Most of us have a love-hate relationship with research. Spending tons of time in a lab might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but it is where life-changing discoveries take place that change the world we live in. Part of your university academic experience will include piecing together your findings in a research paper.
Researchers revel in the idea of solving life’s mysteries, uncovering hidden solutions to the world’s most contemporary challenges, and making notable contributions to academic literature.
Regardless of your major or your career ambition, here are five reasons why you should care about research.
1. Understanding of the discipline
It goes without saying that doing research in an area of interest allows you to further engage with that discipline. When you investigate a problem, you’re not only trying to understand the researcher’s thesis; you’re developing a multi-lens scope of looking at a problem and developing your own perspective. After forming your own hypothesis, you can truly begin to understand the research design process and better conceptualise the course material.
2. Developing your skillset
One thing you’ll find when you’re applying for jobs is a list of competencies your future employer will want to see. Research helps to build, not only your investigative skills and the ability to ask probing questions, but it allows one to become a critical thinker and a creative problem solver. For those students who are selected to participate at conferences, research creates an opportunity for you to practice your public speaking and presentation skills. These skills are applicable to in any field.
3. Working in teams
Research as a whole can be a collaborative enterprise and academic researchers can work together in teams. At University, students are involved in interdisciplinary research and work with researchers outside their respective disciplines. Whether that is in a lab or at a library, students work together with their faculty mentors and university colleagues to engage in different disciplines and find mutual insights.
4. Building your resume or C.V.
Having publications on your resume is a valuable skill to prospective employers and graduate schools. Students participate in research, attend conferences, and even publish their work during their studies. This allows them to build a portfolio, share their ideas and research activity before they graduate.
5. Better understanding your career field
Suppose you’re a mechanical engineering major with the intent of getting a job immediately after graduation. You may be wondering, “how does research help me in this endeavour?” Research helps to give a better understanding of your career field, exposing you to the problems that currently face the industry.
Universities provide valuable resources to students to allow them to do research at their best. You should make the most of these resources available to you – there will always be someone at your university who can help if you get a bit stuck. Read some basic principles for academic essay writing that allow you to create valuable academic work.