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A degree in neuroscience will educate and teach an individual on how the nervous system works. The nervous system is one of the most complex systems in the human body; its study combines multiple disciplines in order to understand its operations. The approaches to studying the nervous system are multifaceted and specialization in a particular aspect of the nervous system is common. Though degrees are available at the bachelor level, graduate degrees are ideal if one wishes to have successful career in neurobiology.
As a cross-discipline study, individuals will be exposed to a variety of scientific principles and fields. Courses will provide in depth knowledge of the human nervous system, physiology, and biochemistry. Individuals will learn to perform experiments to gauge response and better understand how the nervous system works, providing practical and laboratory courses that explain the technologies and methodologies used to perform such research. Students in this field will also learn to write reports, perform analyses, collect research and test theories properly.
A curriculum in neuroscience may include:
- Organic Chemistry
- Nuclear Structure and Function in Disease
Neuroscientists will typically find themselves working in research positions for the government, universities or private companies. Based on the specialty of the neuroscientist he or she may work with pharmaceutical applications, medical research, psychological and behavioral research and more. Due to the increase in technology, and clearer understanding of how the nervous system works, new research projects are being initiated frequently in order to tackle a variety of issues involving the nervous system.
Some job growth is expected over the next decade due to the high barrier to entry (graduate level education) there is minimal competition for entry level positions. The need for qualified individuals who may advance the study of the nervous system and the multiple facets through which it is expressed allows individuals to pursue a variety of research opportunities, particularly those which involve the understanding and reversal of degenerative disorders. Private and public investment in the advancement of this field is substantial, thus allowing those with less than doctoral degrees to find work as technicians and assistants for projects.
The average salary for a neuroscientist is $56,000 – $106,000 per year. It is important to note colleges and universities tend to pay less for neuroscience research than the government or private businesses due to the resources available to those institutions. Additional considerations regarding salary will include experience, education, and ability.