A COGS degree does not dictate the careers of alumni. Rather, it is the alumni that take ownership and decide on what their COGS degree means to them and how their COGS degree fits into their lives. Since there are significant differences in each COGS student’s degree (due to the variety of streams and module courses), each alum will have a different answer. Streams alone do not predict career progressions – the path taken (or created) will depend on each alum’s combination of skills and interests. What will you discover?
Some students have a tendency to think, “What jobs are out there where computer science, linguistics, philosophy and psychology all intersect?” If you think about jobs that only pertain to four disciplines (computer science, linguistics, philosophy, psychology), you may be limiting yourself. Take into consideration the skills that you would have acquired by the time you graduate. You would have:
- Swiftly acquired knowledge from various subjects, and can see how different ideas fit together.
- Collaborated with individuals from other specializations and utilized collective intelligence to solve problems.
- Evaluated issues from different perspectives with a critical eye.
- Realized that not all research is perfect, and have critiqued existing research.
- Done the necessary outreach to find your COGS 402 project supervisor.
- Scoped and executed your own research project from start to finish.
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.
Based on data from 357 COGS alumni, approximately 1/3 pursue further education (e.g. Master’s Degree, PhD, Diploma or Certificate). The other 2/3 join the workforce directly.
- Popular Masters degrees include: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Digital Media, Human-Computer Interaction, Informatics, Management, Psychology/Neuroscience, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Pathology.
- Doctorate degrees were mostly in Psychology/Neuroscience.
- Bachelor’s degrees were mostly in Computer Science.
- Popular Diplomas and Certificates were in Accounting, Paralegal, and UX Design.
- Some alumni pursue law school or medical school.
Other COGS alumni join the workforce and pursue the following areas (and many more. This list is a handful):
- Software engineering
- User experience
- Web development
- Business development
- Customer experience
- Data science
- Business intelligence
- Product management
- Project management
- Clinical research coordination
- Occupational therapy
Some alumni decide to pursue additional education after spending a few/several years in industry, and vice versa.
*Since a COGS degree equips you with expertise in areas that are constantly and rapidly progressing, the paths taken by past students may not be the most promising direction for present students to follow. A COGS degree should also have equipped you with the intellectual resourcefulness to blaze a trail of your own.
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
If you are looking for graduate school application resources, the following may be a good start:
- Information sessions offered by UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
- Workshops and retreats offered by the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication (UBC Library)
Hear from COGS alumni about how they navigated their career paths and what tips they have for current students and recent graduates.
- Jessie Chen | B.Sc. Computational Intelligence and Design ’13
- Hannah Elbaggari | B.A. Language ’20
- Candice McGowan | B.A. Cognition and Brain ’11
- Andrew Raitt | B.A. Mind, Language, and Computation ’20
- Your degree in Cognitive Systems (Arts) | Student Services
- Your degree in Cognitive Systems (Science) | Student Services
- Find COGS alumni on Linkedin
- Make sure to visit / reach out to the Centre for Student Involvement & Careers for an advising appointment. 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.
- The Centre for Student Involvement & Careers offers career workshops. Browse for events here and make sure to register.