Figuring out what’s going on in another person’s mind is no easy task. Like Psychiatrists, Neuroscientists are professionals who dedicate their days to deciphering what’s going on upstairs. However, unlike Therapists who try to help with feelings or diseases created by our synapses and frontal lobes, Neuroscientists focus on the science and biology of the brain. They work to answer questions about specific diseases affecting the anatomy of the brain, and, in general, attempt to figure out how the different parts of the mind work.
If all this sounds interesting, read on so you’ll know what to expect from a degree in neuroscience.
Getting into neuroscience requires you to have more than a few years of schooling. The first degree to get is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Though you can be a neuroscience major, you might also spend your time studying biology, chemistry, or physiology. No matter what you major in though, you want to make sure you get used to doing research, as this is a skill that most job opportunities for Neuroscientists call for.
What you study in your undergrad years can influence what area of neuroscience you focus on later, but ultimately, that’s not as important as what you study while getting your master’s degree or Ph.D. in neuroscience.
Once done with your undergraduate degree, you need more advanced training before you can consider yourself a Neuroscientist. There are a number of neuroscience careers, and what you hope to do dictates what type of degree you need.
If you want to work with brain injury patients, head to medical school. If you want to find new medicines or figure out why Alzheimer’s affects certain people, get your Ph.D. and become a researcher. You can become anything from a Professor at a university to a researcher for the National Institute of Health.
Select a school based on what their labs and Professors are focusing on. Working with those already in your preferred area of study will not only help you network, but also get you the hands-on research experience you’ll need to get hired.