Career in Research After B.Tech

Career in Research After B.Tech

Everyone wanted to be an engineer a few decades ago, when IITs were a novel idea, and the scope of engineering was expanding. And why shouldn’t they have? Engineers were in high demand for the post-independence growth of our country. But times have changed, and we now need more researchers than engineers. However, there isn’t precise and accurate information regarding research among students, which often leads them to take other career options than research. Most students opting for B.Tech. in India are not interested in it and enroll themselves for the sake of doing it. Some students take engineering because of family pressure or financial difficulties, as they expect a job just after graduation. If you, like them, discovered your love for research while doing your B.Tech. and wish to switch careers, this blog will assist you.

In this blog, we will discuss:

  • How is research different from engineering?
  • What can you do?
  • Opportunities

How is Research Different from Engineering?

Research differs from engineering in many aspects. Not always, but engineering is mostly for job-minded people, while research is for people with a passion for science. In research, you study nature’s fundamental properties and apply that knowledge to solve other mysteries. While in engineering, you utilise your technical skills and knowledge to construct and implement tangible products, systems, and technologies that address specific societal needs and challenges.

If you have decided to switch to research after your B.Tech., you need not to start from fresh. There are many options you can continue after your B.Tech. 

What Can You Do?

Transitioning from an industrial career trajectory to one centred on research often requires a shift in mindset and a reorientation of one’s academic pursuits. Pursuing a master’s degree in a specialised field relevant to their research interests can be a crucial stepping stone. Institutes like IISc and various IITs offer comprehensive M.Tech and MS programs with a strong emphasis on research, enabling students to delve deeper into their chosen domains and cultivate a solid foundation for future research endeavours. Hence, you won’t completely change your field but gain more specialisation. Later, you can pursue a PhD in the same area. This is a common trend in the Computer and Data Science field.

In pursuing a research-oriented career after B.Tech., embracing interdisciplinary opportunities can offer a holistic perspective and develop a fine understanding of complex scientific challenges. Collaborating with experts from diverse fields, such as computational biology, materials science, and environmental engineering, can provide a multifaceted approach to problem-solving and open doors to unexplored research avenues that exceed traditional disciplinary boundaries.

For those who may have initially chosen engineering due to familial expectations or external pressures, discovering a passion for research post-B.Tech necessitates a thoughtful exploration of personal aspirations and academic inclinations. Engaging in research internships, attending workshops, and participating in academic conferences can provide valuable exposure to the research ecosystem, allowing individuals to gauge their interests and align their academic pursuits with their true passions.

You need to take exams like the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) and IIT-JAM (Joint Admission Test for MSc) to get into top institutes like IITs and IISc Bangalore for masters in India. You can also take the GRE and English proficiency tests like TOEFL or IELTS to do your masters at foreign universities. Many colleges like IISER Kolkata have started offering integrated PhDs (MSc + PhD), which is quite popular abroad. You can also try for the Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST); cracking it would help you get direct admissions to top research institutes like TIFR/Raman Research Institute or IMS Chennai. 

Opportunities:

As mentioned earlier, the research field is full of opportunities, with new and exciting opportunities being created every day. Here, we will briefly discuss some of the significant opportunities:

  • You can join any research institute of your choice for your graduation project. Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) positions are announced by many institutions, and students are interviewed based on their experience and skills. TIFR, DRDO and ISRO are some of the significant governmental organisations offering these positions. 
  • A PhD is required to grasp the topic better if you wish to conduct research. After that, you may apply for postdoctoral posts at any institution. This will increase your grasp on your area and will aid you while applying for professorships at colleges. Professors are in high demand at practically every institution in India, and salaries are competitive, with higher pay in premier universities such as IITs, IISERs, NISERs, NITs, and IISc.
  • Depending on your field of research, you can even get placed in various research firms and laboratories. For example, if you are from biotechnology you can get a job in firms like Cipla, Lupin or Dr. Reddy’s Labs. 
  • Considering you completed your B.Tech degree, you are expected to have better technical knowledge and skills than the BSc students. This can be useful while applying to experimental research groups like CERN or LIGO. 

Conclusion:

Changing careers to research after B.Tech may be attractive, but it all depends on what you want to accomplish after B.Tech. Engineering is a better fit if you value money or enjoy technology, but it is never too late to change careers if you can commit your life to science and research. Ultimately, your success is determined by your hard work and commitment to accomplish anything. You should never be hesitant to pursue your passions. If you want to know how internships are important in developing your skills and providing exposure, check out this blog.

About us:

SciAstra is a team of scientists and research scholars from the top research institutes around the world like Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge, and so on. Our vision is to promote critical thinking and scientific temperament by helping students in their careers in science. 

We offer many free and paid courses where our mentors from the top research institutes like IISER, NISER, IACS, CMI, ISI IISC Bangalore, etc teach students in live classes, with study materials,  mock tests, books, and everything needed. We have taught more than 10,000 students already since 2021 and achieved over 1000 selections with AIR 1, 7,10, 12, and 13 in  IISc Bengaluru, IISERs, NISER, IACS, and so on.  If you are looking to prepare for IAT / NEST 2024, you can check out our courses and get access to live classes, recorded lectures, study material, mock tests, doubt-clearing classes, and much more!

To know more about us, click here OR download the SciAstra App from the Play Store!

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