You might have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and are wondering what to study next. Or you might just be starting out and are interested in a career in psychology, so you want to know what job opportunities and what kind of a career psychology degree courses lead to. Read on to find out what you can do with a masters in psychology or a doctorate.
Psychology is the study of people’s reactions to the world around them, including other people, and also how they respond to their own thoughts and emotions. Today’s world is one in which people face the highest job-related competitive pressure ever, while also having to juggle their personal lives.
Help To the Society
The fields of clinical psychology, psychoanalysis and counseling provide a great service to society in helping people work through their emotional issues, so they become more resilient, productive and lead harmonious lives.
Because of these reasons, there is great career growth to be seen in the field of psychology these days. It has become compulsory for workplaces and educational institutions like schools and universities to have a resident counselor. Getting a degree in psychology also opens up many avenues for social work with non-profit organizations that is impactful upon the world and very rewarding.
There are various post graduate degrees in psychology to pursue depending upon your goals. The subjects you’ll encounter during your course of study are diverse and include applications of psychology in advertising, Psychosocial implications of gender, Developmental Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Counselling, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to name a few.
Paths to Choose From
An undergraduate degree in psychology sets you up with the basics of human and social psychology and research methodologies, but beyond that, there are a number of paths you can choose. Master’s degrees tend to be two years in length while a Doctorate can take five to eight years. A Master’s in psychology usually requires undergraduate study in the subject, with some colleges making an exception and accepting any undergraduate degree.
In any case, work experience relevant to the field always helps your application. While a doctorate compulsorily requires a Bachelor’s or a Master’s in Psychology or both. A postgraduate degree requires the student to choose a section of the stream they want to specialize in, such as Clinical Psychology, Social Psychology, Counseling, Organizational Psychology.
The job market for psychologists is a competitive one, and in most cases, you’ll require some postgraduate degree to get hired at the very least. Since work in psychology falls either under research or treating people, the job profiles are pretty well established, with some being more lucrative than the others.
Generally, research psychologists and organizational psychologists have a higher ceiling in terms of potential wage, but highly reputed and experienced Counselors may also charge steep hourly rates at independent practices.
- Clinical Psychologist
As a clinical psychologist, you’ll be dealing with patients with conditions requiring serious medical intervention. A clinical psychologist is different from a psychiatrist. While the latter is a medical professional qualified to administer drugs, a clinical psychologist provides therapy.In order to practice psychological counseling in any capacity, the state may require you to have an M. Phil and a D. Phil, and be a licensed practitioner. There are also certain requirements that need be fulfilled for being licensed, such as a certain amount of work hours put in, so it is wise to plan your study beforehand accordingly.
- Research Psychologist
Most of the theories that psychologists base their practice off of comes from years and decades of research on particular aspects of human psychology. You will have to obtain a Doctoral degree after your undergraduate or Masters in psychology.If you are really passionate about breaking new ground on psychological understanding and designing and conducting novel and exciting experiments with human study groups, then this is the path for you. As with any research-oriented career, you will have to work under a senior researcher in order to gain experience and credibility in the scientific community, and the sooner you start in your career, the better. After obtaining a Doctorate and accumulating experience, you can expect to lead research projects funded by universities or grants, while simultaneously teaching or practicing.
- Psychological Counselor
The need for counselors is never ending and can be very lucrative. Schools, universities, old age homes, and alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers are places where a counselor addresses the anxieties and stresses of people who don’t require serious clinical intervention.Marriage and family therapists help deal with issues like couples doubting the strength of their relationship or considering divorce, deaths in the family, children’s issues with their parents, etc..Counseling is a very competitive field and landing a job at a school or university after getting licensed is a good start, while more experienced therapists may establish their independent practice. Experienced counselors are highly sought after and can enjoy one of the highest paying psychology careers.
- Organizational Psychologist
Industrial-organizational psychologists work in a business and office environments where they ensure the smooth employee relations and in overall harmony of the workplace. Their responsibilities include addressing grievances of the employees and assessing job performance. They work with the human resources office in hiring and letting employees go. Organizational psychologists also study consumer behavior and identify ways to adapt the business strategy of the company to the market, and can work as independent consultants to firms.
Psychology career prospects and entry level jobs for psychology majors are usually not too promising financially as this is one job description which is all about the experience. Licensed psychologists with long job experiences are not only more sought after by employers, but they can also charge steep rates as independent therapists.
Mere graduates would be very lucky to get basic employability with compensation, leave aside high paying jobs with a bachelors in psychology. Salaried entry level jobs in psychology are generally only available to those holding a post graduate degree, and that too a doctorate. If you’re in this game, you’re in it for the long run.
However, if you’re in a related profession such as business or communications, then a bachelor’s or even better a master’s in psychology on your profile can be very appealing to employers.