Thursday, October 20, 2011

Answering your questions about Cog Sci and Psych

Honestly, I am still confused myself as to what field I want to go into. There are so many options. I don’t know if I am going to graduate school, at least not right away. With a bachelors degree there are still a lot of options for Cog Sci because it is a rising field. This is something that I have looked up many times online trying to figure out what would best suit me. Some universities that offer cognitive science have on the website a list of career options, here are some examples (there are MANY more): (click on the link that says careers in cognitive science)

One thing that I have been very interested in recently is human factors engineering. This would be to help make things that are designed well, unlike the things on this site:

When I made my decision to double major, I was told to go to the psychology peer advisor office (on the first floor in Mahar) to talk to someone who helped me decide. I would suggest going to the peer advisement and have them help you decide if double majoring is a good idea for you, and if it would be manageable.

I was a second semester junior when I added the psychology major, the workload was not too overwhelming. I had to make up 2 classes over the summer, but that was my own fault after failing a class one semester and I dropped a class another semester (and only had 3 classes that semester – not even a full time student). So I think that it is easily manageable to add psychology as a second major, even a few semesters in! I actually did the math and concluded that Cog Sci is about 51 credits, Psych is 36, and the gen eds are about 42 credits which equals 129 credits total. You need 122 credits to graduate, so this is only slightly more (two classes) than the required number of credits. Also, because Psych classes can count toward Cog Sci there are not really extra classes that are needed above the 122 credits.

Double majoring is not really much more demanding if the two majors work together, but it is more demanding than having a single major. There are a lot of fields included in Cognitive Science that would make good second majors; I just chose psychology because it is my favorite aspect of Cog Sci. You could choose something that is not as closely related to Cog Sci, but that could make it a bit more difficult to manage. Your advisor would have better advice on what majors go together than I do.

I do think adding Cognitive Science as a second major or even a minor could enhance anyone’s opportunities. You broaden your horizons by opening up to different subject areas and I think employers like to see that. As a major it opens up many opportunities (see the links above). If it is something you are interested in and you think you would enjoy it, then add Cognitive Science! It will be worth it!

I was not too thrilled about the computer science aspect of Cog Sci, but it was not too difficult. I made it through, and if you have difficulty with that part I suggest going to the CSA tutoring because they are students that know what they are doing and are very helpful. If you don’t understand the way the professor teaches something, the CSA tutors can usually explain it better in a more one on one fashion.

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