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Confused about possible career paths involving Neuroscience watch

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    hey great to know that we have the same interest. but sorry that I can't offer much advice because as an international student I have a all together different set of qualifications.
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    Thanks anyway
    anybody else...from the UK?
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    (Original post by robawalsh)
    I am very interested in Neuroscience, and its potential advances in the future and think it would be fascinating to get into. I sometimes read books about the brain and that, and research on the internet about disorders etc, and I do find it very interesting.

    I think for GCSE, I will do fairly well. I havn't had all my mocks back yet, but I got A's in Chemistry and Biology. Maths was a let down, with only 44% (surprisingly, still a B grade apparently). I plan to revise flat out from April, but i'm only doing light revision until then.

    I'm still not sure whether I want to do A-levels or IB - advice anyone? (regarding Neuroscience etc. )

    Could anyone possibly give me an idea of what subjects/uni courses I should be considering? Do I need to go to medical school? Or do I do a degree in Neuroscience, and then more specialised? I'm confused... :confused:

    Bear in mind that i'm aiming quite high, for a respectable profession with decent salary, but I don't quite want to be a doctor as I don't really like the idea of a vocational job that takes up your whole life..
    Also, I would rather be on the front of discovering and making advances in Neuroscience applied in medicine in particular, not being a doctor where I use the knowledge, more discovering it.
    What particular jobs/professions should I be looking at?

    EDIT: I might also be interested in Neurology, which I know I do need to go to medical school for. Also, I know it's a lot like Psychiatry; could someone explain the differences?

    Thanks in advance.

    Hey, I know you posted this a while ago, but if you're still wondering...

    Careers in neuroscience are typically research-based. This usually means working in either academia (i.e. university) or the pharmaceutical industry - coming up with models for how the brain works and helping develop drugs to treat neurological and psychological disorders like depression, stroke and Alzheimer's. If you become a lecturer or a professor in a university you can specialise in whatever area of neuroscience takes your fancy!

    Neurology is just the medical application of neuroscience. It involves diagnosing and treating neurological orders like Parkinson's disease, autism and epilepsy. Obviously, because a neurologist is a doctor, you need a medical degree to be one. The difference between neurology and psychiatry is that neurology is more physiological - it's not about how you feel, it's about what's going wrong in your brain that leaves you unable to function properly. Psychiatry treats things mood disorders (depression, schizophrenia, etc.) which are more complicated, and we don't know what happens in the brain to produce those symptoms - so psychiatrists offer drugs, counselling and other therapies. They are related, but psychiatrists and neurologists treat different kinds of disorders. And both are doctors with medical degrees.

    There are, however, some new avenues opening up in neuroscience. Robotics, for example, is increasingly heading towards integrating technology with how our brains work, to develop more sophisticated artificial intelligence. Or, if you're interested in medical applications, you could help develop things like robotic limbs to replace prosthetic ones for amputees - if you can hook up the technology to the brain's nervous system, people will be able to move a false hand just like a real one.

    If you'd like to go into one of these careers, you've actually got a pretty wide choice of paths. Undergraduate neuroscience degrees exist, but most neuroscientists start off doing something related and go on to specialise in neuroscience for their Master's or PhD degree. Neuroscience is very interdisciplinary and needs people from a range of backgrounds with expertise in different areas to make advances. For your first degree you could do medicine, psychology, biological sciences, maths, physics, engineering, or pretty much any other science degree! Google some neuroscience postgraduate degrees to have a look.

    This is a good article that should explain things: http://www.independent.co.uk/student...ge-409782.html
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    I am quite interested in doing neroscience and just heyear behing you, I am now choosin IB or A-Level and was wondeing f you had any information about which ws better.
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    (Original post by SoThisIsMe)
    I am quite interested in doing neroscience and just heyear behing you, I am now choosin IB or A-Level and was wondeing f you had any information about which ws better.
    If you're up for studying hours on end and having virtually no social life, then choose IB.
    I reckon it will pay off in the end though, and you will have a better chance of getting into a good uni, but don't underestimate the massive gap between A-levels and IB.
    IB requires effort.

    Although, having said that, IB would be better for medical students, as it is all round. For a purely scientific course like Neuroscience, however, you might be better off with A-levels.
    You'll have to look into that.
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    (Original post by robawalsh)
    If you're up for studying hours on end and having virtually no social life, then choose IB.
    I reckon it will pay off in the end though, and you will have a better chance of getting into a good uni, but don't underestimate the massive gap between A-levels and IB.
    IB requires effort.

