Learn How to Become a Scientist in India – Clever Harvey


“The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he is one who asks the right questions.”Claude Levi-Strauss

Your journey of being a scientist already began when you searched for ‘how to become a scientist’ and came to our site to seek answers. All of us wonder how to become a scientist as a kid at least once, it could be while watching the moon drive alongside the car with us or while hearing the sound of echo for the very first time. 

But for you, it’s not just merely a kid’s dream, is it? It is something you truly wish to be. That’s why you are here. Well, you have come to the right place to find all the answers on how to become a scientist. 

From understanding who is a scientist and what they do, what educational qualifications you need to become a scientist to knowing the average salary of a scientist in India, we are going to cover all these topics in detail in this article to help you gain all the information you need to live your dream as a scientist. 

Who is a Scientist?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of how to become a scientist in India, let’s first understand what the designation of being a scientist really means. 

A scientist is a person who:

  • Makes observations
  • Innovates or invents new things 
  • Conducts scientific research on a subject
  • Develops a hypothesis based on observations and conducts experiments
  • Creates something that builds on research, evidence, observations

You can become a scientist in any field you like. It can be astronomy, biology, agriculture, anything you have a keen interest in can be your very own field of study as a scientist.

Are researchers and scientists the same people?

A scientist conducts research. A researcher also does research.

So why do we have two names for the same work?

Because not every researcher is a scientist. It is true that to become a scientist, you need to conduct research and experiments to arrive at a conclusion, but it needs to be scientific.

For example, research can be done on any topic or any field, on language or maybe even religion. But that does not make you a ‘scientist’ unless the research methodologies you use are scientific.

So if you plan on becoming a scientist, all information from here on will prove extremely useful to you in building your dream career. So keep reading. 

Why become a Scientist?

There can be a thousand different general answers to becoming a scientist in India. But probably none of them will be relatable enough for you to convince yourself to become a scientist.

The question you should be asking yourself is:

Why do you want to become a scientist?

What is it about science that’s driving you to pursue a career as a scientist? 

Do you want to change the world with your own scientific discoveries?

Once you get answers to these questions, you will find your purpose of becoming a scientist. 

As a scientist, there is no limit to the areas you can explore and make discoveries. From agriculture to space, you have the world (quite literally) to choose your area of interest and work in it as a scientist. 

While you should always dream big and keep that dream alive till you have achieved your goal, simply dreaming about something is not enough to make it a reality. You need certain extra ingredients to make the whole dish. 

What do you need to become a Scientist? 

Even a decade ago, to become a professional in any field all you required was a bunch of educational qualifications on your resume. This mainly included a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.

Some people who were just too determined and passionate about their careers opted for additional courses. But a post-grad degree was mostly it to begin your career. But it is no secret that times have changed and just having an educational degree is not the only requirement of recruiters.

You are currently living in a rapidly changing and advancing world where equal emphasis is given to what you are capable of doing rather than just what your mark sheet says. Along with the necessary courses or degrees that you need to become a scientist, your skills and knowledge will also be put to test to prove how successful a scientist you can become.

Skills required to become a Scientist in the 21st century

“Our future growth relies on competitiveness and innovation, skills and productivity…and these in turn rely on the education of our people.” – Julia  Gillard

One of the most important aspects of knowing how to become a scientist lies in what you need to do to prepare yourself apart from having academic excellence. And one of these aspects includes having the necessary set of skills and abilities to become a scientist in India. 

Harvey’s tip: Your personality, thought process and the methods you incorporate into your scientific discovery and research are what make you a one-of-a-kind scientist. You need holistic preparation as a person to become the scientist you have always dreamed of becoming. 

We present you with the top 10 skills every aspiring scientist of the 21st century will need to live their dream.

10 Skills every Teen needs to become a Scientist

Think you have everything you need to become a scientist? Go through this list of much-needed skills you will need in the 21st century to be a great scientist in India.

  1. Curiosity

    “Curiosity is the fuel for discovery, inquiry and learning.”

