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By Nsim Team
If you want to become a research assistant in science, business, social science or any other area, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for this career.
Those who become research assistants are typically individuals who would either like to gain more research experience in their chosen field, advance their education in that field, or they may simply enjoy being part of a research team in the field of their interest. Regardless of their individual career ambitions, research assistants typically have a keen interest and an education in the area to which their work in research relates.
Research assistants must be comfortable working in an environment that relates to their field, such as a laboratory, library or an office setting. Research assistants must be trustworthy, punctual and very well organized individuals. They must also be comfortable taking directive from other research assistants and lead researchers, as well communicating their work to others.
WHO IS RESEARCH ASSISTANT?
Research assistants are hired by principal researchers (also known as principal investigators, or project directors) to assist with conducting research projects (in any field; science, business, economics, social science, psychology and many others) by performing various duties related to a study.
Research assistants are typically well versed in the subject area of the project they work on. For example, marketing students and graduates may work for a researcher that is involved in a study related to marketing, while political science students and graduates may work for researchers involved in political science research projects and studies.
WHAT IS THE ELIGIBILITY OF RESEARCH ASSISTANT?
To become a research assistant in the business world you typically need bachelor's degree related to your field of employment. For example, if you work as a marketing research assistant, you may need an undergraduate degree with a focus in marketing. If you want to advance to a position with more responsibility, such as project manager or principal investigator, you may require a graduate degree or additional career experience.
Although you typically need an education in a related field to become a research assistant, there are exceptions. Some employers both in the world of academia and the business world will occasionally hire outside research assistant candidates with little or no experience to perform simple tasks, such data entry and filing.
SKILLS NEEDED TO BECOME RESEARCH ASSISTANT
In order to become effective in a job as a research assistant, you need to have certain personality traits and skills. These traits and skills will not only allow you to perform your job with competence, they will also allow you to endure the ups and downs of this career.
• Able to take direction from others
• Able to pay close attention to detail
• Must have a methodical approach to work activities
• Must be punctual and well organized
• Have a keen interest in the subject matter
• Well-versed in the subject area
• Must be patient in regards to work activities and project goals
• Must work well with others, and be motivated to be part of a team
• May need to be manually dexterous (if using specialized equipment in experiments)
• Able to use computer programs to gather and organize data
WHO HIRES RESEARCH ASSISTANT?
Research assistants are typically hired by organizations involved in conducting research in any field: marketing, economics, political science, psychology, biology and many others.
Organizations that hire Research Assistants include:
• Universities and colleges
• Contract research organizations
• Privately funded research laboratories
• Municipal, provincial/state and federal government departments
• Private industry, such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other companies
• Marketing companies
• Management, scientific and technical consulting organizations
• Non-profit organizations, such as social advocacy organizations