Students who are considering a major for their university education will be pleased to know that at least five fascinating jobs in neuroscience exist. Neuroscience, which is the study of the structure or function of the nervous system and brain, encompasses a broad range of fields, from medicine and psychology to academic writing and speech-language pathology. This is a major that requires a great deal of focus and commitment from students, but it is also rewarding, allowing students to earn up to $200,000 a year. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting jobs in this field.
Although it may not be apparent, as DNA and not the brain play a significant role in this field, a degree in neuroscience is integral to the job as a genetic counselor. This is because genetic counselors are involved in advanced research to help patients beat degenerative and neurological disorders. They work closely with doctors and specialists to identify inherited birth defects or genetic disorders, then research if there are ways to combat these disorders through genetic counseling.
Students who are interested in this path most often start with a degree in neuroscience at the undergraduate level. Most genetic counselors have a graduate degree in genetics and then move on to postgraduate work prior to entering the workforce.
Speech Language Pathologist
A speech-language pathologist is one of the various fascinating jobs in neuroscience because it allows the neuroscientist to work one-on-one with their patients. A degree in this field is necessary, as the brain controls speech. In this career, speech-language pathologists work to identify and then treat disorders in their patient.
The road to becoming a speech language pathologist includes both an undergraduate and a graduate degree, as well as earning a license to practice in the state. Students who choose this career will have the opportunity to work in hospitals, schools, and even in private practice.
This path may seem like a deviation from other fascinating jobs in neuroscience, it is an important job. Science writers are generally adept in the field they write about, having earned a degree in that subject, and can break down the terminology neuroscientists use that can act as a firewall for understanding by lay people.
Science writers who focus on neuroscience can write for science websites, newspapers, or even journals. They are often used as ghostwriters for white papers or public policy papers that have been made public, allowing them to be involved in research while focusing on writing articles.
A neuropathologist is a fascinating job in neuroscience. It is a career that focuses on the study of diseases that impact the nervous system tissue and the brain. They focus on biopsies of the brain for the purposes of diagnosing a nervous system disorder; alternatively, neuropathologists can be brought in for a post-mortem diagnosis of a patient who has believed to die from an undiagnosed disorder.
Neuropathologists must earn an undergraduate degree, finish medical school, complete a residency, and undergo specialist training in a fellowship before becoming certified to practice in their state. Students who want to follow this path must be aware that the timeline from beginning their university education to practice is at least 10 years, but is a rewarding field.
Neuropsychology is a field that focuses on the study of the brain and how it relates to the specific psychological behaviors and processes that are controlled by the organ. It is a recent development in the realm of psychology and is considered experimental. This is a highly scientific approach to psychology and is best suited for students interested in how the brain may affect mental health. It is also now recognized by American Psychologist Association, which reported in 2015 that it is publishing a journal on this very subject.
Unlike neuropathology, a neuropsychologist does not need a medical degree to practice; however, their education path is similar. Students will need to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree in neuropsychology or connected fields. They will also need to earn state licensure and earn some experience prior to becoming board certified.
Neuroscience is always changing as humans learn more about how the brain works. It is an interesting and challenging field for students. These five fascinating jobs in neuroscience are a great way to start considering if neuroscience is a career path worth embarking on prior to beginning college.