Career Options for NBB Majors
What will NBB prepare students for when they graduate?
The NBB major is on the cutting edge of science and academics. It is one of the few interdisciplinary majors that exist. Not all employers will understand the unique talents that this degree reflects--I suggest that you highlight the unique positive attributes about this degree on your resume. Most of the jobs you will be qualified for are similar to those that can be obtained with a B.S. in biology. The following jobs come to mind: medical research/clinical trial monitor, lab technician for a genetics company, R&D or sales for biotech firms, etc. Think about how your NBB degree makes you a more qualified candidate than someone with the average biology degree (e.g., exposure to specific neuroscience techniques, lab experience in genetic techniques or clinical trials). Take advantage of those research experiences that will make you the more qualified candidate for that job. Finally, be creative and look for an interesting niche. I know many students who are interested in forensics and crime--an NBB degree combined with an internship at the Georgia Bureau of Investigations could put them in a job in the field of forensics after graduation.
NBB is a window to the future of research in the behavioral and health sciences.
The NBB program was created to be particularly attractive to three groups of students.
The first group would be those students interested in medical school, physical therapy, physician's assistant programs, or related programs. NBB is a terrific major for these students. Much of the course material is very biomedical, it is very interesting, and some of the NBB required courses are also required for those students planning on attending any of the above postgraduate programs.
The second group is those who are interested in graduate training in any of the branches of contemporary neuroscience (ranging from molecular to cognitive neuroscience)or behavioral biology (ethology or animal behavior).
The third group is those who don't plan to go to any sort of post-college biological or medical program but just think the material covered in the NBB major is cool. The material covered in NBB has tremendous implications for social policy, philosophy, and religion.
So you want to go to med school
Or you want to go to grad school
Or you just think NBB is cool
Then you ought to major in it
Why don't you major in it
Because in the future NBB will be Holy Writ
The NBB major can prepare students for a wide variety of careers. First, it can provide a very strong background for a student interested in pursuing an academic career in biology, ethology, evolution, psychology, development, computational modeling, anthropology, linguistics, philosophy, and so forth. Many Ph.D. programs seek students with broad training that will complement the much narrower training they will receive in graduate school. Second, the NBB major can prepare students for diverse careers in the health professions, ranging from medicine, to clinical psychology, to public health. Finally, because the NBB major is so broad and flexible, it could be designed to prepare students for a wide variety of other careers that defy listing here. To the extent that a student has a creative career path in mind, it may well be possible to tailor the NBB major to serve it.
NBB prepares students for inquiring about and understanding the reasons for behavior witnessed in their daily lives. That behavior could be exhibited by a friend (Why did he get the chocolate ice cream instead of the fudge swirl? What made her leave her job so suddenly?), a pet (How come cats can see in the dark? Why is my dog eating grass?), or any other commonly encountered animal (Why do cockroaches immediately begin running as soon as I turn on a light? Why do mosquitoes bite me but not her?). NBB deals provides an opportunity for everyday life to become a way of discovering.
The strength of the NBB major is not that it prepares students for any particular set of experiences after graduation. It does, however, encourage students to think in interdisciplinary ways, integrating knowledge in fresh ways. This cross disciplinary thinking is the heart of the NBB program.
Knowledge in the biological and brain sciences is increasing at an exponential rate, and the technological advances developed from this knowledge are already altering our society. NBB majors have a unique opportunity to learn about these frontiers of biological and brain science during their time at Emory and to bring their expertise to Whatever career they choose after graduation. To be sure, there are prototypical post-NBB jobs: biomedical researcher, physician, neuroscientist, etc., but I think if we follow up where the current crop of graduating NBB majors end up five years from now we'll be pleasantly surprised at the diverse and exciting things they'll be doing, things we would probably never have thought of. The NBB experience is like the first step on an adventure; there’s no telling what fascinating destination you'll reach.
NBB provides superb preparation for students seeking graduate study in disciplines ranging from animal behavior, through neuroscience, psychobiology, and biological anthropology. By tailoring their individual NBB curriculum, students can enter these graduate programs competitively with students with traditional undergraduate majors, but more broadly prepared.
For students not seeking post-graduate education, NBB provides broad biological and behavioral experience that would qualify graduates for technical research positions. In addition, students interested in precollege teaching will find their preparation in the sciences will allow only the addition of courses necessary for teaching certification to become high school science teachers.
The NBB Program provides excellent preparation for graduate school in neuroscience, or cognitive science, or for medical school.
The Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Program is excellent preparation for any of the neurobiologically-based life sciences, including graduate school in biology, psychology, anthropology, and all of the basic neurobiological subareas, as well as medical and nursing school, and any of the clinical health sciences.