Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of explanations and predictions about the universe. In an older and closely related meaning, “science” also refers to this body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. In modern usage however, “science” most often refers to a way of pursuing knowledge, not only the knowledge itself. It is also often restricted to those branches of study that seek to explain the phenomena of the material universe.
Science can be broadly classified into 2 types- BASIC SCIENCE and APPLIED SCIENCE.
Basic science or “pure” science seeks to expand knowledge regardless of the short-term application of that knowledge. It is not focused on developing a product or a service of immediate public or commercial value. The goal of basic science is knowledge for knowledge’s sake, though this does not mean that, in the end, it may not result in a practical application.
In contrast, applied science or “technology” aims to use science to solve real-world problems such as improving crop yields, finding a cure for a particular disease, or saving animals threatened by a natural disaster. Many scientists think that a basic understanding of science is necessary before an application is developed; therefore, applied science relies on the results generated through basic science.
The main career pathways in the domain of Pure Science include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Applied Sciences.
Some Career Options
A botanist is a highly educated and skilled scientist who studies plant life and organisms. A botanist’s research can determine how environmental changes impact certain aspects of plant life and how those changes can improve medicine, food supplies and building materials.
Anatomists are biological scientists who study the structure of living things. Most anatomists are biomedical researchers and educators focusing on human anatomical form and function. Many specialize in areas such as biological imaging, cell biology, genetics, molecular development, endocrinology (study of the glands that produce hormones), histology (study of tissues), neuroscience, forensics, microscopy, and physical anthropology (study of the physical characteristics, variability, and evolution of the human organism).
- Agricultural Scientist
Agriculturists study and develop the best practices for cultivating soil, raising livestock and growing crops. This includes caring for and breeding animals, protecting and harvesting crops and managing the soil.
Biological scientists study living organisms like animals, plants, and microbes. They also examine their relationships to the environment and other living things. It include subjects such as genetics, zoology, toxicology, nutrition, botany, animal and plant physiology, and bioinformatics.
Wildlife biologists/zoologists study genetic origins and life processes of animals. They research and monitor animal habitats in a given region to determine various environmental and population dynamics.
- Marine Scientist
Marine scientists are involved in research, analysis and forecasts in relation to the oceans, their life forms and coastal areas. They analyze the sea and its interaction with the land, atmosphere and sea floors and use the information gained to predict changes to the earth’s substructure.
A geneticist is a consultant and is also a physician who has been trained in genetics as a specialization. They evaluate, diagnose, and manage patients with hereditary conditions or congenital malformations, genetic risk calculations, and mutation analysis as well as refer patients to other medical specialties.
Microbiologists study organisms that cause infections, including viruses, bacteria, Achaea, fungi, algae and protozoa. They focus on the biology of microorganisms at both the molecular and cellular level, as well as their ecology.
Scientists who research in physics are called physicists. They observe natural phenomena and use mathematics to develop theories that help explain why they occur. Some physicists study theory while others apply it to the development of products such as medical equipment and electronic devices.
Biophysicists study the relationship between physics and living organisms, aiming to identify predictable patterns in biological processes. They conduct research for the government, universities and private institutes, often on topics such as DNA and proteins.
A geophysicist/field seismologist studies physical aspects of the earth and uses complex equipment to collect data on earthquakes and seismic waves, which move through and around the earth. They also examine the physical properties of rocks, as well as gathering and evaluating well data in order to build reservoir models.
Astronomers apply the principles of physics and mathematics to learn more about the universe. They gather data on the characteristics of planets, moons, stars and other objects using telescopes and computer programs.
Meteorologists study the causes of particular weather conditions using information obtained from the land, sea and upper atmosphere. They use computerized and mathematical models to make short and long-range forecasts concerning weather and climate patterns.
A mathematician is a person with extensive knowledge of mathematics who uses this knowledge in their work, typically to solve mathematical problems. You can also choose to be a statistician and use your mathematical skills in theoretical or applied statistics.
Some Career Options
A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms.
- Analytical Chemist
Analytical chemists use a diverse range of methods to investigate the chemical nature of substances. The aim of such work is to identify and understand the substance and how it behaves in different conditions. In the pharmaceutical industry, for example, analytical chemists are involved throughout the drug development process; they study the physical or chemical properties of drug substances and formulations, with a view to determining the quality and stability of drug products.
Biochemists work with the chemical composition of living organisms and perform studies of the chemical processes involved in all basic life functions. Through research, experimentation and study, these professionals provide us with much of the background knowledge on topics like genetics and heredity. Biochemists also collect data for other researchers and scientists, enabling them to make improvements to existing drugs, systems or products
Geochemists study the amount and distribution of chemical elements in rocks and minerals. They also study the movement of those elements into soil and water systems. Their work guides oil exploration, can help improve water quality and is also used to develop plans to clean up toxic waste sites. Oil and gas companies, consultancies, research facilities and education institutions look for geochemists to be part of their team.
Toxicologists study the safety and biological effects of drugs, chemicals, agents, and other substances on living organisms. They develop methods to determine harmful effects, the dosages that cause those effects, and safe exposure limits. Toxicologists spend their time planning and conducting experiments, dosing animals, and collecting and analyzing data.
Some Career Options
Nanotechnologists work in many fields. As medical scientists, they develop treatments and repair damage at the cellular level. As food scientists, they develop new technologies to aid food production, including developing methods to detect contaminants and disease. As engineers, they might develop computer components or super-strong materials.
