University classes in chemistry or other sciences can be good preparation for a career in neuroscience.
To start a career in neuroscience, you need to start with a solid educational background. For most people, this starts in college or earlier, when you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a good science education. After earning an undergraduate degree, you will usually need to apply to a graduate school to earn a doctorate. After completing your formal postgraduate education, you may decide to continue your learning by becoming a postdoctoral fellow. There are many different paths you can take as a neuroscientist, so you should carefully consider the type of research that interests you when considering jobs in places like laboratories, biotechnology, pharmaceutical companies, or medical institutions.
Careers in neuroscience are not limited to hospital settings.
In college, take your time to decide which science classes you want to take. They don’t necessarily have to be neuroscience classes, but they can be in other disciplines such as physics, biology, and chemistry. Neuroscientists come from many different scientific backgrounds. If the more well-known sciences don’t appeal to you, consider enrolling in more specialized disciplines such as psychology, physiology, or anthropology, as these can also act as pathways to a career in neuroscience.
Neurologists used to use devices like the Wartenberg metal wheel to test nerve reactions, but now they used a variety of other tools.
Along with classes, you can get hands-on experience in neuroscience by working in a lab for a neuroscientist. To fully experience the nature and processes of neuroscience research, you may even decide to volunteer to be a subject in a research project. If you do, use the entire experiment session to ask the researcher lots of questions about what he or she is doing and why it is being done, in order to get as much first-hand information as possible about the specific work and the neuroscience field of research in general.
An aspiring neuroscientist can intern in a neurologist’s office to gain a thorough understanding of how the brain works.
When it comes to choosing the subject for your PhD, consider what interests you as an undergraduate and keep in mind that viable areas of study in neuroscience include everything from the effect of external and internal influences on the brain. , sleep patterns and neurological diseases and conditions. You will likely want to look for a university, medical school, or other educational institution that has the resources and interest in your chosen field of study. If an institution’s neuroscience department cannot or will not accept your research proposal, try a psychology, physiology, or pharmacology department instead. Many neuroscience programs are designed to be interdisciplinary and may include professors of medicine, engineering, and management.
Sleep patterns are an area of study in neuroscience.
Pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship after your doctorate can boost your neuroscience career hopes by helping you discover new techniques or explore new trends within the field. As a postdoctoral fellow, you will have the opportunity to work in a laboratory and expose yourself to areas of neuroscience that you may not have known about before. A fellowship is also useful to put on your resume as it shows how committed you are to learning all about the field before starting your neuroscience career.
When looking for the first fully paid job of your neuroscience career, remember that this type of career is not only found in hospitals. You can find neuroscience jobs at government medical research agencies, at companies that research areas of biotechnology or manufacture pharmaceuticals, and at medical centers. If you’ve decided on a research or teaching career within neuroscience, look for available positions at universities or professional health schools. However, funding for these positions is often limited and the jobs are often quite competitive.