I started majoring in science subjects in senior high before studying applied science at university as an undergraduate for 4 years. For many people this is enough to work as a scientist in industry, but because I wanted to specialize in research I went on to complete a PhD after another four years. (A PhD is a higher level course of study you do to show you are capable of performing research on your own, and it allows you to put a “Dr” in front of your name.) Some people also do a one- or two-year Masters course after their undergraduate degree before starting their PhD. So although for me it took about 8 years to become a fully-fledged research scientist, for some people it can take a bit less and for others a bit more.