- Forensic Scientist
Forensic scientists provide impartial scientific evidence for use in courts of law to support the prosecution or defense in criminal and civil investigations. They are primarily concerned with searching for and examining contact trace material associated with crimes.
- Environmental Scientist
Environmental scientists conduct research to identify the causes of environmental issues, types of problems, and how to minimize or eliminate them. They also conduct theoretical research that increases our understanding of how the natural world works. They use what they learn to make recommendations and develop strategies for managing environmental problems.
Environmental science is a holistic and multidisciplinary field that integrates the biological, physical, and earth sciences. Its goal is to understand how earth works and how it supports life. It also aims to identify, control, and prevent disruption to its systems and species caused by human activity.
2. Academic Steps
Students need to pass the higher secondary or 10+2 level examination or any other equivalent examination from a recognized board. They should also have the minimum marks necessary to get admission to the course according to the cut-off marks stipulated by the colleges and universities.
Only students who have opted for Mathematics and Science at +2 level are eligible.
- Entrance Exams
- JEE (Joint Entrance Examination): The IITs offer courses leading to Bachelor’s degree in a number of pure science disciplines.
- Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY): Fellowship and admission to IISc Bangalore in 4 year BS Degree.
- National Entrance Screening Test (NEST): Admission in 5 year integrated M.Sc. program in Biological, Chemical, Mathematical and Physical sciences at National Institute of Science Education and Research.
- Indian Statistical Institute Admission: Admission in B Stat (Hons), B Math (Hons), M Stat, M Math, MS (QE), MS (LIS), M Tech (CS), M Tech (QROR) and Research Fellowships.
- Indian Council of Agricultural Research ICAR AIEEA-UG-PG: Admission in Bachelor, Master Degree Program, SRF (PGS) to Pursuing Ph.D in Agriculture and Allied Sciences at Agricultural Universities
- Exam Pattern
- Part 1 of the JEE examination is for all undergraduate courses EXCEPT B.ARCH/ B.PLANNING. The questions will be of objective type with equal weightage to Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics.
- There are in all five sections in the NEST question paper. Among the five sections, the first section has to be compulsorily attempted by all the candidates. This section is of general questions. The next four sections includes questions on Biology Chemistry Mathematics Physics Candidates are given option to attempt any three of the last four sections. All sections carry equal marks. The test focuses on evaluating the comprehension and analytic ability of the candidates. The questions are of objective type. Each question has five options as answers, of which there may only be one relatively correct answer. Negative marking is there for incorrect answers.
- Higher Education
After completing BSc, one can further take up postgraduate courses like MSc (Master Of science). IIT colleges have started conducting a Joint Admission Test for M.Sc. (JAM). The objective of JAM is to provide admissions to various M.Sc., Joint M.Sc.-Ph.D., M.Sc.-Ph.D. Dual Degree and other post-bachelor’s degree programs at the IIT colleges is based on the performance in this single test and is used to consolidate Science as a career option for bright students from across the country.
Since science is a continually changing and dynamic profession, it offers a fantastic variety of exciting career opportunities with excellent promotion prospects including specialist laboratory work, expert and consultant roles, research, education and management. In recent years, there has been a wide awakening and return to basic sciences as the foundation of a good education and career. A graduation in pure sciences has in fact created several success stories. When lakhs of students are busy with CET, JEE, NEET, CPT, CLAT, and innumerable other entrance exams, the wiser ones will be those who consider making a strong academic background through science.
In India, a food technologist can earn a salary ranging between Rs 8, 000 – Rs 12, 000 per month at the starting level whereas those with relevant work experience in the industry can earn between Rs 15, 000 – 25, 000 per month. Senior management professionals can expect many high salaries. Salaries of metallurgical engineer largely depend upon the education and experience they have besides the location, and the kind of job they are involved in. A fresh graduate can earn a salary of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 per month. Microbiologists who work in pharmaceuticals or biotech labs can get starting salary somewhere between Rs.10, 000 to Rs.15, 000. With two or three years of experience the salary gets doubled. Those who are working in govt. organizations or research get a salary ranging from Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000 per month with other benefits. An analytical chemist with a few years of experience gets an average salary of Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 per month.
4. Information on Colleges
Given Below are some of the more reputed colleges in India (not in rank or order).
Note: This is not an exhaustive list.
- St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi
- Presidency College, Kolkata
- St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai
- St. Josephs College, Bangalore
- Guru Nanak College Chennai
- Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
- St. Thomas College Palai, Kerala
- Loyola College, Chennai
- Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
- St. Xavier’s College – Ahmedabad
- Gargi College, Delhi
Funding and Scholarships
Given Below are some institutions offering scholarships
Note: This is not an exhaustive list.
5. International Focus
Given Below are some of the more reputed colleges outside of India (not in rank or order).
Note: This is not an exhaustive list
- University of Cambridge
- University of California, Berkeley
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
- Harvard University
- Stanford University
- Princeton University
- University of Oxford
- Imperial College London
- The University of Tokyo
- University of Toronto
- Piramal Group
- Indian Immunologicals Ltd
- Brooks Laboratory
- Transasia Bio-Medicals
- Bacil Pharma
- Vertex Pharmaceuticals
- Wyatt Technology
- TreeHouse Foods Inc.
- Key Stone foods LLC
- Alec Jarrett Ltd