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Postby Jane9128 » Wed May 31, 2006 7:30 am

Hi, I don't know if you'll be able to help me here, but I really hope so. I'll be starting my undergrad studies this September and can't figure out whether I should opt for cognitive neuroscience and psychology or pure neuroscience. Which one has better career prospects? Also,what are the different professional careers they can lead me to. I am also thinking of doing bioinformatics at postgraduate level; perhaps I am thinking too ahead,but where do you think this combination of subjects will lead me to. For now, all my course choices have been based on my particular interests , and not on the career opportunities. This might not be so wise, and I would be immensely grateful if you could help me out in this matter.
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Postby Jack » Wed May 31, 2006 9:02 am

Just going into your freshman year, I wouldn't be too worried about the details. You're way ahead of most students just knowing that your career interests are cognitive neuroscience and psychology. While it is good to be thinking and planning ahead, don't box yourself in too tightly at this stage of your education. See what attracts your interests as you take courses your first couple of years. The difficulty in estimating career opportunites is that by the time your career will be getting started (possibily about a decade from now if you get a PhD) things could be much different than they are today.

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Postby Mathew » Wed May 31, 2006 9:29 am

I am in Canada so I am not too sure if I can help you. However, neuroscience-cognitive/pure is pretty hot here and there are a lot of opportunities-post-doc/faculty industrial. So please dont be worried about which area to focus on at this stage of the game as Russell mentioned. You are lucky as you have focussed on atleast a branch of Science to direct your future career.
Best wishes
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Postby John Fetzer » Wed May 31, 2006 9:34 am

I think the best advice at this point is to take the core courses that leave you opportunities to switch without losing credits for courses. You will have points where your options of one set of courses or another will lead to towards one field or another.

At those points, do not worry much about job opportunities. Remember that now you are four or more years away from jobs requiring a bachelor's degree, and maybe ten or twelve from those requiring the series of MS, PhD, and post-doc. No one knows which fields will be hot or not even a couple of years from now.

If you go with the courses that interest you most, you'll do better and actually enjoy the work. That will tend to push you towards the top in any field.

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Postby MPB » Wed May 31, 2006 9:45 am

Try to volunteer or do some work study or independent study in labs in the two areas and see what kind of work appeals to you the most.

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Postby Jane9128 » Wed May 31, 2006 11:20 pm

I am grateful to all of you for your kind advice and for boosting my confidence.I guess that the best thing to do for now is to strive in my area of predilection and explore all the options without worrying too much.
Also,my sincere apologies to Dave for the trouble I unwittingly caused.
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