Researcher Education Requirements And Degrees

The education needed to be a researcher is normally a bachelor's degree. Researchers usually study biology, chemistry or psychology. 71% of researchers hold a bachelor's degree and 13% hold a master's degree. We found these by analyzing 50,483 researcher resumes to investigate the topic of researcher education more precisely.

The most common colleges for students to pursue their goal of becoming a researcher are University of California - Davis and University of California, Santa Barbara. We also broke down what colleges provide the best overall education for a researcher. Students have a great path to earning their researcher qualifications at the following schools:

  1. University of Southern California
  2. Duke University
  3. Harvard University

If you're interested in getting a college degree in an affordable college for researchers - University of Florida is an excellent option for you. If your SAT or ACT score aren't as high as you'd like, you can look at Mount Saint Mary's University, as the admission requirements aren't too selective. On the other end of that spectrum are the Harvard University, Duke University and Columbia University in the City of New York.

For those who would rather stay in your pajamas during the day, we prepared some online courses that can help in researcher education paths.

We prepared a list of a researcher certifications that you should consider. The necessary certifications that researchers must have to succeed are Clinical Research Assistant and Professional Researcher Certification (PRC).

What Degree Should I Get to Become a Researcher ?

The most common degree for researchers is bachelor's degree 71% of researchers earn that degree. A close second is master's degree with 13% and rounding it off is associate degree with 6%.

  • Bachelors, 71%
  • Masters, 13%
  • Associate, 6%
  • Doctorate, 5%
  • Other Degrees, 5%
Researcher DegreeascdescPercentagesascdesc
Bachelors
71.3%
Masters
13.2%
Associate
5.8%
Doctorate
4.7%
High School Diploma
3.0%

What Should I Major in to Become a Researcher ?

Most researchers, 14% to be exact, major in biology. Some other common majors for a researcher include chemistry and psychology majors.

Researcher MajorascdescPercentagesascdesc
Biology
13.6%
Chemistry
9.7%
Psychology
9.3%
Business
6.3%
Mechanical Engineering
6.2%

Most Common Colleges for Researcher

Here are the most common colleges for a researcher career in the US based on their resumes. Advocates often get their degree in University of California - Davis, University of California, Santa Barbara, and University of Maryland - College Park .

University of California - Davis

University of California, Santa Barbara

University of Maryland - College Park

University of California, Berkeley

New York University

Researcher Common CollegeascdescPercentagesascdesc
University of California - Davis
12.47%
University of California, Santa Barbara
10.87%
University of Maryland - College Park
5.87%
University of California, Berkeley
5.74%
New York University
5.64%

Average Researcher Salary by Education Level

Researchers with a Doctorate degree earn more than those without, at $63,201 annually. With a Masters degree, researchers earn a median annual income of $61,021 compared to $56,511 for researchers with an Bachelors degree.

Master's Degree

Bachelor's Degree

Doctorate Degree

Researcher Education LevelascdescResearcher Salaryascdesc
Master's Degree
$61,021
Bachelor's Degree
$56,511
Doctorate Degree
$63,201

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10 Best Universities For Researchers

In a lot of cases, a higher education can mean a higher salary or even a better job. That's why we found out the best colleges for researchers. We based this list on these metrics: admissions rate, retention rate, mean earnings of students working, ratio of working vs. non-working students 10 years after admission, average cost of attendance and median debt for graduates.

1. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

2. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

6. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

7. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840

8. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

9. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

10. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

20 Best Online Courses for Researchers

Sometimes things are just better when you get to stay in your pajamas all day. That includes school. We found top courses for researchers from Udemy, Coursera, EDX, and ed2go that will help you advance in your career. Here are essential skills you need to be a researcher:

  • Python
  • Communication
  • Lab equipment
If you want to improve researchers skills these courses could help you in this.

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SPSS For Research
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Statistics / Data Analysis in SPSS: Inferential Statistics
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Increase Your Data Analytic Skills Highly Valued And Sought After By Employers...

Statistics / Data Analysis: Survey Data and Likert Scales
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How to Process Survey Data and Analyze Likert Scales In SPSS...

Data Management for Clinical Research
coursera

This course presents critical concepts and practical methods to support planning, collection, storage, and dissemination of data in clinical research. Understanding and implementing solid data management principles is critical for any scientific domain. Regardless of your current (or anticipated) role in the research enterprise, a strong working knowledge and skill set in data management principles and practice will increase your productivity and improve your science. Our goal is to use these mo...

Statistics & Data Analysis: Linear Regression Models in SPSS
udemy
4.1
(311)

Beginner and Intermediate Data Analytic Methods for Testing Main Effects & Interactions with SPSS and the PROCESS Macro...