    As kids, we have always been curious. Curious to know why the moon travels with us while we drive in our car, or why we don’t fall if the Earth keeps spinning every day. 

Scientists have given us an answer to each of these questions and more because they were just too curious to find out. To become a scientist, you need to be just as curious to find answers to all the questions popping in your head.

  1. Decision Making

    Scientific research work requires quick thinking and decision-making skills. You will have to be quick on your feet to not just think of possibilities but also act on the ones that would actually work. 
  1. Critical Thinking

    A scientist knows all formulae and methods they can put to use to arrive at a conclusion. But knowing which methods would work and which ones may complicate their thesis, even more, is where critical thinking skills come into play. To analyze every step and take concrete decisions, weighing the pros and cons of all options involves critical thinking skills.
  1. Logical Reasoning

    Every hypothesis or research paper you write, you need to back your facts or what you are proposing based on logic. Isn’t that what science is all about? Answering every small or big question with logic and reasoning? So unless you have mastered the ability to think logically and reason your findings as a scientist, your work will not be regarded as credible.
  1. Analytical Thinking

    Science is built on facts and data. You cannot simply make a statement in thin air and present it as a fact. As a scientist in the making, you will need to analyze every situation scientifically and to do that you should start working on your analytical skills as a teenager. 
  1. Time Management

    Everyone has the same 24 hours, it’s all about how we manage our time to prioritize our work and live a healthy life. Time is an important element to becoming a scientist. Just like a doctor has to continuously study alongside working as a professional, as a scientist too, you will have to work on your current research project, strive to create something new and innovative, build your hypothesis, publish your research and so much more. 
  1. General Knowledge in Science

    Being up to date with current trends and news of the science world is of prime importance for a scientist. You need to improve your general knowledge and make it a habit to read science journals to keep a track of new innovations and discoveries happening in the world as a scientist.
  1. Adaptability

    Science keeps evolving and as a scientist, you need to evolve with the change. Becoming a scientist means witnessing changes in your own research every day. Many people find it difficult to adapt to change but as a scientist, you need to learn the art of adaptability because you are going to deal with a lot of changes.
  1. Problem Solving

    Facing a problem and finding its solution is what defines a scientist. And to solve a problem, you need to be solution-oriented. This means that instead of dwelling on the problem, you need to clear your head and think of ways to resolve the problem at hand. For this, you need good problem-solving skills.
  1. Research Skills

    Needless to say, that to become a successful scientist you need impeccable research skills. Based on your research and findings, you will build your own project and make observations that have not been made before.

A skillful teen of today will make a great scientist of tomorrow. 

Let’s be realistic. You cannot master all these skills in one day. By taking small and steady steps as a teenager you will surely gain expertise in all these skills by the time you start working as a scientist.

But schools don’t necessarily ‘teach’ you these skills as part of their curriculum, so where should you start learning these much-needed skills to become a scientist?

With Clever Harvey’s JuniorMBA Program in Technology, you can start learning all these skills in a single program by working on a real-time project under the mentorship of industry experts. Learn about science and the world of technology and innovation to get an understanding of what to expect when you take the first big step into the real world of science. 

The best part? 

You don’t just get a ‘certificate of participation’ but a certificate of completion for the work you have done based on your research and efforts which is valuable globally to build your portfolio. Why wait? Kickstart your dream career now. 

Courses to become a Scientist in India

While you can start your skill development anytime as a teenager in India, you only begin your academic journey to become a scientist after graduating from class 12. It’s quite obvious that you need to have a science background in classes 11 and 12. But what is taught in these two years is just the tip of the iceberg of the vast field of science. 

By studying science almost all your school life and more deeply in classes 11 and 12, you might have understood which areas interest you more than others. For example, you could be inclined more towards technology than space. But even in technology, there are multiple options to choose from to decide on an area of specialization as a scientist. 

You must note that your journey of becoming a scientist will be fulfilled only after you acquire a Ph.D. degree in your area of interest.

In a nutshell, this is the hierarchy of becoming a scientist in India that you should follow in whichever field of science you choose. 

