Current students highly encouraged to set up an appointment with the Undergraduate Administrator in their second year, in order to discuss things further.
- What are my career options after completing a B.Sc. in Neuroscience or Neuroscience and Mental Health?
A Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience or Neuroscience and Mental Health can prepare a student for a variety of career paths. Some students who have a passion for research choose to continue on to a Masters and Ph.D. in Neuroscience and some students use their degree to apply to Medical School. However, there are a variety of other career paths that a Neuroscience graduate can take, both with, or without additional education.
- What are some examples of potential careers for a Neuroscience graduate?
This is a long and generic list of potential careers that may or may not require further education.
Addictions Worker, Crisis Intervention Worker, Mental Health Worker, Support Worker, Youth Worker, Vocational Rehabilitation Worker
Advertising/Marketing (for pharmaceuticals, etc)
Artificial Intelligence/Robotics, Video Game Developer
Biomedical Engineer or Technician
Biotechnology/Medical Technology or Biotechnology Assistant
Correctional Service Officer
General Advertising and Sales (i.e. How the brain reacts to advertising)
Genetic Engineering Research Assistant, Geneticist
Health Care Planner/Consultant
Health Economics Researcher
Human Computer Interaction, Human Factors/Usability Testing
Industrial Lab Researcher
Knowledge Broker in the Health field
Management positions within health-related organizations
Medical Illustrator, Medical Lab Research Assistant, Medical Librarian, Medical Magazine Editor, Medical Records Management, Medical Researcher
Nonprofit work (Project Coordinator, etc)
Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist
Pharmaceutical Researcher, Pharmaceutical Sales, Pharmacist
Policy Analyst for Health-related policy, Public Health Officer
Professor, Teacher, Instructor
Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Neuropsychologist, Life Skills Instructor/Counselor, Outplacement Counselor
Science Journalist, Technical Writer
and so on…
- What are some on-campus support services that can assist me in career planning?
Carleton Science Student Success Centre
A vital resource for science students, the SSSC offers one-on-one mentoring for students, runs workshops about getting into medical and other health-related schools, and bring in speakers to help students get connected to careers.
Carleton University Toastmasters Club
Networking is an essential skill! Tap into this on-campus service to practice the thing that terrifies most people – public speaking. Honing this skill will serve you well in many areas of life.
- What are some career-related websites?
A great resource for information and job opportunities at non-profit organizations.
Job postings in all industries all over Canada.
Government Job Search
Job postings in the federal government.
- What if I know that graduate school or medical school are not for me, for whatever reason?
There are many career opportunities in the health industry that may be of interest. For example, you can use your Neuroscience degree to apply for a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, and become a Speech-Language Pathologist in two to three years. You can prepare yourself for many of the careers listed below through a master’s degree or a college diploma. If you see anything that interests you, search for job postings for that position to see what kind of education and experience is typically required.
For those students not interested in continuing with more education, or want some work experience before returning to school, there are other career options as well. Typically, organizations like to hire graduates who have some work experience, or that they know personally and feel will be a good fit for the job. It is estimated that 80% of jobs aren’t posted! This is why it is very important to build your networks and get volunteer or entry-level work experience. Non-profit organizations are an example of great places to start your career, where you can develop a wide breadth of skills, as well as your networks, very quickly. There are some links below that can help you find volunteer opportunities, networking opportunities, and resources to help you develop your job-finding skills.
Remember, it is unlikely that you will find your dream job directly out of your undergraduate degree. Talk to people in a variety of industries that you may be interested in to see what their jobs are like and how they got there. Research education required for careers that interest you. Develop your networks and your job hunting skills, and don’t get discouraged by entry-level jobs. Every experience that you have, whether it be work, education, or volunteering, prepares you for your future career!
- Post-graduate: Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Law School, Optometry, MBA, Audiology, Education, etc.
