Cognitive Studies

Cognitive studies focus on the human mind and how we learn and think. Students of this broad interdisciplinary field face a wide variety of career options. Read on to learn more about cognitive studies programs.

Are Cognitive Studies for Me?

Career Overview

Cognitive studies are an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field of study providing scientific, psychological and philosophical training about the human mind, its functions and how knowledge is obtained. Education programs in this discipline include the study of computer science, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, linguistics, sociology, art, mathematics, human development, information science and education. You may pursue a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in cognitive studies.

Cognitive studies programs teach scientific methods about understanding how the brain processes information, like language and sensory stimulation. You'll learn about the ability to reason, analyze, research, solve problems and make decisions. Specific coursework may include psychology of language, cognitive development, free will, artificial intelligence, statistics, biology and semantics.

Employment

With a degree in cognitive studies, you could get a job as a software engineer, technical writer or speech pathologist. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that job opportunities for computer software engineers will increase 22% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Engineers specializing in applications software earned a median yearly wage of $90,060 as of May 2012, the BLS said, and engineers specializing in systems software earned a median wage of $99,000. Technical writers earned a median annual salary of $65,500 as of May 2012, according to the BLS, and job opportunities in that field are expected to rise 15% between 2012 and 2022. Speech-language pathologists made a median yearly wage of $69,870 as of May 2012, the BLS said; employment of speech-language pathologists is expected to increase 19% from 2012-2022, per the BLS.

How Can I Work in Cognitive Studies?

Education

You may choose cognitive studies, also called cognitive science, as a major or minor. You could couple a bachelor's degree in cognitive studies with another major or concentration that directly trains you for professions like a research lab director or to enter a professional program in psychology.

Some graduates in cognitive studies proceed to postgraduate schooling for a master's or doctoral degree as required by their specific career path. You can use an undergraduate degree in cognitive studies as a solid base for postgraduate education in diverse fields like communications, behavioral or social sciences, law, education, artificial intelligence and medicine.

With a degree in cognitive studies you could pursue a broad range of careers in the cognitive science fields, but your specific opportunities will depend upon the scope of your technical training, your specialization and your degree level. Many cognitive studies graduates go to work in computer field enterprises, like artificial intelligence or software design. Some cognitive studies graduates work in the research industry with jobs at drug companies or biotechnical firms. Your education in cognitive studies might attract other potential employers in the business sector, nonprofit organizations and academic research.

Other jobs you might pursue with an education in cognitive studies include consultant, account manager, research assistant, teacher or a faculty position at a university. You could also seek work in consumer behavior, market research or speech synthesis.

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