Effects of Technology: Research Jobs

Effects of Technology: Research Jobs

The longest piece of string in professional employment at the moment is research. This is the sharp part of the cutting edge of technology, and it's creating more jobs almost literally by the second. Emerging technology is about to transform the communications revolution again, but it's also ramping up the other sciences at record speed.

Research used to be a sort of exotic hobby among scientists. It was the old 20th century image of vague, science fiction-like guys in white coats roaming around looking too academic and trying to get businesses interested in their ideas. Businesses barely knew there was such a thing as research, and didn't know what it had to do with them.

Now, research itself is big business. It creates patents worth more than some countries. It's the primary method for businesses to create new products, and compete with technology created by rivals. The demand for researchers is steadily increasing. For those with the skills, it's a sellers' market for jobs. Anyone who can develop multi-billion dollar products can name their price, and many do.

Qualifications

To be a researcher, you do need higher qualifications, and good ones. You have to get up to at least Masters Degree level, and preferably PhD, to get anywhere in research. Most scientific and industrial research is basically at PhD level, and it's all new work. The research assistants are usually highly qualified, trained in research.

For those looking at careers in research, qualifications are literally mapped out in the sciences. You can even just look at a few ads in the scientific magazines for researchers, and find all you need to know about basic qualifications. If you ring up a college and ask for some career advice, you'll get chapter and verse about what you need to know.

Career tracks

The sheer diversity of research work is vast. There are researchers working in fields which didn't even exist in 2000. Genetic research is a good example of how far and how fast research expands its horizons.

The basic career track is a hierarchy:

Each stage includes a level of credentials in the profession. Many include post doctorate work. You really have to earn these credentials, but they pay you back in terms of career options. Competition for these jobs, understandably, is fierce. These are the dream jobs of their sciences.

Career environment

Research is demanding work, even for experts. Quality of research separates the brilliant researchers from the hacks. It can be a very high pressure environment, particularly with big budget research. Some people would say there's a tradeoff in terms of careers and environments. But research and business are now symbiotic, so that's more a question of degrees of removal from the business end.

As an environment for the true scientist, it's dazzling, and can be rewarding in many ways beyond a salary. The top researchers are the modern Bells, Edisons, Newtons, and Marconis. Working with the best in the world is a truly unique environment. Many researchers follow on with dazzling careers and achievements of their own.