A Career in Neuroscience is a lucrative one that demands one to be versatile in knowledge and cutting-edge research. This career path deals with the nervous system of the body. The nervous system is of great importance in the human body as it connects to every part of the body to aid functionality. As a result of this, neuroscientists are always needed in high demand to provide solutions when needed.
A career in neuroscience offers one the opportunity to work in other industries and not only in the field of medicine. Additionally, It comes with a good salary rate and research opportunities. This career path is an advanced field that requires extensive education and specialised knowledge, therefore one has to be fully equipped to have a successful career.
I will walk you through the details you need to start a career in neuroscience.
Steps to Start a Career in Neuroscience
Obtain an O’level Certificate:
This is the first step to take in your career pursuit. You must have at least credits in subjects such as English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Register and write the JAMB Examination:
You should register and write subjects such as the Use of English, Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology. You should also score at least 250 and above to stand a better chance of getting admission.
Apply to a University:
Most Universities in Nigeria do not have Neuroscience as a degree option. You can apply for courses such as Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Biology and Biotechnology. It is important to research the institution you are applying to verify its accreditation. Additionally, make research on the above-listed courses and ensure they have courses related to neuroscience in their curriculum.
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree:
This will give you a head-start in pursuing a career in neuroscience. You need to complete the required curriculum in other to earn a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience or a related course.
Make Research related to Neuroscience:
You must begin making research and studies about the brain and nervous system while you are in the University. This will help you build up research experiences before you graduate and set you up for opportunities. You can join research groups in your institution and other Universities such as the University of Ilorin, Afe Babalola University, Federal University of Technology, Akure and the University of Port Harcourt.
Apply for Internships:
This can expose you to hands-on experiences and enable you to have access to ongoing research you can participate in. Additionally, it also allows you to have an experience in your resume when you’re making job applications.
Earn a Master’s Degree:
After obtaining your bachelor’s degree, you can pursue a master’s degree in neuroscience. While pursuing a master’s degree, you can consider specialising in one of the branches of neuroscience.
Earn a PhD:
You can decide to do this while advancing your career. You can pursue a PhD if you wish to carry out advanced research or have a certain specialisation in Neuroscience. It usually takes five to six years to complete.
Register with a Professional Association:
While you are pursuing your career, you must join a professional association in neuroscience. This will enable you to network with professionals in your field and have access to opportunities. You can join associations such as The Neuroscience Society of Nigeria and the Women in Neuroscience. Additionally, you can also join international associations
Areas of Specialisation in Neuroscience
- Cognitive Neuroscience: Neuroscientists in this field focus on studying how the brain enables the mind. This includes how the brain creates languages, solves problems and store information.
- Behavioural Neuroscience: Behavioural neuroscience focuses on nerve cells, and neurotransmitters to investigate the biological processes that underlie both normal and abnormal behaviour.
- Developmental Neuroscience: Developmental neuroscience focuses on the brain and how it forms, grows and changes throughout the stages of life.
- Molecular Neuroscience: Molecular neuroscience applies molecular biology concepts to the nervous system It explores the molecules that dictate the function of neurons and other brain cells.
- Sensory Neuroscience: Sensory neuroscience focuses on the senses and how the nervous system works with them.
- Neurogenetics: Neurogenetics applies the concepts of genetics to neuroscience. They focus on inherited diseases that affect neurons.
- Neurophysiology: This is an examination of the physiology of the nervous system. They study the nervous system and its functions.
- Clinical Neuroscience: Clinical neuroscience is the study and treatment of neurological diseases, including the treatment and prevention of conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Universities to Study Neuroscience and Related Courses
- University of Ilorin
- Afe Babalola University
- University of Portharcourt
- Federal University of Technology, Akure
- University of Nigeria, Nsukka
- Obafemi Awolowo University
- Covenant University
- University of Lagos
- University of Benin
- Ahmadu Bello University
- University of Uyo
- Olabisi Onabanjo University
- Igbinedion University
Places for Neuroscientists to work
- Universities( Research/Teaching)
- Government agencies
- Private Industry
- Biotechnology Companies
- Pharmaceutical Companies
Salary of Neuroscientists in Nigeria
The average salary of a Neuroscientist in Nigeria ranges from N100,000 to N500,000 monthly. This is dependent on the level of experience, degree attained and industry being worked under.
A Career in Neuroscience can offer you exciting opportunities and good salary pay in Nigeria. This career is not popular in Nigeria which makes it less competitive in the employment market. However, pursuing a career in neuroscience demands a lot of diligence and hard work to thrive. You need to invest a lot of time in studying and making research in this field. This will give you career growth and open you up to more opportunities.