    Although, having said that, IB would be better for medical students, as it is all round. For a purely scientific course like Neuroscience, however, you might be better off with A-levels.
    You'll have to look into that.
    Thanks that helped alot i think i've pretty much decided on IB now am dreading next year a bit though. Hope all goes well for you
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    I'm currently doing Cognitive Science at Edinburgh university and plan to go into Neuroscience sooner or later. It is a bit on the humanities side in first year, though.
    I also did the IB back at home and I wholeheartedly recommend it! Feel free to contact me for further info if you want.
    One thing you want to do is definitely take HL Maths (I opted for HL English instead because I thought it would help me get into English-speaking schools more), which I didn't and would have had an easier time getting into my programme of choice, especially since I'm considering transferring to an American university sometime in the near future
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    (Original post by jsavinc)
    I'm currently doing Cognitive Science at Edinburgh university and plan to go into Neuroscience sooner or later. It is a bit on the humanities side in first year, though.
    I also did the IB back at home and I wholeheartedly recommend it! Feel free to contact me for further info if you want.
    One thing you want to do is definitely take HL Maths (I opted for HL English instead because I thought it would help me get into English-speaking schools more), which I didn't and would have had an easier time getting into my programme of choice, especially since I'm considering transferring to an American university sometime in the near future
    I have heard they do a straight neuroscience course at Edinburgh. Do you know if it is any good?
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    Also note that you don't necessarily have to do a Neuroscience course to become a neuroscientist. Biomedical science, phsyiology, molecular biology etc. can provide neuroscience-y modules as well as a slightly more general advanced biology knowledge, then if you want you can do an MSc or a PhD in Neuroscience afterwards. The vast majority of MSc students in our department came from general biology/biomed backgrounds, some came from psychology (with no prior biology experience beyond A level) and a few even came from arts/humanities. As for our PhD students, most of them are biochem/biomed, some with masters, most without.

    Btw, I work in neuroscience research at King's College London
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    (Original post by Revd. Mike)
    Also note that you don't necessarily have to do a Neuroscience course to become a neuroscientist. Biomedical science, phsyiology, molecular biology etc. can provide neuroscience-y modules as well as a slightly more general advanced biology knowledge, then if you want you can do an MSc or a PhD in Neuroscience afterwards. The vast majority of MSc students in our department came from general biology/biomed backgrounds, some came from psychology (with no prior biology experience beyond A level) and a few even came from arts/humanities. As for our PhD students, most of them are biochem/biomed, some with masters, most without.

    Btw, I work in neuroscience research at King's College London
    sorry if this seems abit personal, but s what the salary like for neuroscientist doing research? I will starting at kings Neuroscience Bsc next year and would like to know what sort of salaries i would be looking forward to.
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    (Original post by Norfolk_Enchance)
    sorry if this seems abit personal, but s what the salary like for neuroscientist doing research? I will starting at kings Neuroscience Bsc next year and would like to know what sort of salaries i would be looking forward to.
    It might sound like a bit of a cop-out answer, but to be honest the answer is "it depends". If you do a PhD, you'll be getting a stipend of around £15-17k per year, which doesn't sound like much but it is tax free, so it works out quite nicely. If you go into academic research as a research tech or research assistant, you could be looking at around £20-30k, depending on experience and location. It also depends what funding is available. Post-doc positions can be around £20-40 (again depending on experience, location and funding). The more senior you go, the more you get paid obviously, with lecturers, readers and professors earning around £60k or more.

    In industry, things are a bit different, and how much you earn can be totally variable depending on where you work, your experience and seniority, but it's usually more than in academia.
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    (Original post by robawalsh)
    Bear in mind that i'm aiming quite high, for a respectable profession with decent salary, but I don't quite want to be a doctor as I don't really like the idea of a vocational job that takes up your whole life..
    I'm sorry, but you might be suffering a few misconceptions about life as a Neuroscientist; so I will do my best to disillusion and dispel them.

    For one, Neuroscience, like a vocational job, does not spare your life. It will require almost all of your free time to do well.

    What is more, this sort of high-level science doesn't just eat your time. It requires near obsessive passion for solving a problem—sometimes to the point of thinking about your problem at all hours of the day, whether its in a movie theater or on long walks with friends. Neuroscience not something you do for 8 hours a day, and go home to rest. It's an incredibly competitive field with winners and losers. The winners are those who push their wits and dedication to the brink, attacking problems often past the midnight hours. All this so that they might publish enough to stay afloat the tempestuously unforgiving political storms that frequently savage the halls of academia.

    Secondly, the pay is not usually what most define as well. I've heard students assume Neuroscientists bank as much or nearly as much as doctors. Au contraire, only the top 1% make that much. The lion's share make not much more than an entry-level engineer. It's an ascetic career choice compared to what such high-level training usually fetches in other job markets.

