By: Emmy Sharaan

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Why I Choose This

A neuroscientist researches how the nervous system behaves (the brain, spinal cord, & nerves). This career is what I want to do one day because the brain fascinates me, & I would love to one day be able to research it.

Career Research

A Day at Work:

Neuroscientists usually do research in offices or laboratories, although some work in clinics & hospitals & deal with evaluating & treating patients.

Required Education:

Ph.D: usually in either neuroscience, biology, or some other related field. An M.D. is needed for any clinical work.

Necessary Skills:

  • The ability to think critically
  • The ability to make informed decisions
  • The ability to communicate complex information clearly and concisely
  • The ability to recognize patterns among concepts, ideas and mathematical arrangements
  • The ability to bring deductive and inductive reasoning skills to complex problems

Job Outlook:

The job outlook is as fast as average (about a 13% increase for medical scientists in general), although increased dependence of pharmaceuticals & a larger population with longer life expectancies are expected to increase a demand for medical scientists/neuroscientists.

Salary: Beginning salaries are about $52,200-$68,220

Work Environment: Neuroscientists normally preform research in offices, laboratories, or hospitals. There are sometimes risks involved in dealing with potentially dangerous biological samples, chemicals, etc.

What is it like to be a neuroscientist?
Dr Richard Wingate from the MRC Centre for Developmental Neuroscience talks about his daily life working as a scientist.

Career Connections


-Teacher at East Leyden High School

-Degree in Neuroscience

-Contact Info:

Nick Tsihlis

-Research Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

-Ph.D. in Biochemistry


Preparation In High School

Related Courses

  • Biology AP- Biology is important to have a strong foundation on, if one day I may want to do research.

  • Chemistry AP- A good background in science is very important, so like the class above, chemistry would be something I should prepare myself for the future by taking.

  • Psychology AP- Psychology is a class I would want to take because my interest is in how the brain works, & AP over the other Psychology course because this is year-long & will give more details & information.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Principia: a science-related club, which is extremely relevant to this field

Work/Volunteer Experience

A good way to get experience early on that would help prepare for this career would be interning/volunteering at a laboratory or hospital.

My Refrences

  1. Ralph Stephens- Supervisor/Boss [Rosemont Park District]

  2. Michael Tazic- Teacher [East Leyden High School]

  3. Chris Prohaska- (Previous) Teacher [Rosemont Elementary School]

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My Future Path

Many people who get a degree in neuroscience don't necessarily go into the 'neuroscience' field. They can do a multitude of things with the degree, including teaching (science or psychology-related courses), researching (which is what I would like to do), & more.

I plan to go to university right after high-school, & continuing with my education after just a single degree (up to a Ph.D).

Some Options That Interest Me:

  1. Amherst College (Amherst, MA)
  2. Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
  3. Columbia University (New York, NY)
  4. Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

~I want to go somewhere on the East coast. Some of the universities that I find appealing (including others not on this list) are very competitive & not very easy to get into, however, as a high school student I should work hard to make sure I put myself in a good position to be able to get into a good school.

"There's not a whole lot you can do as a high school student that directly relates to neuroscience. The best thing you can do at this point is to make yourself as competitive as possible to be able to get into the school of your choice & possibly be able to receive financial aid." -Mr.Gagliardi

Possible Degrees For This Field:

  1. Neuroscience
  2. Biology
  3. Psychology
  4. Biochemistry

"It doesn't necessarily matter what your undergraduate degree is in. You can go & get it in something like Biology, & still just get a higher degree in Neuroscience" -Mr.Gagliardi


Through this project I thought more about my post-secondary plans & what I could do to get there. I knew before what career I was interested in, but never really put much thought into what I would do in between now & then to get me there. I researched many different degrees & colleges that are just a few of the many options I have, & now have a bit of a more informed opinion on what I want to do in the future.