Cognitive Science Careers Paths & Options

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue after majoring in cognitive science. Read on to learn more about these career options along with their salary and education requirements. Schools offering Clinical Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At a Glance

Due to the nature of the degree, there are a variety of career options for a major in cognitive science. The focus on computing means that many graduates go on to work in this sector, while others go on to pursue further study and specialize in the cognition aspect of their studies.

Web Developer Computer and Information Research Scientist Psychologist
Degree Required High school diploma to a bachelor's degree Master's degree Master's degree or doctoral degree
Educational Field of Study Web design, computer science, programming Computer science, computer engineering Clinical, education, industrial-organizational
Key Skills Detail oriented, creativity, customer service Analytical, logical, Critical-thinking Analytical, interpersonal, integrity
Job Growth (2016-2026) 15%* 19%* 14%*
Median Salary (2017) $67,990* $114,520* $77,030*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What are Some Career Options?

There is a large amount of career flexibility after earning a degree in the field of cognitive science due to the range of topics covered in the program. One option is to become is a web developer, which involves designing and creating websites. This is a technical role, which requires knowledge of computer languages such as HTML and JavaScript. A different role is as a computer and information research scientist, who uses their computing skills to find new ways to solve computing problems. More related to the cognitive side, a psychologist is a common career path for cognitive science majors to take. Psychologists observe individual behavior, interpreting results and using their findings to improve future treatments and processes.

What Educational Requirements Are There?

Having a bachelor's degree would make you highly qualified as a web developer, and having a good knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and SQL is also often required by employers. In order to become a computer and information research scientist, a master's in computer science is the most typical route. Becoming a psychologist will typically require a doctoral degree, however there are some areas of psychology that only require a master's degree, such as organizational psychology. Psychologists will also require a license in most states.

Where Might I Be Working?

The majority of web developers work in organizations focused on computer systems design. It is also quite common for web developers to be self-employed, offering a flexible work environment. Computer and information research scientists are likely to work in the Federal government, organizations that specialize in computer systems design, or colleges and universities. Psychologists can work in a variety of settings, including schools, private practice, and government or healthcare settings.

What Might I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that in 2017, web developers earned a median annual wage of $67,990. The lowest 10% earned less than $36,830, and the highest 10% earned more than $122,320. Computer and information research scientists earned a 2017 median annual salary of $114,520. The highest salary was from those employed by software publishers, who earned $132,190 yearly. Psychologists earned a median yearly wage of $97,740. The highest paid psychologists were those working in government, earning a median annual salary of $94,910, and the lowest paid were those working in schools, earning $74,470 yearly.

What Other Career Options Are There?

A large number of majors in cognitive science go on to graduate school to specialize in a discipline like neuroscience or computer science. Some graduates also go on to study medicine. Other jobs in the computing industry could involve software design and development, or working in an internet start-up.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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