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This forum looks like the perfect place to ask a question that is being bothering me for a long time.

I'm 22 and a college dropout for numerous reasons (economic and mostly because I didn't like the major that I was studying, which led to depression, etc.) Anyway, I recently discovered MOOCs (coursera, edx, udacity, OCW-MIT, etc.) and khanAcademy and I immediately fell in love with science and more precisely computer science. I also fall in love with the brain and love to think about thinking, decision making, logic, critical thinking, neuroplasticity, etc... I also appreciated cognitive psychology and the philosophy of the mind but I haven't gone any deeper to those two. So, you can say MOOCs changed my life because I'm able to learn things that I never would have consider ever studying.

I'm thinking of pursuing a Cognitive Science degree which can expose me into computer science and some kind of neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology.

The only thing is that here in Greece, Cognitive Science is only a postgraduate degree so I have first to finish an undergraduate degree in Computer Science or in Philosophy and History of Technology (those are the only two majors from which students are accepted for the Cognitive Science degree).

My question is, should I spend the next year of my life into studying for a test that will get me to the University (in order to get to a University you need to give exams in May, I'm not ready to give it this May so I have to give it on the May of 2015)?

Is it worth it to study Computer Science for four years to pursue the Cognitive Science degree which is my primary goal ?

PS: The possibility of studying abroad is out of question given the economic situation of my family, unless a scholarship for studying abroad is available.

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Think further ahead: what do you want to do after you finish the Cognitive Science degree?

Do want to go into academia and work as a professor (probably after some research postdocs) in the field? If that's your ultimate goal, then that's the most straightforward career path.

If it's something else, figure out what the prerequisites for that thing are. There are too many people who got into grad school pursuing a degree in something because they thought was cool only to discover that after they graduate, they have nowhere to apply their degree.

Whether it's worth it depends on you. Weigh the costs to you against the benefits to you.

  • For now , is for knowledge and learning things that I love learning about. The world is unpredictable who knows what will happened in the following years. Now, I'm curious and the lost appreciation of learning came back. I see going back to University as an option of gaining more in depth knowledge and find like minded people there. Anyway thanks for the answer. – George Tsoukatos Feb 20 '14 at 18:15
  • I think a computer science degree is useful because it opens up a lot of possibilities, but it's up to you. I like to write code and think about algorithms, so I have some personal bias towards it too. – trutheality Feb 20 '14 at 18:45
  • What I like about Computer Science is the emphasis on problem solving and that programming is just a tool that allows you to solve problems. You separate them into pieces and try to implement what you already know and in the process you learn more.. It's an ongoing process that requires rigorous thinking and clarity. Also , the times that we're living with the rising of technologies there always will be demand for computer scientists. – George Tsoukatos Feb 20 '14 at 19:07
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    If you like the problem-solving aspect, you might also like engineering fields. – trutheality Feb 20 '14 at 19:09
  • What do you like about C.S ? – George Tsoukatos Feb 20 '14 at 19:25
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As a EU citizen you have access to the education in the entire European Union, so you can look around for the Cognitive Science programs in the other EU countries too. It is quite possible that some of them would not require a previous graduate degree and would be taught in English.

It may happen that there would be tuition fees (if I recall correctly, this is the case e.g. in the UK), but as a EU citizen you also can work in any EU country without almost any extra formalities (pretty much under the same conditions as a citizen of the country you are in), so you can earn the money to support yourself through your studies.

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