What is a scholar? The dictionary defines it as a learned or erudite person, an individual who is educated and well-read, an intellectual and a thinker. A scholar is also a student, pursuing knowledge for its own sake and to pass it on to others.
Scholars are often experts in a particular body of knowledge— the contemporary American novel, for example, or the culture of the Kalahari Bushmen in the deserts of Africa. They can be sociologists, historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, psychologists, animal behaviorists, botanists, horticulturists, museum curators, librarians, archivists, or teachers—or they can work in a score of other academic and professional pursuits.
Although their academic training may vary, they share many of the same skills and interests. Scholars are excellent researchers, spending a great deal of time perusing reference books, periodicals, abstracts, and the Internet to solve their latest research puzzles.
Many scholars are also excellent teachers. Through their research and academic studies, they have become immersed in
particular disciplines and are able to pass on their knowledge to others, whether through classroom interaction, talks and presentations, the written word, or any combination thereof. But teaching, research, and writing are not the only ways in which scholars use their skills and talents to earn a living. Though most are thrilled by the discoveries of research, others are collectors or catalogers by nature.Whatever your particular scholarly interest, you will find almost as many settings in which to work as areas of study to pursue.