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What careers can you be from a Cognitive Science major?


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Michelle’s Answer

The beauty of a more fluid major like cognitive science is that you can do almost anything with it. You can go into psychology, counseling, social work, traditional hard sciences, and more. Your major is more of a field of an interest than a career. Pick a major based off of your passion and ability to engage with the material so that you ensure success and thrive in your academics! You can make almost any major fit any profession in the future.

An important note is that if you are hoping to get to know a specific profession, you should look toward interning more so than a major. A major is much more theoretical and academic whereas an internship will give you practical, real experiences as to what to expect from a profession.

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

Talk to your college's internship or professional office to ask them about connecting with local employers.
Google summer internship opportunities to see where you might be able to work and gain insight into particular professions,
If there's a local employer you would like to learn more about, contact them directly and ask them about potential volunteer/intern opportunities!

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Jim’s Answer

On the computer science side of things, I personally think the field of cognitive sciences will continue to grow very rapidly. One major change that has helped enable this is the advancement in GPU processors (as opposed to CPU) over the past decade. These processors (think gaming systems), in comparison:

"The main difference between CPU and GPU architecture is that a CPU is designed to handle a wide-range of tasks quickly (as measured by CPU clock speed), but are limited in the concurrency of tasks that can be running. A GPU is designed to quickly render high-resolution images and video concurrently."

The human brain behaves more like a GPU.

This compute capacity lends itself to Artificial Intelligence, super computing, machine learning, robotics and a host of very trendy areas, which means current or future careers.

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Adam’s Answer

Cognitive Science has likely changed very much in the (almost) three decades since I was in college and decided to pursue a more traditional philosophy major instead of cognitive science. A philosophy major is also often described as having "career flexibility" as a virtue.

"Career flexibility" is a mixed blessing if your sole reason for seeking higher education is gainful employment. It's a lot easier to tailor a resume for an accounting job, for example, if you majored in Accounting.

But, if you ask me, the goal of higher education or vocational training is not to slot yourself into a particular job, but to create a trajectory for a life doing what you enjoy. Just be prepared, when applying for a job, to state your case of how your CogSci background will serve a particular job description.

For clarification, are you saying that CogSci majors are able to get into multiple different fields? If so, can you give a few examples to give the student a few ideas? Gurpreet Lally

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Ibrahim’s Answer

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary domain that explores the brain, including the mechanisms and activities that affect thinking, information processing and learning. This field of study integrates a great deal of research with applications that focus on optimizing language acquisition, mathematical comprehension and behavior formation.
Other common job titles of cognitive science graduates include the following:
*Computer resource specialist.
*Legal research analyst.
*Marketing assistant.
*Research technician.
*Software engineer.
*Account manager.
*Technical writer.
*Web developer.
And many more

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Priya’s Answer

Career options for Cognitive Science major:

With technical training in data analysis, programming:
Telecommunications
Medical analysis
Data representation and retrieval
Intelligence analysis
Human factors engineering
Computer-human interaction
Artificial intelligence
Human performance testing
Speech synthesis and voice recognition
Multimedia design
Linguistic analysis

With less technical training:
Education
Marketing representative
Technical writer
Consultant

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Marianne’s Answer

One option with that type of degree would be a neuropsychologist. My daughter has some developmental challenges and because of that when she was young and starting school we had our first exposure to a neuropsychologist who did some testing for her. I was fascinated by the approach and what she did with my daughter. It just depends if you want to go in a more therapist route or not. I think that is an exciting option for you in whatever element you choose. Best of luck!!

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John’s Answer

Jane, one career where you could do well with a background in cognitive science is education. Understanding memory processes, emotion, the brain, and human behavior are all important aspects of learning. Educational psychologists specifically examine cognitive processes in terms of learning. Several other applied areas are human factors, human-computer interaction, and user experience design. All of these arenas concern how cognitive processes impact the way in which we interact with the world.

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Priya’s Answer

Career options for Cognitive Science major:

With technical training in data analysis, programming:
Telecommunications
Medical analysis
Data representation and retrieval
Intelligence analysis
Human factors engineering
Computer-human interaction
Artificial intelligence
Human performance testing
Speech synthesis and voice recognition
Multimedia design
Linguistic analysis

With less technical training:
Education
Marketing representative
Technical writer
Consultant

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Megan’s Answer

My husband studied Cognitive Sciences at UC San Diego and is a Business Analyst for Twitter's Trust & Safety team. Because you study the brain and human behavior, you could go a lot of different directions with this major, with the opportunity to explore fields like psychology, technology, research, and academia.

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