• Question: What qualifications do you need to be a scientist?

    Asked by kaiaxsmith to Alison, Hannah, Jonny, MarthaNari, Paul on 23 Jun 2015. This question was also asked by Foridaz.
    • Photo: Jonny Brooks-Bartlett

      Jonny Brooks-Bartlett answered on 23 Jun 2015:

      It depends what science you do.

      The further in education you go, the more specialised the science gets and it splits up into Chemistry, Biology and Physics. (If you go to University, you’ll that it splits up even more).

      If you want to study Physics at University then you should get A-levels (or equivalent qualification) in Physics. The same applies for the others.

      If you do all of the sciences then that’s even better because sometimes the sciences overlap so knowing them all will help you.

      Maths is incredibly useful to know, no matter what science you do so a qualification in that is good. I think for Physics you need a qualification in maths too.

      Most importantly, you should do the subjects that you love. If you love a subject then you’ll work hard and do well in it 🙂

    • Photo: Alison Whitaker

      Alison Whitaker answered on 24 Jun 2015:

      You need at least an undergraduate degree, but lots of people stay on to do a masters or PhD. I agree with Johnny, do the subjects you enjoy and don’t let people tell you ‘there are no jobs’ – there is always a way to do what you enjoy, that really is the best way to have an enjoyable career 🙂

    • Photo: Paul Brack

      Paul Brack answered on 24 Jun 2015:

      I’d echo that -I’ve always tried to pick things based on whether I find them interesting, and it’s worked so far. After all, there’s nothing worse than being stuck doing something you don’t like.

    • Photo: Martha Havenith

      Martha Havenith answered on 24 Jun 2015:

      There are quite a lot of ways into science. You do usually need a university degree (although I’ve also seen a couple of people move into science who learned engineering within a company first). But at least in my field of science (brain research), you get people with degrees from lots of different fields – psychology, philosophy, social studies, engineering, physics, maths, biology, medicine… A lot of the skills you learn in your studies (problem solving, analyzing any type of data, writing up your results clearly) are pretty transferrable, so if you’re not going too far from your field (say, from physics to political science), you can often move ‘sideways’ into different topics and apply your skills to them, or carve out a place between topics for yourself.