Science has only scratched the surface of the mysterious principles governing the world. Unlike students of applied sciences, who solve specific current day problems, the joy of discovery is a strong driving force common to all successful scientists.
Pure Science Courses in India and their Admission Criteria
There are many programmes in India that cater to higher education in science but are conventionally divided into two broad categories for most state/central Indian universities – courses in “physical sciences” or “natural sciences”. An age-old classification that truly means less now that research is becoming interdisciplinary, this divides pure science courses into a mix of either life sciences (mainly biology and chemistry) or physical sciences (mainly physics and math) according to the syllabus.
Courses like B.Sc. Life Sciences and B.Sc. Physical Sciences are the oldest among the general courses. But one could also choose to go for honours courses (BSc (Hons.)) in physics, chemistry and streams of biology – botany, zoology, microbiology, food technology, agriculture, biomedical sciences, etc. What you learn during your studies will obviously matter more than the name of the degree, so choose wisely!
Your choices may be shaped by which subjects you enjoyed learning in school out of biology, mathematics, physics or chemistry. Or, the scope of the subject – maybe you can see yourself working in a lab/classroom, or an office, or an NGO or the government, (perhaps even in a forest!) and will thus use your instinct to decide the discipline you would like to pursue.
Once that is decided, selecting a programme becomes far easier depending on the repute of the college and the course.
The way the B.Sc. programmes are structured can vary quite a lot among the top state or central universities. Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Pune, Chandigarh and Mumbai have the colleges with the best infrastructure.
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Higher Education Opportunities in Pure Sciences
Usually, a B.Sc. is a mix of many sub-fields in of any stream. For example, in biology, it can cover sub-fields like biochemistry, zoology to agriculture or neuroscience. So, it is expected to help students recognise their sub-field of interest and pursue it further with a master’s.
With an increasing number of graduates every year, it is important to consider the job opportunities and competition before entering a field. Since a master’s degree is often a minimum requirement in pure science fields, you’d like to invest in a field that both interests you and also opens doors to jobs you’ll enjoy holding.
Going for broader curriculums which cover more sub-fields would thus be advantageous to converge on a specific field of interest, but a more specific course, like B.Sc. in food technology or computer science/instrumentation, would help you secure an entry-level job right after bachelor’s in the respective industry.
The prospect of pursuing a master’s degree can also help you branch out of pure sciences at a later stage. For example, programmes in public health and health care management, environmental sciences, resource policy and governance, wildlife and ecology, etc., which merge the basic knowledge of science to help hone skills needed to work at the grassroot or administrative levels. If one’s calling is thus to work with the United Nations/WHO or become a writer/educator for popular science, such programmes would be good prospective choices for their future.
The Bachelor of Science (B.Sc. degree) is an undergraduate academic degree offered by universities and colleges worldwide. The study duration of a B.Sc. programme is usually three years after the XII standard (Higher Secondary Certificate) examination.
Overseas Opportunities in Pure Sciences Education
For those students with financial sponsorship, considering science education abroad would be a feasible option too. And for those with a glorious CV and good percentages and SAT scores, many scholarships are available (so fret not, you talented young science nerd!).
Although fees at the bachelor’s level abroad are much higher than in India, so is the quality of education. An advantage is that you do not have to select a stream right after class 12, but can take varied courses and select a major/minor later on in the program. A similar implementation is found at IISc’s UG programme and IISERs’ BS-MS programme but with a special focus on research.
Career Opportunities after a Pure Science Degree
Graduates in Pure Science have multiple options. Some of them are as follows:
After the completion of the course one can go for higher studies
Since pure Science is gaining popularity educational institutions are offering placements in their institutions/universities
If you have inclination for research you can pursue research in the related field.
There is huge demand for pure science students in the west in the research arena
Pure Science opens up plenty of opportunities in the fields of state and central research organisation. They can also work for public sector undertaking, which has huge demand in the recent years.
One can also join public and private sectors