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lilikoi's avatar

Scientists, researchers, professors: How did you find your niche?

Asked by lilikoi (10079points) February 9th, 2010

It seems like people who do research for a living tend to specialize. If this is you, how did you find and settle in with your niche? What is it? Is it hard to dedicate your entire career to something so specific, and doesn’t it ever get boring?

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6 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

My research field and hopefully doctorate is history of technology. It combines the passion I’ve had for history with my training in engineering. I dual-degreed in both to the Masters level 30 years ago. My “sunset career” will be to combine the two.

ModernEpicurian's avatar

I am a specialist in Silica in Biota. As a Biochemistry Undergrad I worked under a fantastic Professor whilst carrying out my doctorate. I knew what I wanted to do from that point on with a certainty.

lilikoi's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Are you a fan of Henry Petroski? I’m reading one of his books – The Evolution of Useful Things – now, and am loving it!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@lilikoi I have all his books, several of them autographed. He’s a much better writer than I’ll ever be. My research is destined to gather dust on university library shelves.

drhat77's avatar

I am a research physician and avid computer geek and I was able to combine these to do things like make clinical patient selection algorithms, or computerization to improve how research is conducted.

I came upon it by going to medical school because I wanted to be a doctor, and found uses for my “hobby” – it was a skill set that few in the medical field have to my level.

If you can combine what you want to do (and… ahem… get paid for) with what you love you may be looking at a great research specialization

dvan540's avatar

Well it wasnt hard for me to decide what i wanted to do. I am still attending high school but i already know what I want as my career. I plan on going to clinary college to become a chef. Then again i have always had a love for technology. Even though i am good at both i love cooking way more. So im set.

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