    That said, if your love for Neuroscience outpaces or surmounts what I've mentioned above, I'd recommend giving it a try. If you however are married to the idea of making high wages or having free time, look somewhere else.

    ________________________
    EDIT: I realize this response is a few years too late. But hopefully, someone with nearly the same questions and curiosities will see it.
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    someone mentioned the possible opportunity of going into robotics and AI, how would you go about doing that?
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    (Original post by 11Na23)
    someone mentioned the possible opportunity of going into robotics and AI, how would you go about doing that?
    Probably by studying computing and cogntive neurosci, I would guess.
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    (Original post by Revd. Mike)
    Also note that you don't necessarily have to do a Neuroscience course to become a neuroscientist. Biomedical science, phsyiology, molecular biology etc. can provide neuroscience-y modules as well as a slightly more general advanced biology knowledge, then if you want you can do an MSc or a PhD in Neuroscience afterwards. The vast majority of MSc students in our department came from general biology/biomed backgrounds, some came from psychology (with no prior biology experience beyond A level) and a few even came from arts/humanities. As for our PhD students, most of them are biochem/biomed, some with masters, most without.

    Btw, I work in neuroscience research at King's College London
    Hi, so would you say it is better to do a neuroscience degree straight, or do a more general biology degree and then doing a masters/PhD? Also, any recommendations for which biology-related degree to do?
    Thank you
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    (Original post by abbiemac)
    Hi, so would you say it is better to do a neuroscience degree straight, or do a more general biology degree and then doing a masters/PhD? Also, any recommendations for which biology-related degree to do?
    Thank you
    It very much depends on what sort of Neuroscience work you want to go into. A vast amount of cellular neuroscience research going on at the moment is heavily molecular biology based (e.g. stem cells, gene therapy, signalling pathways, etc.). For this kind of work (in my opinion) having a degree in molecular/cellular biology and then perhaps doing a MSc/PhD is a better option. If you want to do neurobiology, neurophysiology, neuroimaging etc. then maybe it doesn't matter so much, or doing a straight science degree may even be more helpful. Cognitive neuroscience on the other hand, you'd definitely be better of doing straight neuroscience, or having a psychology and/or computing background.
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    (Original post by Revd. Mike)
    It very much depends on what sort of Neuroscience work you want to go into. A vast amount of cellular neuroscience research going on at the moment is heavily molecular biology based (e.g. stem cells, gene therapy, signalling pathways, etc.). For this kind of work (in my opinion) having a degree in molecular/cellular biology and then perhaps doing a MSc/PhD is a better option. If you want to do neurobiology, neurophysiology, neuroimaging etc. then maybe it doesn't matter so much, or doing a straight science degree may even be more helpful. Cognitive neuroscience on the other hand, you'd definitely be better of doing straight neuroscience, or having a psychology and/or computing background.
    I'm really interested in work into areas involving neurodegenerative diseases, and also memory and consciousness. Would you say getting a PhD is critical to getting a position in research?
    Thank you
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    (Original post by abbiemac)
    I'm really interested in work into areas involving neurodegenerative diseases, and also memory and consciousness. Would you say getting a PhD is critical to getting a position in research?
    Thank you
    Depends how far you want to go really. If you want to work as a research technician or assistant then a BSc or MSc are usually adequate. (Doing an MSc or MRes will give you a greater depth of knowledge of the specific subject and a taste of what working on a research project is like. It can also make it easier to get a RT/RA job). In these roles you are assigned to a research group which is usually headed up by a professor and post-doctoral researchers; they are the ones who decide what the group researches and how to research it, they design the experiments, generate the hypotheses, analyse and write up the data, etc. The research techs and assistants help out by carrying out various bits of the experiment, helping to generate the data that gets passed to the post-docs. In more senior tech/assistant roles you may have some leeway to plan your own experiments and do data analysis etc. The average salary for these positions in London is around £20-28,000, with the maximum being around £30-32,000, but the higher end is exceptional. There's not generally much in the way of progression, the only way to 'advance' is by moving to another slightly more senior post elsewhere.

    If you want to get more into research, then a PhD is the way to go. Generally takes 3-4 years and you're paid a tax-free stipend of about £10-20,000 annually (again, the upper range is exceptional). During this time you'll learn more about your specific area, you'll undertake semi-independent research, publish papers and eventually write a thesis presenting all you've discovered. If you pass, you're awarded a doctorate and you now have some other options available. The usual thing to do here is to undertake a post-doc position, usually lasting about 5 years or so, where you can independently undertake research in a chosen area, plan experiments, teach PhD students etc. It's common to do a couple of post-doc positions, then one usually seeks more permanent positions like lectureships, research fellowships and so on. Eventually you might become a professor.

    The other alternative is to go into industry and make a fortune
 
 
 
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