Welcome to a Career in Psychology
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PsychologyOnlineDegrees.org is the definitive guide to everything you need to know about starting and advancing your career as a psychologist. We offer information on all aspects of becoming and working as a psychologist including:
- Average Psychology Salaries
- Completing Education and Licensure Requirements
- Finding the Right Psychology Program
- Psychology Job Duties
- Financial Aid Resources for Going to Psychology School
Psychologists have rewarding, challenging, and well-paying careers that offer excellent opportunities for growth and advancement. With the resources provided by
Top rated psychology online degrees. Find a degree in at any level in with hundreds of specializations.
If the goal is to become a licensed clinical psychologist, then graduate school is a must for studying and to earn the required doctorate. It can be a long process to go through all the schooling and training to get the doctorate and have your own professional business. It takes dedication, commitment, and hard work, but for the right person, it can be a very rewarding career.
When making the commitment to study psychology, it is a commitment to education and learning that starts in college and continues on throughout the career years. Any level of a degree in psychology can lend itself to your chosen career, whether it is counseling, education, medicine, customer service, or any number of other careers.
You may be asking yourself, what exactly is a psychologist? We hear the term thrown around a lot but few people fully understand what their career entails. A psychologist is someone who has studied in depth social sciences, human behaviors, and human thought processes. Psychologists seek to better understand why people are the way they are by watching, studying, and conducting experiments in order to better understand human nature.
Three Types of Psychologists
There are basic types of psychologists that all psychology study are categorized into:
These psychologists work closely with the medical field and focus on therapeutic treatments and one-on-one counseling for patients who are dealing with a wide range of mental, behavioral, or emotional problems. Cases can be short term or long term, depending on the needs of the patient. A short term need would be something providing help in dealing with the loss of a loved one or some other traumatic experience in your life. Long term help is usually needed for those with advanced or permanent condition such as depression, mental disorder, and behavioral issues that are not responding to normal therapy and counseling. Clinical professionals can operate out of their own private practice while others chose to work from inside local hospitals or schools.
Industry professionals rely heavily on research, observation, and study to help them do their job. They address real world issues and seek to find a reason and a solution using psychological theories and techniques as the basis for the answer. They often work closely with the government, corporate businesses, or in large industrial settings. They work to handle psychological issues that can arise from within the company or business and helps deal with worker and manager issues when they arise. These psychologists can work in social, industry, professional, law enforcement, and many other related fields.
Academic professionals are the psychologists you will see in your college and university classrooms. They teach psychology classes and conduct case studies and research to better understand the workings of the human mind and the mental processes of the average human being. These are the professors, authors, and researchers that most people hear about in the day to day educational field of psychology.
Is Career in Psychology Right for Me
If a career in psychology is what interests you, then no doubt you have already begun asking yourself what the requirements are to be a psychologist. There are several key areas that you need to look at with an honest and open mind in order to see if this truly is the best choice of a career field for you.
It takes a certain type of person to be able to be a psychologist and enjoy it. You need to be understanding of others, calm, and not overly emotional. You should have a genuine concern for your fellow man but also be able to keep yourself from becoming too involved in your client’s lives and problems. Someone who enjoys being around people and gets satisfaction out of helping others could find a career in psychology very rewarding.
The biggest choice you have to make as far as your education goes is if you want to go all the way to graduate school.
- Bachelor's Degree – A bachelor’s degree will allow you to work for others in the field of psychology but chances are you will do little counseling. These degrees are best for those who work in social fields and need the background of psychology to help deal with people on a day to day basis. Psychology is among the top five majors in bachelor programs for many colleges and universities across the country and this type of degree can help prepare you for many interesting and rewarding careers in management, counseling, customer service, education, business management, or medicine. Getting a bachelors degree in psychology will give you the foundation but not enough education and experience to work on your own as a professional psychologist or counselor.
- Master's Degree – Your master’s degree can give you the opportunity to delve deeper into the field and explore the many options that are available to you as a professional. Some programs help prepare you for psychology jobs that deal with areas such as mental health, business psychology, counseling, and forensic psychology. You can also get a general master’s degree that allows you to continue your education further and focus even more on your desired field with a doctorate degree.
- Doctorate Degree – Most of the high end and popular psychology professions require a doctoral degree and many years of experience and training. A doctorate for this career area is the only way to start your own counseling business. No one with less than a doctorate can have his or her own counseling practice or go into business for themselves.
What Are Some of the Different Types of Psychology to Study?
Some of the most common areas for studying psychology include:
This field of psychology focuses in on the study of unusual behavior, emotion, or thought that differs from what is seen as ‘normal’ for a society. They also look at why a person has the idea of what is and is not acceptable and where these ideas come from. Some areas of study that come up under abnormal psychology include anxiety, depression, addictions, obsession and compulsion, deviation from sexual norms, and eating disorders among many others.
Psychologists in this field of study look at how people think, reason, perceive, recall information, store information, remember, develop, and learn. The goal of this area of psychology is to better understand the connections between learning and memory and the human mind. Cognitive psychology develops tricks and methods to help improve memory, increase accuracy, improve recall, help in decision making, and further enhance the overall learning process.
Those who focus on anomalistic psychology work on understanding extraordinary behaviors and experiences that many claim to be supernatural in nature. Anomalistic psychologists seek to take these other worldly events and explain them in a literal and scientific way. The goal is to help people understand these experiences and make sense of them in the connotation of their personal lives.
Developmental psychology, as the name implies, deals with the study of how people grow and change as they age. The focus is not just on the physical changes but also on the social, emotional, and intellectual changes that take place in each stage of life and development from birth to death. Those who focus on developmental psychology examine the development and processes involved in early stages of life such as motor skills and basic communication, to more advanced abilities like problem solving and ethics, and all the way to the end of life changes that a person faces in their later years
Within this field, you can explore the connection that exists between humans and the world around them and how that environment can impact them. This field of psychology holds that it is the environment and the outside forces that shape us into who we are. The contrasting view belongs to those who hold to more of a personality basis that says a person decides and impacts who they become more than their environment.
Industrial Organization Psychology
This is a business oriented field of psychology that looks at the impact workplaces, employees, and organizations have on the psychology of those involved. These psychologists will work with the owners and managers of corporations to assist in the creation and implementation of training programs, help with transition through major policy and hierarchy changes, and help maintain high standards of employee satisfaction and performance.
Personality psychology is a fast paced branch of psychology that examines what makes a person unique as an individual- their persona; thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Personality disorders are also a large part of study for this career and many of these careers within the branch of psychology works to identify and address issues of personality disorders.
Social psychology looks at learning from the social influences and ideas that permeate society and the world. They use scientific methods to study how different people groups interact and live alongside each other. It looks at how cultural traditions and norms are established and what causes some groups to be closed off to other cultures while others are very open and welcoming of ideas and practices different from their own. Social psychology can touch on areas such as personal behavior, social norms, stereotypes, government structure and leadership, nonverbal behavior, cultural customs and traditions, conformity, prejudice, bullying, and racism among many others.
Where to go From Here
There are many options available to you when it comes to the diverse field of psychology. By looking at what your interests are, your ultimate desire for a career, and how much time you are willing to invest, you can begin to make your first move towards your psychology career.
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Considering Online Psychology School
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Becoming a Licensed Psychologist
- Is a Psychology License Needed to Work
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- Clinical Hours Needed for a Psychology License
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- Required Steps to Become a Licensed Psychologist
- What Specialties Do Not Require a Psychology Licensure