Top 5 Degree Programs for Aspiring Researchers

Written by  //  2014/02/28  //  Academics  //  1 Comment

If you possess the ability to analyze complex data and desire to use your skills to improve the world, a career as a researcher may be right for you. When it comes to landing a job in one of these coveted researching positions, higher education is essential. Choosing the right degree program is the best way to fast track your researching career. Here are five degrees to consider pursuing as you work toward becoming a strong and reputable researcher.    


The nursing field is in need of researchers who can identify ways to improve health care services. Studies by nursing researchers address important issues, including providing better care to terminally ill patients, promoting public health and improving the quality of life for chronically ill patients. The first step toward landing one of these competitive positions is to pursue higher education. Begin by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing and passing your National Council Licensure Examination.

It is important to continue with your educational pursuits during your career as a nurse, and you will eventually need to obtain a Ph.D. in nursing. Nursing Ph.D. programs offer a unique opportunity to conduct real life research under the supervision of knowledgeable and dedicated professors. As a nursing researcher you will create research topics, write grant proposals, collect data, and much more. This is an exciting opportunity to use your skills to make important changes in the health care system.


Psychological researchers conduct studies that aim to better understand how humans and animals think, act and behave. One of the benefits of choosing this particular type of research is that the topics and focus areas are extremely diverse. This means you can choose to focus on the areas and subjects that are the most important to you.

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology is an important first step in your journey to becoming a psychological researcher. This will give you a basic understanding of psychological concepts and will also introduce you to the basics of conducting and analyzing research. As you pursue your undergraduate degree, take as many helpful courses as possible, including research methods, statistics and research ethics. To improve your chances of becoming a psychological researcher, consider pursuing a master’s degree or even a Ph.D. in psychology.

Clinical Research

Clinical researchers use their expertise to ensure the safety and value of drugs, medical products and procedures. When it comes to landing one of these jobs, education and experience are equally important. By pursuing a degree in clinical research, you will have the opportunity to obtain an education while gaining hand-on experience. In addition to participating in real-life research projects, a degree in clinical research will allow you to become familiar with essential concepts surrounding research methodology, ethics, and biostatistics.

This is also a great opportunity to network with clinical research professionals and to become established as a serious and hardworking researcher. Once you obtain your degree, the career options are endless. CNN Money named clinical research associate as the fourth best job in America, partially because of its projected 10-year job growth of 36.4 percent. By pursuing a degree in clinical research you will greatly improve your chances of landing one of these exciting positions.

Communication Studies

The field of communication studies uses research to analyze the ways in which humans communicate and create meaning. Communications research has covered important topics such as how the media influences behavior, gendered communication patterns, and the impact of political rhetoric. The work of communication studies has also helped businesses learn vital communication skills such as how to interact with international clients.

According to Forbes, a lack of intercultural awareness can lead to costly and embarrassing communication in business. As a communications researcher, you will identify ways to improve people’s lives through improved communication. A degree in communication studies will not only improve your understanding of human communication but will introduce you to important research subjects such as statistics and research methods. Communication studies programs also offer opportunities for conducting real life research, particularly at the master’s and Ph.D. level. 

Political Science

Politically savvy individuals interested in analyzing data should consider a career in political research. Political researchers have a variety of job opportunities, including managing campaigns, analyzing political strategies and conducting research for lobbyists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these researchers need at least a master’s degree in political science, and the most successful go on to pursue Ph.D.s. Obtaining this degree will give you the in-depth political knowledge that is needed to succeed as a political researcher. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to take research-oriented classes and to study real world political cases.

There are many exciting options for individuals who are looking to become professional researchers. Consider pursuing one of these five degree programs to jumpstart your exciting career as a researcher.

One Comment on "Top 5 Degree Programs for Aspiring Researchers"

  1. Pierre 2015/11/20 at 2:56 pm ·

    I feel so much happier now I untarsdend all this. Thanks!

Comments are now closed for this article.