost all of the top companies have research and development divisions. So, there are a lot of job opportunities in the corporate sector as well. 

Key Takeaways 

All these steps will help you understand how to become a scientist. If you wish to pursue a career in science, you must know that it is a very demanding field. However, the satisfaction that this field offers is incomparable.  

Do you have any experience in the field of science? Would you like to share your knowledge? Become a Q&A expert at Chegg. You can earn money by answering questions from students across the world. Improve your career by meeting academic experts and gaining academic exposure. Sign up right away! 

Evaluate numerous career choices to choose the right career path for yourself. Dive in to our guide on Career Advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do scientists make? 

The average salary of scientists in India ranges between 4 to 5 lakh per year. Salaries are different for different industries. The education level and work experience also determine their salary. 

What qualifications do you need to be a scientist? 

To become a scientist, at least a bachelor’s level degree is required. However, higher education can get you more lucrative jobs.

How many years does it take to become a scientist? 

Consider 4 years for a bachelor’s degree, 2 years for a master’s degree, and 4 years to get a PhD. It would take around 10 years of study to become a scientist. 

How do you become a NASA scientist? 

To become a NASA scientist, US citizenship is required. A master’s degree in relevant subjects and at least 2 years of work experience are also needed. 

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