- College programs: EMT/Paramedic, Child and Youth Care, Addiction and Mental Health Worker, Social Service Worker, Personal Support Worker
- Direct-Entry: Administrative Assistant/Clerk (Government, non-profit, etc.), Research Analyst, Hospital Clerk, Medical Records Management, Research Technologist, Working with Medical Technology
- Between 70-80% of jobs are NOT posted
- Only 2% of applicants to a posted job get an interview
- Build and use your networks
- Volunteer, go to events, make sure people know you’re looking for a job
- Know how to talk about your skills
- Skills necessary for success: Google “conferenceboard.ca employability skills”
- Tailor your cover letter and resume to each job
- Cold call/e-mail organizations you’re really interested in
- Be professional and polite – with EVERYONE!
- What should I be considering if I'd like to go to graduate school after my degree?
Application Basics for Graduate school in Neuroscience:
- B+/A- GPA (~10). Tend to look at last two years of study
- Research experience (NEUR 4908, 4907, Independent study, volunteer)
- Need letters of reference – at least 2 (often 3); academic (professor)
- Not enough to have just taken a class with someone
- Should have done well with the professor
- Ask well in advance
- Need to have identified a potential supervisor
- Figure out what you are interested in (research area, e.g., addiction, anxiety, pain, etc.)
- Search graduate programs in neuroscience in Canada (or outside Canada, but better to stay here b/c less expensive!)
- Note: rare to find a department of neuroscience, often it is a virtual program
- See if there is a faculty member that matches your interests
- Contact them via email (attach transcript) to see if they are taking students
- Possibly meet if feasible
- LESS IMPORTANT IS THE INSTITUTION; MOST IMPORTANT IS THE PERSON
- Scholarships / funding (talk to Graduate Administrator of the program to which you are applying)
Who succeeds in graduate school?
- Passionate about research and science; Demonstrated competency in technical skills / lab skills
- Excellent communication skills (oral, written); Excellent critical thinking skills
- Innovative / creative; Excellent time-management
- Perseverance; Highly self-motivated; Able to work independently
- Committed: Views their degree as a full-time job
- What should I be considering if I'd like to go to medical school?
Application Basics for Medical School:
- A/A+ GPA (11/12); Look at all your grades
- Research experience not necessary, but depends on institution (some like it, hard to know)
- Need letters of reference – 3 (typical) academic (professor) and clinical
- Referee must be able to comment on multiple aspects of your character / abilities; must have a story to tell
- Some require MCAT, others do not; Some require full course load, others do not
Who gets in to medical school?
- High achieving, high energy students
- Typically nothing below an A on academic record
- Repeating courses does not seem to bode well
- Often requires balancing full course load plus many volunteer positions, often also varsity athletes or have demonstrated proficiency in another realm (e.g., music, dance, activism)
- Resilient: Can handle a great deal of stress and still maintain their activity level
Check out the Science Student Success Centre’s website for all the wonderful resources they have collated.
- So now what?
- Tailor your degree:
- Course selection, Independent Study, Add a minor
- Engage in volunteer opportunities
- Networking (MOST IMPORTANT PIECE!)
- Talk to your professors
- Go to events
- Informational interviews
- Job shadowing; Attend events on and off campus
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Personality testing. Do consider that free personality tests aren’t as extensive as ones you pay for that are analyzed by psychologists. However, this will give you the basics:
- Visit this website to find out your type, but don’t buy anything! http://www.personalitytype.com/career_quiz
- Once you know your type, visit this website to look at the infographic and see what careers fit your type: https://www.truity.com/infographic/best-career-your-personality-type-infographic
- Reflection exercises:
- Or just ask yourself these questions and give yourself time to write answers down without restriction:
- What do I like to do?
- What keeps my curiosity?
- What motivates me?
- What do I like to work with? People, concepts, things, data?
- What do I value?
- What skills do I possess?
- Videos put together by the School of Life (basically an organization trying to spread awareness about all the things you don’t necessarily learn through formal education):
- Tailor your degree: