Psychology is the study of human behavior, how we think, feel and act. Psychologists study both normal and abnormal behavior to understand it. Psychologists also try to use what we learn from that study to help people change aspects of their behavior that they want to change. Areas of psychology are clinical, industrial, and developmental. Careers in Psychology offer varied opportunities. Employment opportunities for capable psychologists are expected to be slightly better than average over the next several years. However, if you’re interested in a career in Psychology, you should know that the training program to become a psychologist is a long one. There is also stiff competition for places in graduate training programs in Psychology.
So why major in Psychology if it is going to take so long? First of all, it is an interesting profession that offers the opportunity to increase the well-being of one’s life. It requires critical thinking skills, statistical reasoning skills, and research design skills. Also a major part of being a successful psychologist is having practical knowledge about people and a charismatic self.
People who want to major in psychology usual get a 4-year degree at a university. During the first four years, the student obtains scientific and clinical knowledge in Psychology. It is also possible to get an internship during the third year of schooling. As well, students will get some opportunity to see what applied practice in Psychology will actually look like by taking courses and seminars in areas of special interest. Following the undergraduate degree, a two year program of graduate studies in Psychology in a university will lead the student to a Master’s degree. Part of that two-year program will usually involve completing a research project in Psychology. Some areas allow persons with a Master’s degree in Psychology to be registered as a psychologist. However, many people, particularly those who want to practice in a specialty area of Psychology, will go on to complete their doctoral degree in Psychology before becoming registered or licensed to practice. This will take another three to four years of study on average. As part of the doctoral program, students will complete a more complex research project in Psychology that will serve as their doctoral thesis. They will also complete an intensive one-year internship program outside the university that will prepare them with the clinical skills they need to practice Psychology following completion of their degree.
With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology it is possible to be a child welfare worker, a mental health therapist, a psychiatric aid, a crisis intervention worker, a rehabilitation worker, a group home worker, and even an employee in human resources. A person with only a bachelor’s degree cannot legally practice psychology in the states. They can hold psychology related positions. With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, salary starts at about $17,000 a year.
With a doctoral degree in Psychology and one year of a supervised internship, a student can become a legal psychologist. In many states, it is required that one pass an exam before practicing Psychology. One with a doctoral degree can have a salary of $45,000 per year, on the low end. After schooling, the field of Psychology can expand many ways. To give you an idea, here are some indepth looks at various fields.
Some psychologists work in the health care field. They practice in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and both public and private clinics. They may work individually or in teams with other health care professionals such as physicians, nurses, social workers, and so forth. Psychologists in health care provide assessment and treatment services to persons with mental and emotional disorder. Because of the growing body of scientific knowledge about the role of psychological factors in physical health and disease, psychologists also play a role in the management of various physical disorders, such as heart disease, neurological illnesses and injuries, gastrointestinal disorders, pulmonary disorders, chronic pain, and diabetes. Psychologists in health care may teach, do research, and consult to other health care professionals on how psychological factors affect health and disease. Health psychologists are also involved in evaluating the effectiveness of treatment methods and programs for health care.
Psychologists also work in the school system where they provide assessment and