Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary field that combines physiology, molecular biology, anatomy, developmental biology, mathematical modeling, cytology, and computer science. It is a very interesting major, but the question, is a neuroscience degree worth it?
To answer this question, allow me to remind you the work of a neuroscientist. Neuroscientists test theories using scientific methods to uncover different aspects of the brain on a daily basis. In this field, you study the structure of the nervous system, how it develops and its functions. Imagine if you were one of the neuroscientists that discovered AI (Artificial Intelligence) which can learn to smell as humans do, in only a few minutes.
It is a field where there are many unsolved problems and more than 1,000 different nervous system and brain disorders. A degree concentrating in neuroscience is an excellent field for a person that likes to research and find solutions. To graduate with a neuroscience degree, it requires 14 core courses with a minimum of 54 units and five or six elective courses with a minimum of 20 units for a total of 74.
In this post, you will learn some pros and cons to help you determine if a neuroscience degree worth it or not.
Here Are the Cons of a Neuroscience Degree
- Long and Irregular Hours
When a person starts working in the field of neuroscience it is common for them to work 60 hours per week. If they secure a job in the hospital they will often have to work evening shifts, weekends and holidays. A full-time experienced person with a degree in neuroscience may work anywhere from 40 to 60 hours a week. Several of these positions also require you to be on call.
- Limited Scope of Jobs
In the neuroscience field one drawback is the limited scope of jobs. This industry is one where they are still discovering and researching the various niches and locations as it is still a relatively new field.
- Difficult Major
If you want to obtain a degree in this field you should be prepared to learn a lot of terminology and be able to memorize a vast amount of information. Majoring in neuroscience is hard and you will have difficult classes such as chemistry, biology and math. Your core classes will have a strong base of natural sciences and several issues related to nervous system functions. You may be given vague symptoms to interpret and arrive at a diagnosis which can be complex and challenging.
Many people with a degree in neuroscience often become very frustrated. Some examples of why they feel this way are because they want to save the world but they can’t do it fast enough. Your data becomes invalid due to a fundamental problem after spending years gathering information.
We as humans are wired to become stressed out when it comes to uncertainty. No one is absolutely sure why but humans would prefer to know something bad is going to happen for sure and deal with it rather than being uncertain. Neuroscience is unlike physics or chemistry where there is accurate mathematical articulation. There is a lot of uncertainty in this field of study and a neuroscientist is often left with unresolved problems.
Here are the Pros of a Neuroscience Degree
- Excellent Starting Point
Neuroscience can be an excellent starting point and provide great background for a career in psychology, medicine or research science. Over 55% of med-school applicants majored in some type of biological science so it is evident that these are definitely the most popular pre-med majors.
- Expanding Field
In the last two decades tremendous advances have occurred in the neuroscience field and 2010 to 2019 was referred to as “the decade of the brain”. When it comes to scientific discoveries, neuroscience is providing a role model and there is a developing culture of worldwide partnerships. The forecast is that this field will grow rapidly in the next few years and you can expect to see research breakthroughs on the horizon around the globe.
- Trailblazing Technologies
Neuroscience technologies are very sophisticated and have been around for many years. Some of the technology today resemble science fiction such as using optogenetics to control genetically altered cells or lasers to perform precision deep brain surgery. BCIs which are known as brain computer interfaces are already being used on patients that are paralyzed. There are direct connections between machines and the brain that allow people to perform various tasks such as turning their thoughts into an email. We cannot comprehend some of the trailblazing technologies that are happening now and that will be developed in the future.
- Probability To Transform Human Health
There have been major accomplishments using traditional medicine to improve human health however neuroscience denotes a remedy to cure diseases that are related to the central nervous system and the mind. Improving brain health is becoming progressively important globally to the wellbeing of humans especially as life expectancies increase worldwide. Neuroscience stands to revolutionize the health care industry with innovations such as electroceuticals which regulate nerve signals to prevent disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Great Salaries
You can make a great salary depending on the type of industry you choose after you obtain your neural science degree. If you decide to work at a college or university the median income is $65,840. On the other hand, if you decide to enter into the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry the median wage is $107,270. There are many factors that come into play when considering salaries. The amount you make can vary by location, specialty, experience level and the type of employment.
- In School Opportunities
As a neuroscience major, you will have a variety of opportunities to be exposed to people in medically oriented fields. Many seniors get the chance to work at medical schools as research associates or intern in laboratories. This allows for greater job preparation to begin gaining experience in the field. It will also help you get acquainted with professionals that work in the same industry as the degree you are pursuing.
The brain weighs about 3 pounds and makes up 2% of your total body weight. It feels like you’re touching a firm jelly. This tiny soft organ is the most interesting one in your body. It controls what you think about, how you feel, what you see, when you’re hungry, your temperature and every process that regulates your body right down to your last breath! After all of that, it partners up with your spinal cord to make up the central nervous system. Studying the brain could be the most fascinating thing you ever learned!
Thank you for reading until the end. We welcome your comments.