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Can I work in comms fields (marketing, pr, etc.) with a Bachelor's in neuroscience?

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I'm really intrigued with this subject and riveted to learn more to satisfy my curiosity. However, I can't see myself doing either research based or medical based jobs. I'd like to delve into the creative industry such as Marketing, Advertising and Design. Since there are bootcamps and workshops for these subjects, is it wise for me to major in Neuroscience? #marketing #business #research #neuroscience #communications

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20 answers

Rebecca’s Answer

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Hi there, I worked in Brand Management and Marketing for 5 years and I can say that you can definitely pivot a neuroscience degree into a communications role, depending on how you sell it. For instance, when I worked as a Brand Manager, we did a website redesign and actually did Neuro testing and mapping to test how the brain and eyes seek and follow information on websites. There are definitely companies that do this work and it could be a great niche spot for you to differentiate yourself. I would recommend looking into some of the market research type roles that are available in marketing as well.
Thank you, Rebecca! You definitely put more hope in me in taking neuroscience. I hope I will be able to take on the forementioned roles in the future. Effie M. Translate
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Jaysheel’s Answer

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Hi Effie,

I am neither in the field of neuroscience nor marketing. However, from my experience in communication internally as well as externally concepts of neuroscience if understood throughly are going to be of utmost importance for communication.

Neuroscience will help everyone get a good grip on cognitive and behavioural aspects of humans. Deep understanding of such fundamentals are truly needed to carry out a message, leadership and building positive environment.

This also helps you build better advertising models, have right & effective communication/PR message and marketing strategies. However, neuroscience has many other areas that it can create impact.

As we move towards a new age, diversity of thoughts and background should start helping in the core area. Eg: understanding of humanities help build better products. In the same way neuroscience should be an asset to Comms field.
Dear Jaysheel, I am grateful that you tok your time to reply to my question. I will put your answer in mind when I finally have to decide on a major. Thank you for your time. Effie M. Translate
Most Welcome! Best wishes in your future studies and career!! Jaysheel Mehd Translate
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Thaynan’s Answer

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Hello, there.

There are many aspects of your question that you would need to breakdown, take a look into, and study to reach to a decision. When it comes to communications in general, yes, you can definitely use your knowledge. There are many companies dedicated to the science field that may take great advantage of your knowledge and experience. Keep in mind: communications involve people, and people involve diversity.

Now, depending on the level/role/section at which you would like to work within the communications field, you may need to fulfill some requirements such field may demand from you. This also vary depending on the local regulations and role/position you may pursue.

My main advices to you would be researching and reaching out to the local associations dedicated to the communications field in which you would interested, as well as the institutions and associations that manage the communications for science/neuroscience entities. Think about it: every company/entity, being from science or not, has to have communication practices in place, such as PR, marketing and so on. That will most definitely give you a broad vision of how communications and science come together.

I hope this helps and please feel free to reach out.

Best regards,

Ty Siqueira

Thaynan recommends the following next steps:

  • Communications: in which field within it are you interested?
  • Research and reach out: local regulations, existing entities (science field and communications)
  • Look around your current neuroscience field: who manages their communications?
Dear Ty, Thank you so much for your answer. I am aware that every company needs to implement communication practices. I have, however, checked in LinkedIn and my local jobsearching websites, and what I noticed was most of these companies have degrees such as Communications, Marketing or PR as requirements to fill in these positions. Again, thank you for answering and broadening my horizons in this aspect. Effie M. Translate
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Marina’s Answer

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This is a really wonderful combination of studies and interest! I don't know what degree requirements your university has for this type of degree, but I imagine there is a great deal of research and most likely focus on medical applications only, so if you're going to pursue it, you'll need to mindful of that. With that said, having a better understanding of how & why people think, work, behave will serve you well in any marketing, advertising, and design career.

I found this Princeton article that shares a list of careers in Neuroscience: https://pni.princeton.edu/undergraduate-concentration/careers-neuroscience. Here are some of their suggestions for a career in the creative sector:

-Graphic designer for any company/ organization on this list
-Design web-based scientific education material (NIH, Scitable, University Science Centers, Startup companies)
-Science consultant for the media (TV, movies, books, etc)
-Artist specializing in how the brain perceives things
-Architect who specializes in how the brain perceives spaces, color, texture, emotion, etc
-Toy designer- use knowledge to make brain developing toys
-Musician/instructor (understanding hearing and the brain and its role in composition, performance)
-Write neurosci-fi screenplays
-Web design, art, and/or writing for any neuroscience organization

Lastly, the best piece of advice I received in high school: your college degree does not always dictate the job/career you do. Many employers just want to see you have four-year college degree.
Hi Marina, Thank you for such an all-rounded answer. I am able to gain even more insight by reading this, as well as newer perspectives. I'll definitely keep this in mind. Thank you. Effie M. Translate
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Kimberly’s Answer

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Absolutely! Many people find their careers take them in a direction different than their initial education interests. It's just a matter of understanding how to apply your education and sell your skills to your future employer. I actually started my career in marketing and design, and moved into a more technical field over time.

There is a lot of opportunity for marketing in the healthcare field, and generally scientists and engineers are hired into these roles. People with a scientific background understand how to explain the information. If you have artistic talent there's a need for illustrating these things as well.

There are also a lot of neuroscience and neuropsychology theories that involve how people process information and respond to it. This is applied to marketing approaches all the time. For example, there are entire courses dedicated to things like Iconography - understanding how people process icons and images.

If you are certain this is the direction you want to go in, fill up your electives with as many relevant courses as you can think of. The wide experience will help you in the long run.
Hi Kimberly, thank you for your answer and insight :) Effie M. Translate
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Mahnoor’s Answer

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Marketing is a very diverse field and the best part about marketing and PR related roles is that the drive, confidence and experience count the most. I would recommend that you should take advantage of free online courses related to marketing and PR, LinkedIn can be a great source, to begin with. Additionally, many reputed universities offer short courses like Intensive Fashion Marketing which I can tell from personal experience is a great way to get a clear direction, learn and meet people from the field.
Hi, Manhoor. I will look more into those programmes. Thank you so much for your answer. Effie M. Translate
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Stefanie’s Answer

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Hi Effie,
I don't think its impossible at all. I personally don't have any exposure to what neuroscience involves but I can tell you that I currently work in Marketing, has a degree in Finance and I never actually thought marketing would be something I do (and for awhile people thought the combination of the two is unusual - its actually not!).
As I got further in the career and got more exposure (directly and indirectly) into the area I actually enjoy it. The combination of the two 'world' (analytical and non-analytical) actually work well together as you can apply a lot of science behind marketing which can make it more powerful.

Its great to hear that you have already done your research on workshops - they're definitely great options for you to try. Work experience, internships etc can also be a useful if they are available over there as they tend to be more hands-on and generally gives you a better picture to what the job might actually look like. Sometimes the only way for you to know is to try it out yourself and keep it open mind!

Good luck!


Hi Stefanie, It must be an amazing experience to be able to delve simultaneously into both the analytical and creative aspects of business. Thank you for your answer, and best of luck with your job. Effie M. Translate
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Roberta’s Answer

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Hi Effie,

I have studied Marketing and never worked in the area, but what I have learned is that Marketing is such a wide embracing area that can be combined with pretty much anything you do.

Marketing uses the studies of the human way of learning, perception, how memory is stored, psychological behavior and many other neuro-knowledge to plan campaigns, designs, fashion, user experience, clients' journey, client success, statistic predictions and so many other areas. This is a sector that is growing and becoming part of many different other areas.

There are great suggestions given by other people here and it's great that you are doing your research.

You can be sure that any knowledge you bring is always a plus.

Good luck!
Dear, Roberta Thank you so much for taking your time to answer my question. Your encouragement is very appreciated as I was doubting my decisions beforehand. Effie M. Translate
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Liz’s Answer

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Absolutely, have you looked into the creative aspects of medicine? Or check out the publications that are associated with the medical professionals, what organizations do they belong to? Specifically you an look at Neuroscience and Journal of Neurosurgery. I work in the creative department for a medical manufacturer that specializes in offering products and systems to surgeons. My background is marketing and I work with others to develop training and teaching guides for surgeons, hospitals and patients. I develop web sites, ads, convention materials.
Hi Liz, much thanks for your answer. I'll make sure to keep your suggestion in mind :) Effie M. Translate
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Geoffrey’s Answer

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I think that is a fantastic idea. There is a great deal of research being done in the combination of the two fields. How people process information both from visual and auditory standpoint. In addition, the neuroscience field is always in need to expert communication strategic to convey their efforts to a wider audience.
Hello Geoffrey, thank you for answering my question. I definitely feel more encouraged after reading it :) Effie M. Translate
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Jeanie JiYoung’s Answer

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I work in PR / communications field think your idea is great. Maybe you should focus the industry in medical or related subject.
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Jeanie JiYoung’s Answer

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I work in PR / communications field think your idea is great. Maybe you should focus the industry in medical or related subject.
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Linli’s Answer

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Go after your passion! People who can earn a neuroscience degree could definitely succeed in field they are intrigued with.
Hi Linli, thank you for taking time to answer my question with kind and encouraging words :) Effie M. Translate
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Keri’s Answer

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Hi Effie,

I work at Medtronic, a company that makes medical devices. One of our products is surgical navigation for cranial surgeries. Basically, it is like a GPS system for surgery so that surgeons know where they are in the brain when they do things like tumor resection (cutting out a tumor). Since our target market is neurosurgeons, all of our marketing people need to have a good understanding of neuroscience, anatomy, or biomedical engineering in order to speak intelligently to our customers.