Survey Data Collection and Analytics
coursera

This specialization covers the fundamentals of surveys as used in market research, evaluation research, social science and political research, official government statistics, and many other topic domains. In six courses, you will learn the basics of questionnaire design, data collection methods, sampling design, dealing with missing values, making estimates, combining data from different sources, and the analysis of survey data. In the final Capstone Project, you'll apply the skills learned thro...

Applied Statistical Modeling for Data Analysis in R
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Your Complete Guide to Statistical Data Analysis and Visualization For Practical Applications in R...

Data Science: Data Mining & Natural Language Processing in R
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Harness the Power of Machine Learning in R for Data/Text Mining, & Natural Language Processing with Practical Examples...

Research Methodology
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Academic Research Business Research Thesis & Dissertation Report Research Paper / Journal...

SPSS Masterclass: Learn SPSS From Scratch to Advanced
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A complete step by step course to master IBM SPSS Statistics for doing advanced Research, Statistics & Data Analysis...

R Programming: Advanced Analytics In R For Data Science
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Take Your R & R Studio Skills To The Next Level. Data Analytics, Data Science, Statistical Analysis in Business, GGPlot2...

Qualitative Research Methods: Analyzing Data
edX (Global)

This short course is adapted from a semester length graduate level course taught at MIT covering Qualitative Research Methods. The first half of the course is covered in 21A.819.1x, and covers an introduction to qualitative research and conducting interviews. This course consists of the second half of the course, and covers what to do with the data once you have started collecting it. This will include transcribing data, creating codes and codebooks, coding data, analyzing codes, and how to...

Research Data Management and Sharing
coursera

This course will provide learners with an introduction to research data management and sharing. After completing this course, learners will understand the diversity of data and their management needs across the research data lifecycle, be able to identify the components of good data management plans, and be familiar with best practices for working with data including the organization, documentation, and storage and security of data. Learners will also understand the impetus and importance of arc...

Data Science: Foundations using R
coursera

Ask the right questions, manipulate data sets, and create visualizations to communicate results. This Specialization covers foundational data science tools and techniques, including getting, cleaning, and exploring data, programming in R, and conducting reproducible research. Learners who complete this specialization will be prepared to take the Data Science: Statistics and Machine Learning specialization, in which they build a data product using real-world data. The five courses in this special...

Core Spatial Data Analysis: Introductory GIS with R and QGIS
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Statistics/Data Analysis with SPSS: Descriptive Statistics
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4.3
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Increase Your Descriptive Data Analytic Skills Highly Valued And Sought After By Employers...

Complete Data Wrangling & Data Visualisation With Python
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Learn to Preprocess, Wrangle and Visualise Data For Practical Data Science Applications in Python...

Qualitative Research
coursera

In this course, the second in the Market Research Specialization, you will go in-depth with qualitative market research methods, from design to implementation to analysis. Week 1: Define qualitative research and how it differs from quantitative research. Explore the various qualitative research methods and evaluate when and how to use them for your research project. Week 2: Design the qualitative instruments necessary for your interviews or focus groups, and plan your recruitment efforts. Write...

Market Research
coursera

"Finding the Story in the Data" is the most important emerging capability for market researchers according to GRIT (Greenbook Research Industry Trends) Report 2016. This specialization, designed for learners with no previous Marketing Research experience teaches a comprehensive marketing research approach that will help learners find and communicate the story in the data. Students will learn how to initiate a research project for targeted business needs, conduct research through multiple modes a...

Fundamentals of Data Analysis for Big Data
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4
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This course prepares participants to begin running data analysis on databases...

Best Researcher Certifications in 2021

There are certain things that come along with being certified. In addition to earning a credential that proves you know what you're doing, you might also receive some extra benefits or a salary raise from your company. Sometimes it pays to do the extra work. If you're interested in making more money as a researcher, you might consider earning these certifications:

  • Clinical Research Assistant
  • Professional Researcher Certification (PRC)
  • Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP)

1. Clinical Research Assistant

1. Completion of an Approved Phlebotomy/EKG/I.V Program 2. Minimum of 80 Hours Lecture 3. Minimum of 80 Clinical Rotation In Medical Lab or Research Center 4. Minimum of 50 Successful Venipunctures 5. High School Diploma or G.E.D 6. Successful Completion of Certification Exam

1. Completion of an Approved Phlebotomy/EKG/I.V Program 2. Minimum of 80 Hours Lecture 3. Minimum of 80 Clinical Rotation In Medical Lab or Research Center 4. Minimum of 50 Successful Venipunctures 5. High School Diploma or G.E.D 6. Successful Completion of Certification Exam

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 2 year(s)
Certifying Website
Clinical Research Assistant
Certifying Organization
American Phlebotomy Association
Course That Help You To Prepare For Certification
Good Clinical Practice (ICH GCP) for Clinical Research
udemy
4.3
(244)
2. Professional Researcher Certification (PRC)

Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) was developed as a powerful tool for researchers of all levels of work experience and education. MRA's goal is to encourage high standards within the profession to raise competency, establish an objective measure of an individual's knowledge and proficiency and to encourage continued professional development.

Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) was developed as a powerful tool for researchers of all levels of work experience and education. MRA's goal is to encourage high standards within the profession to raise competency, establish an objective measure of an individual's knowledge and proficiency and to encourage continued professional development.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 2 year(s)
Certifying Organization
Insights Association 
3. Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP)

Clinical Research Professionals (CRPs) come from a wide variety of backgrounds. CRPs may have backgrounds in nursing, pharmacy, medical technology, business administration, health record maintenance, statistics, biology, teaching, or in other areas. CRPs work in various settings such as cooperative research groups; academic and private institutions; private offices; pharmaceutical, device, and biotechnology companies; Clinical Research Organizations (CROs); Site Management Organizations (SMOs); independent research and development organizations; or organizations involved in the management of clinical trials. These varying backgrounds and settings contribute to the unique knowledge and diverse expertise of CRPs.

Clinical Research Professionals (CRPs) come from a wide variety of backgrounds. CRPs may have backgrounds in nursing, pharmacy, medical technology, business administration, health record maintenance, statistics, biology, teaching, or in other areas. CRPs work in various settings such as cooperative research groups; academic and private institutions; private offices; pharmaceutical, device, and biotechnology companies; Clinical Research Organizations (CROs); Site Management Organizations (SMOs); independent research and development organizations; or organizations involved in the management of clinical trials. These varying backgrounds and settings contribute to the unique knowledge and diverse expertise of CRPs.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 3 year(s)
Course That Help You To Prepare For Certification
Good Clinical Practice (ICH GCP) for Clinical Research
udemy
4.3
(244)

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Researcher

Top 10 Affordable Universities For Researchers

If those top 10 were a bit out of your price range, you might want to check these schools instead. After factoring in in-state tuition and fees, average cost of attendance, admissions rate, average net price and mean earnings after 6 years, we found that these are the most affordable schools for researchers.

1. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$21,034

2. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,182
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$13,998

3. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$18,306

4. University of South Florida

Tampa, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,410
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$20,456

5. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,620
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$18,136

6. California State University - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,749
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$14,823

7. California State University - Fullerton

Fullerton, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,886
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$17,645

8. Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,656
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$21,623

9. Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

Brooklyn, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,240
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$13,991

10. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$25,527

Top 10 Hardest Universities To Get Into For Researchers

Some people like a challenge. Well, we challenge you to get into one of these schools. It's not going to be easy. We know this based on these institutions' admissions rates, average SAT scores accepted, median ACT scores accepted and mean earnings of students 6 years after admission.

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
5%
SAT Average
1,520

2. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

Admissions Rate
9%
SAT Average
1,516

3. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
6%
SAT Average
1,512

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

Admissions Rate
8%
SAT Average
1,492

5. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
4%
SAT Average
1,497

6. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

Admissions Rate
11%
SAT Average
1,513

7. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

Admissions Rate
6%
SAT Average
1,517

8. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

Admissions Rate
10%
SAT Average
1,514

9. University of Chicago

Chicago, IL • Private

Admissions Rate
7%
SAT Average
1,520

10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

Admissions Rate
8%
SAT Average
1,508
RankascdescSchoolascdescLocationascdesc
1
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
2
Duke University
Durham, NC
3
Columbia University in the City of New York
New York, NY
4
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
5
Stanford University
Stanford, CA

Top 10 Easier To Apply Universities For Researchers

Why make getting a job harder on yourself than it has to be? With these colleges, you're sure to be accepted in no time. We compiled admissions rates, average SAT scores, average ACT scores and average salary of students 6 years after graduation in order to uncover which were the easiest schools to get into.

1. Mount Saint Mary's University

Los Angeles, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
84%
SAT Average
1,031

2. D'Youville College

Buffalo, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
100%
SAT Average
1,072

3. Barry University

Miami, FL • Private

Admissions Rate
91%
SAT Average
1,006

4. University of the Incarnate Word

San Antonio, TX • Private

Admissions Rate
88%
SAT Average
1,044

5. Notre Dame de Namur University

Belmont, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
82%
SAT Average
983

6. The University of Texas at El Paso

El Paso, TX • Private

Admissions Rate
100%
SAT Average
1,035

7. San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
72%
SAT Average
1,054

8. Wayland Baptist University

Plainview, TX • Private

Admissions Rate
98%
SAT Average
1,003

9. Curry College

Milton, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
93%
SAT Average
1,026

10. Our Lady of the Lake University

San Antonio, TX • Private

Admissions Rate
93%
SAT Average
1,002
RankascdescSchoolascdescLocationascdesc
1
Mount Saint Mary's University
Los Angeles, CA
2
D'Youville College
Buffalo, NY
3
Barry University
Miami, FL
4
University of the Incarnate Word
San Antonio, TX
5
Notre Dame de Namur University
Belmont, CA

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