As a security researcher, you have the option to investigate a wide range of potential security issues. While few have the skills to be able to do this as a full-time profession, there are many who do so after hours, or as a part of their full-time job. By doing security research, you advance the security community as a whole, while improving your skills in your area of choice.
“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”
— Werner von Braun