  • 10th pass with Science and Math
  • 12th pass with Science stream
  • Bachelor’s of Science with a Major
  • Master’s of Science with specialization
  • Ph.D. with specialization

Top 15 fields to become a scientist in India

Although there are plenty of options available to an aspiring scientist to explore and discover, these 15 scientific fields are the most interesting ones you can choose from to start building your career as a scientist.

  1. Astronomy – Everything that is out-of-the-world is the work of an astronomer.
  1. Agriculture – An agronomist essentially works on finding ways to make crop yielding and farming more efficient and sustainable.
  1. Cytology – It is the examination of a single cell. Most commonly known is cell biology. A scientist in this field also works on the diagnosis and screening of cancer cells.
  1. Geology – Put simply, it is the study of rocks and minerals.
  1. Paleontology – The study of remains or fossils of animals and organisms such as dinosaurs, is called paleontology.
  1. Botany – Being a scientist of the botany field, you will be working on plants and studying various types of plants, their interaction with the surrounding environment and their structure.
  1. Microbiology – A scientist in microbiology studies microscopic organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc. to observe how these organisms evolve and mutate. Microbiologists proved extremely useful in studying the Covid-19 virus to help us combat the pandemic.
  1. Biotechnology – As the name implies, it is a kind of technology that involves biological concepts and methods in various fields of other sciences.
  1. Ethology – If you are an animal lover this could be a great field to become a scientist. You can study animal behavior in their natural habitat and study their evolution.
  1. Meteorology – Another interesting field to become a scientist in is meteorology which studies the climate, weather, atmosphere, etc.
  1. Marine biology – Also referred to as ‘oceanology’ marine biology is a branch of science that deals with the study of marine organisms and how they interact with their surroundings. 
  1. Seismology – A seismologist monitors and studies earthquakes
  1. Epidemiology – A scientist in the epidemiology field studies and analyzes various diseases to prevent diseases and promote positive healthcare.
  1. Forensic – If you are into solving crimes but also have a knack for science, being a forensic scientist could be very interesting for you. You can employ scientific methods to solve real-world crimes for your country.
  1. Astrophysics – Curious to know about the big bang and space? Astrophysics is the application of physics and chemistry concepts and theories to understand the beginning and end of space objects.

Depending on your choice of field to become a scientist, you will have to sit for entrance exams. Let’s take a look at the different types of entrance exams for becoming a scientist both in India and abroad.

Entrance Exams to become a Scientist

There are no entrance exams to be a ‘scientist’ per se but you will have to sit for a couple of entrance tests or screening examinations to become eligible for studying a Bachelor’s, Master’s or a Ph.D. degree program in science. 

We have divided the list of entrance exams you will need to take to become a scientist in India into three different categories in the form of a table for your convenience.

Entrance Exams to Become a Scientist After 12th in India

Degree CourseEntrance ExamInstitute 
B.E/B.Tech/B.Tech – M.TechJEE MainsIIT / NIT
Integrated M.TechJEE MainsIIT / NIT
Integrated M.Sc.JEE MainsIIT / NIT
B.E/B.Tech/B.Tech – M.Tech/Integrated M.Tech/Integrated M.Sc.JEE Advanced(After qualifying JEE Mains)IIT
4-Year B.SJEE Advanced/NEETIIS
4-Year B.S/5-Year B.S-M.SJEE Advanced/IISER Aptitude TestIISER

*Most Indian colleges and universities generally do not require an entrance exam for B.Sc programs except a few premium institutes. So it is always better to check the college’s admission requirements before applying.

Entrance Exams to Become a Scientist After Bachelor’s in India

Degree CourseEntrance ExamInstitute 
5-Year M.Sc-Ph.DJAMIIT / IIS
Integrated Ph.DJAMIIT / IIS
M.Sc-Ph.D/Integrated Ph.DJESTIISER/Bose Institute, etc. (Top Indian Universities)
M.Tech-Ph.D/Integrated Ph.D. after B.Tech or B.EJESTIISER/Bose Institute, etc. (Top Indian Universities)
M.TechGATEIIT / NIT (& others)

Entrance Exams to Become a Scientist After Master’s 

Degree CourseEntrance ExamInstitute 
Ph.D./Jr. Research Assistant/Doctoral FellowNETAny science university or research organization
Ph.D./M.Sc-Ph.D.GREAny university in U.S/Canada

What is the Salary of a Scientist in India?

