"If you want to leave your footprints on the sands of time you must not drag your feet"- President Abdul Kalam
"If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right"-
"Eyes cannot see what the mind does not know"--- Anonymous
All of us, every day of our lives, are faced with having to make decisions. At critical times, such as at the end of our college education, every path we can take seems to close many doors even as it opens another, and the pressure that we and others impose on ourselves to choose well can be disorienting.
If you are considering applying to do higher studies, many questions pop up: How flexible is research as a career option? Will it lead to a satisfactory job in financial terms? How good is research as a career option if you plan to pursue it in India itself? As a step to a career in the technology industry (that is, joining a company as an engineer after MS or PhD), a background in research is certainly very valuable.It is now widely acknowledged and accepted that, amongst the factors of development, mastery of science and technology (S&T) is perhaps the most important. This has become all the more imminent with the global shift towards a knowledge-based society and economy. It is therefore necessary that the best Indian brains take up science and technology as an academic profession and perhaps research as a career. There is thus an urgent need for a national level initiative and movement to popularize S&T.
Doing research is also the only way you can quench your intellectual thirst. If after serious assessment, of yourself and other factors, you have concluded that you want to take up research as a career, let me congratulate you! Research is a truly rewarding career for those who are fascinated by the beauty of ideas.
Why get into research?
There are many opportunities for innovation, creating new technology, and designing and developing new research prototypes and products, in areas ranging from the most mathematical and theoretical to the most experimental. Researchers are members in a community of scholars and innovators.
Researchers are as different as the research they do but certain attributes seem to help promote research success. It helps to be:
*curious about the whys and hows of things
* persevering in your approach
* an independent thinker and worker
* creative, disciplined and focused when you need to be.
Research can be an extremely rewarding and satisfying career. Facing, managing, and eventually overcoming uncertainty is a powerful experience, as knowing that you have contributed something to the body of knowledge in your discipline that no one has ever known before.
Research is both an art and a science: It requires you to know your subject and to know yourself, to have knowledge of the mechanics of solving a problem, as well as a feel for what is promising and what is not.
For many people, the experience of conducting research provides an opportunity to grow not only as a researcher, but as a person, in a deep and substantive way, and is well worth the commitment and effort.
AJai Ravi Kesavan