A Cognitive Systems degree will make you “T-shaped.” The vertical part of the T is the depth and the horizontal part of the T is the breadth of your expertise. By the time you graduate, you will have:
- Expertise in your own specialization (or “stream”), and
- The ability to work across disciplines.*
This will prepare you for entry into many fields of academia and industry.
* To elaborate on point 2: Students have a tendency to think, “What jobs are out there where computer science, linguistics, philosophy and psychology intersect?” If you think about jobs that only pertain to four disciplines (computer science, linguistics, philosophy, psychology), you may be limiting yourself. Think about all the skills that you would have acquired by the time you graduate:
- You are capable of quickly picking up knowledge from various subjects, and can see how different ideas can fit together.
- You may have discovered that you weren’t as good at some subjects compared to others, but survived through grit.
- You collaborated with individuals from other specializations who think very differently from you.
- You evaluated issues from different perspectives with a critical eye.
- You realized that not all research is perfect, and have critiqued existing research.
- You conducted your own research project.
These transferable skills enable you to define problems, design solutions, and to connect brilliant minds across different domains to solve problems together. These skills will help you in any domain you choose to pursue – beyond the areas of computer science, linguistics, philosophy and psychology.
For example, you can find COGS alumni in (and not limited to) the following diverse areas: Analytics in freight forwarding, AI & patent law, Consulting in HR analytics software, Managing a no-kill animal services agency, Marketing in a health supplement start-up, Software engineering, Research in Multiple Sclerosis, UX design in video games. COGS alumni have pursued graduate studies in various fields such as psychology/neuroscience, human-computer interaction, informatics, digital media, engineering, and education.
Considering Graduate School?
Here are some resources on what it is like to pursue graduate studies and how to successfully conduct your research. The full list can be found here. (Special thanks to COGS alumnus Theo Rosenfeld for the curation of resources.)
- How-To Guides by Alan Bundy
- How to Organize your Thesis by John W. Chinneck
- How to Write a PhD Thesis by Joe Wolfe
- Research Techniques Notes by Alan Dix
- The Researcher’s Bible by Alan Bundy, Ben du Boulay, Jim Howe and Gordon Plotkin 1985 Including contributions by Graeme Ritchie and Peter Ross. 2004 edition.
- “So long, and thanks for the Ph.D.!” by Ronald T. Azuma
- “So you want a letter of recommendation…” by Jennifer Wiley
- A Stroke of Genius: Striving for Greatness in All You Do by R. W. Hamming
- TIPS: How to do Research by Silvia Miksch
- You and Your Research by R. W. Hamming
The opportunities are endless…
The advantage of a COGS degree is career flexibility. While you will be prepared to work in the specific stream you choose, you will also have exposure to the other disciplines. This will make it easier for you to adapt to novel environments and to pivot from one career to another. Ultimately, your COGS degree is an experience determined by your own individual motivation and self-initiative.
In addition to speaking to COGS Advising, make sure to also visit the Centre for Student Involvement & Careers. They are here to help, and welcome you to their Centre for career development, student engagement, and leadership development as they are a campus-wide student services department.