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Cognitive Science Courses

Take free online cognitive science courses to build your skills and advance your career. Learn cognitive science and other in-demand subjects with courses from top universities and institutions around the world on edX.

What is Cognitive Science?

Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary study of mind and intelligence. It combines various fields, including psychological science, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, cognitive linguistics, philosophy, computer science, anthropology, sociology, and biology. Work in Cognitive Science has helped us explore cognitive development, general brain science, cognitive processes, and has formed much of our understanding of how the human brain works.

Cognitive Sciences includes the work of Jean Piaget, a renowned psychologist whose Cognitive Development Theory maintains that growth in cognitive abilities is brought about by a series of transformations and various states. His theory posits that change is necessary for cognitive development to occur as a person grows from infancy into adulthood. Although Piaget undertook much of his psychology work in the 1920s, his cognitive model remains the basis for modern-day trends in cognitive sciences.

Other notable work includes that of Edward Tolman, whose 1948 study of the cognitive map showed how humans and animals developmental abilities for re-navigating familiar spaces. More recently, a 2014 Nobel Prize was awarded for cognitive neuroscience work by John O’Keefe, May-Britt Moser, and Edvard Moser. Their study of the “inner GPS in the brain” uncovered how humans and animals can navigate surroundings.

Because Cognitive Science encompasses so many disciplines, work in this area can translate to a number of public and private sector jobs. Moreover, as Artificial Intelligence becomes increasingly more like human brain function, prospective employees with backgrounds in this area are highly sought by tech developers for their understanding of cognitive function.

Online Courses in Cognitive Science

There are many online courses that can help a learner enter into the world of Cognitive Science. For example, Osaka University offers Cognitive Neuroscience Robotics, a course that teaches how engineering and medicine can combine to create new robotic technology.

Arizona State University’s XSeries, Dog Behavior and Cognition, looks at the cognitive processes in play within the canid mind, and explores how dogs perceive and understand the world around them. Microsoft offers Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, which is a high-level overview of AI and Machine Learning.

Jobs in Cognitive Science

Because Cognitive Science is so wide-ranging, studying in this area prepares learners for work in multiple industries, such as information systems, research, government, and education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, salaries for jobs as a Web Developer, a Technical Writer, or a Postsecondary Teacher – all positions that can require a Cognitive Science degree – start at $70,000 or more.

The job site Indeed lists hundreds of Cognitive Science-specific positions including Research Scientist – Cognitive Modeling, Postdoctoral Researcher Cognitive Science, Staff Scientist, and Machine Learning Scientist. There are more than 13,000 jobs related to Machine Learning on Indeed, with over 5,000 of those starting at six-figure salaries.

Explore a Career in Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science has been driving some of the greatest innovations we’re seeing arise today. Study in this complex and diverse field can lead to any number of career opportunities. There are many online courses available to explore Cognitive Science. Start today!