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What level of education do I need to become a researcher?

I am 17 and currently working on getting my GED. What resources are available to help my career and college prep journey, and what can I do right now?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Ricardo’s Answer

Hi Zoey, in order to become a lead researcher or PI, it integrate several degres and training, such as a bachelor, master, and PhD. Following byan professional experience like posdcotoral experience, during this course, you will obtaine all tools to lead independent projects with the capacity to obtaine grants as sources for these projects. Right now, in the maintime you are plannng to go to the university, you start summer courses or miniprojects in any department of research to gain experience and above all, to know which field you would like to go through.

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Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Zoey
Thank you comment icon Feel free to ask about which fields are in the research in order to you can know which you would like to go through, or anything I can help. Best whishes! Ricardo Diaz-Aragon
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Atul’s Answer

My recommendation is once you pass GED, get yourself enrolled in a community college or state university to major in the field where you want to be a researcher.
Make sure the credits you complete in a community college are transferable to the state university. Here in NJ most state universities will accept your credits from the community college.
The goal is to minimize student loan unless you get scholarships or grants.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Zoey
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Chelsea’s Answer

Hi there! I would add to Atul's response to look at local colleges/universities and hospitals to see if they have summer internship programs in research. I know some have programs designed for HS students, and once you're enrolled in college/university you could look for additional opportunities like the NSF's Research Experience for Undergraduates program. Depending on what type of research you want to do, there are also non-Doctoral level research positions like research assistants, lab technicians, and research coordinators that make all the science possible.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate your support, Chelsea Zoey
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Amalya’s Answer

It is wonderful that you want to become a researcher! Such an interesting and rewarding career path!
Nevertheless, it is not an easy option: To become a researcher, in most cases you will need at least a Master's degree. This career requires PhD education in the discipline on which you are going to work and take your academic journey. Also, you will need to gain high level of professional competences, strengths and experiences.
Wish you all the best in your promising future.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Zoey
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