We also develop and produce DBS therapies - Deep Brain Stimulation - which helps treat conditions such as Parkinson's and Epilepsy. We also have laser ablation therapy, which basically uses a laser to burn and kill (ablation) a tumor instead of cutting it out. Again, our target customers are neurosurgeons and our marketers need to be able to speak intelligently to them.

Neuroscience is such a broad area and there are so many things about the brain that we don't yet know. It is a fascinating subject and as scientists and engineers develop more innovative products, they need marketers with understanding of the products to get the word out.

It might be worth considering a degree in neuroscience followed by an MBA focusing on Marketing to give you that skill set as well.

Good Luck!

Keri recommends the following next steps:

  • Research medical devices in neuroscience to see if this might be an industry of interest to you
  • Surgical Navigation: https://www.medtronic.com/us-en/healthcare-professionals/products/neurological/surgical-navigation-systems/stealthstation.html
  • DBS: https://www.medtronic.com/us-en/healthcare-professionals/therapies-procedures/neurological/deep-brain-stimulation.html
  • Laser Ablation Therapy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okpWbBVhZVE
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Sam’s Answer

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Hi Effie—
I have a bachelor of fine arts degree and am working as a financial services marketing writer, and have also worked as a food writer. I think you'll find that many people study something, and their life takes them in another direction. As you move into your career, your course of study will probably be less important to potential employers than your experience. For instance, I studied art and worked as a designer, but also started blogging when blogging was a new thing (I'm a dinosaur.) During that time, I built my writing portfolio. I got a contract job doing design work for a financial services company, and when my time as a contractor was up, they had a writing position available. I interviewed and got the job based on my time already spent at the company and the writing I had done for local publications. Don't get too hung up on whether your course of study will limit your options—but I would say study something you're really interested in. That may make a difference in deciding to stick to it and complete your degree. :)
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Gwen’s Answer

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A degree in the sciences, particularly neuroscience or other behavior sciences can be incredible helpful in the fields of Marketing, Communication, PR, Advertising, Market Research and others. These fields require a detailed awareness of why people respond/behave the way they do and how to adapt accordingly. My educational background is in bio-behavioral l psychology, essentially the biological basis of behavior, and it has served me quite well throughout my career. I have held roles in operational excellence in education (think work smarter, not harder approaches), clinical research, clinical marketing, digital marketing and digital education. I have also found that a scientific background is quite helpful in dealing with the human and political dynamics of day-to-day work life.

The field of neuromarketing, also referred to as consumer neuroscience, may be of particular interest.

Best of luck!
Hi Gwen, thank you for your suggestion. Indeed, I have also looked into the field of neuromarketing, and it really did piqued my interest :) Effie M. Translate
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Richard’s Answer

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Yes! It is easier to go from hard science to comms than vice versa. Consider a minor to gain even more flexibility!
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Natalie’s Answer

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I definitely think you could work in Marketing roles for Med Tech companies that work with neurologists and neurosurgeons all day long! I worked in Marketing for the technologies listed in the above answer and it's always super-humbling working with the world's Neuro Institutes and Surgeons "talking marketing" with them. Sheer joy when you can translate at both ends to ensure all is understood and is compelling.
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Grace’s Answer

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Absolutely! I have a couple responses to this. In many areas of communications, it is a critical foundation to understand the subject you are writing about. So if you want to write about science, it's great to have that background so you understand what you are designing or writing about. But you do not have to limit yourself to a scientific field. Marketing and Communications requires skills like strong writing, being able to take big ideas and condense them into bite-size information snippets, connecting with an audience... none of which require a specific degree to be successful. I studied musical theater in college and I am now a lawyer! You can always change the direction of your career - do not feel like you are trapped in the area you decide to major in!
Hi Grace, thank you for taking time to reply to my question. That is a peculiar combination you got there! Hope everything goes well with your business :) Effie M. Translate
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Darayus’s Answer

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Marketing and Communications is all about understanding consumer needs and addressing them in a relevant way. A lot of human behaviour is irrational, driven by the complex ways in which our brain works. Of late, there has been a heavy reliance on neuroscience to decode how consumers make choices so that this knowledge can be used for effective marketing/advertising.

Therefore, an academic background in neurosciences will be a huge advantage if you wish to be in marketing/advertising/comms.
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