There is no such fixed salary for a scientist. It depends on a lot of factors such as the field of science you are working in, your role, educational qualifications, experience, the institute or company you work in and many more. 

However, the average base salary of a scientist in India ranges between 5.5 lakhs to 10 lakhs per annum. 

You can get an idea of the salary of a scientist at NASA and ISRO from the table below.

Salary range at NASA & ISRO

OrganizationStarting SalaryAverage SalaryAbove-average Salary
NASA (in $)65,000130,000212,000
ISRO (in Rs.)20,00045,00080,000

Source: glassdoor.co.in 

Best Books to become a scientist after 12th

If you are looking for inspiration to become a scientist, this list of books is for you.

  • Learning How to Fly – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
  • The Book of Why – Judea Pearl and Dana McKenzie
  • The Making of the Atomic Bomb – Richard Rhodes
  • The Elegant Universe – Brian Greene
  • Einstein: His Life and Universe – Walter Isaacson

When to start preparing to be a Scientist?

Your preparation to become a scientist starts from the day you dream about becoming a scientist. But simply dreaming about it will not make it a reality. Academically you can start your journey of becoming a scientist after completing school. But in your mind, it can start way earlier. 

Only you can decide when to start becoming a scientist. It can start with a simple physics project in class 8 or while experimenting with food science on a fine summer day. Remember, a scientist is not bound to only their educational qualifications to make new innovations or discoveries. Your love for science, curiosity to explore and confidence to take that first step towards turning your idea into reality is what will make you a great scientist.

Before making a new discovery, discover yourself

No dream is too far-fetched. It is all about what you do to build your own path towards the success of your dreams. At Clever Harvey, we help you find your path as a teenager. With our JuniorMBA programs, you can try exploring different career avenues and discover your interests by working under the mentorship of industry professionals on a real project to solve real-world situations. 

Experiments are a major part of the life of a scientist. So why not start by experimenting with different career options early in life to avoid 15 years of second-guessing your decisions? Start early. Start now. 

FAQs on how to become a Scientist in India

What qualifications do you need to be a scientist?

To become a scientist in India, you have to get a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in your chosen discipline of science.

Your academic qualifications, your personal projects, internships and work experience also add great value to your profile as a scientist. 

How many years does it take to be a scientist?

After you graduate from school, you have to complete your graduation, post-graduation and Ph.D. in a field of science. All this will take at least 10 years to complete your journey to becoming a scientist in India.

What exams do you need to take to study abroad to be a scientist?

If you plan on studying abroad after the 12th then you might need to sit for the SAT exam to study in the U.S and Canada.

Along with that you also might need to take a language test, either TOEFL or IELTS. Screening tests are subject to the university you apply to.

What is the eligibility of a data scientist in India?

To become a data scientist, you must hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant area of engineering, economics, statistics, computer science, IT, mathematics, etc.

If you pursue postgraduate studies in any of these fields then it adds great value to your candidature.

What is the work of a research scientist?

A research scientist essentially conducts research on various topics of science and based on the fieldwork, sample collection and data gathered, they conduct experiments, analyze the results and arrive at a conclusion.

Most of the time, the research conducted by a research scientist is used as research topics by other scientists.

How many hours do scientists study in a day?

Generally, a scientist studies for approximately 8-10 hours daily. 

What is the salary of a research scientist in India?

The annual average salary of a research scientist in India ranges from 8 lakhs to 12 lakhs based on their experience and qualifications.

What is a biological scientist’s salary in India?

For a biological scientist with experience of 1-5 years, the average annual salary amounts to 10 lakhs.

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