9 Pros and Cons of Being a Research Scientist

If you love research, then a career as a research scientist may be your dream. But remember that this job also has ups and downs. You should know both sides so you won’t be surprised when trying it.

Today, I will talk about the pros and cons of being a research scientist. So join me now to find out if this career is good for you!

Who Is a Research Scientist?

A research scientist conducts research and experiments to explore new technologies. They also work on existing theories to improve them based on their research.

There are many types of research scientists, depending on their field. For example, if your major is technology, you will analyze computer systems and software. Meanwhile, if you work in biology, you will study living organisms.

No matter which field you join, you will plan and conduct experiments. Then, you have to write reports based on what you have explored.

Computer & IT Research Scientist

I’m a research scientist. Research is my passion, so I always find this job exciting. Every day brings a new challenge, keeping me engaged.

You may want to follow this career path if you have the same interest. But let me help you explore the advantages and disadvantages of being a research scientist first.

There are many benefits for research scientists. For example, when you work in this role, you can grow and have a good salary. The significance of your work is also a motivator.

1. Significant contributions

I work on research and experiments every day. In my role, every discovery can impact my company or even a big industry.

I feel proud of my job. Even after years of experience in the industry, I’m always excited when coming up with something new because I know they can help.

This sense of achievement encourages me to work harder. I want to excel in my role to help others and play a part in positive changes.

2. Job satisfaction

Another great thing about this job is independence. I can work on my own and explore my own ideas. There is no limit to my creativity.

Sometimes, I also work with experts in the field. Those brilliant minds help me a lot with my projects. We can talk for hours, exchanging our ideas and debating. Ultimately, we can solve our problems. And I have to say that it’s a really satisfying experience.

Furthermore, it’s my passion. I love discovering new things, and nothing is better than working on research.

3. High salary

As of 2023, research scientists can earn about $136,585 per year. It’s also my salary range. Thanks to the good pay, I can invest in equipment and resources for my projects. Personal experiments now are not a problem for me.

The salary for research scientists is high, and you deserve it. When working in this role, you contribute to your company’s development and society.

High salary

4. Possibility of travel

Working in the lab is sometimes boring, but don’t worry! As a research scientist, you may travel sometimes. If you have workshops or collaborative projects, you can visit different cities and countries.

So, take advantage of this chance to learn from others. It’s time to explore new places and cultures to enrich your knowledge.

5. Professional growth

You can grow in your job. Imagine every day presents a new challenge. And to cope with it, you must upgrade your skills and knowledge.

Plus, while working with other scientists, you can learn a lot from them. They may recommend innovative methods that work well on your projects.

Then, as you gain experience, you can get a leadership or mentorship role. Now, you can inspire others. Your salary will increase, too.

You can grow

This job also has cons. There are four biggest problems to deal with when working as a research scientist:

6. Long and irregular work hours

Researching is interesting. However, it’s not a nine-to-five job, so you may have to work overtime to complete your projects.

The irregular work hours affect your work-life balance. You may be too into your research and ignore people around you.

Yet, you will achieve sweet rewards after hard work. Once you’ve done any project, spend some time relaxing. Then, you can get back to work with more energy.

7. High competition

Another challenge to face is the high competition for positions and funding. Let me explain each.

First, regarding positions, you have to compete with many other research scientists. Universities and companies receive many applications but only need a few experts.

Second, you must deal with funding, too. The demand for resources is high, whereas funding opportunities are pretty limited.

But trust me! These challenges are part of your work. You will feel the best once you’ve overcome them and executed your projects successfully!

8. A lot of pressure

Deadlines and funding are the two scariest words for me. I have to work tirelessly to ensure my work’s quality. Meanwhile, I must meet the standards.

So, this job can be intense. Yet, pressure motivates me to push my boundaries.

9. Requires years of industry experience

Knowledge from books and classes is not enough for you to work as a research scientist. Many job listings require years of experience.

Thus, you should start with entry-level positions first. My first job was as a research assistant. And after a few years of assisting the research process, I could perform my own one.

This job requires experience

Should You Become a Research Scientist?

Do you love research? Is working in the lab or an isolated office okay for you? If yes, then you can consider this job.

Your ability plays a role here, too. If you want to work as a research scientist, you should be good at data analysis and pay close attention to detail.

Experience is also essential. You need a few years of experience before taking this role.

Final Thoughts

As a research scientist, you will receive good pay and improve yourself every day. However, this job is sometimes stressful. You also have to compete with others to get the job.

So what do you think? If you still want to pursue this career, keep learning and go ahead! With dedication, you can become a successful research scientist.