Psychology careers cover plenty of various fields such as criminal justice, education, business, mental health, and more. This is why psychology is among the most popular majors in universities. On top of that, it also has a positive outlook, which is always nice to know.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ prediction, psychologists would have a possible job growth rate of 14% through 2026. With these, many are taking the road to a psychology career. But before that, this article will discuss a few things you need to know about it.
Why should you pursue a psychology career?
There are good reasons as to why you should pursue this career. To name a few, here are some of them:
- A degree in psychology gives you plenty of fundamental but flexible skill sets that you’d be able to apply in various fields and industries.
- You know scientific methods such as data gathering and analysis, which are essential in plenty of occupations.
- You will gain critical thinking skills through studying as well as applying different psychological paradigms to problem-solving.
- You will also be able to build out both your written and oral communication skills.
Important things to know about a career in psychology
If you reached this part of the article, you have probably taken great interest in a psychology career. Before you dive into the world of psychologists, here are a few important things that you should know:
Becoming licensed will take quite a lot of time.
Sure, a career in psychology is excellent and has plenty of opportunities in it. But before you decide on pursuing it for real, you have to be dedicated. After all, it would take you an average of 10 years — 4 years of college, five years of a doctoral program, and a year of postgraduate training and internship. That means ten years of commitment, and some of your friends will probably enter the working world before you. However, the reward is very much worth it if you give your best and stick to it.
It is imperative to choose your specific career track within psychology.
You will be able to choose your major during your undergraduate years. Make sure you look into every career in psychology to know which one matches you. There are plenty that you can choose from such as:
- Clinical psychologist. Focuses mostly in diagnosis and treatment of mental, behavioral, and emotional illnesses.
- Behavioral psychologist. Focuses on the study and modification of human thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
- Mathematical psychologist. Focuses on using formulas, statistics, and various mathematical tools to predict human reactions in certain situations or tasks.
- Neuropsychologist. Specializes in understanding the relationship between human behavior and the physical brain.
- Fashion psychologist. Focuses on learning how color, image, style and beauty affect human behavior.
Licensure requirements are not universal.
This is one crucial thing you should be aware of. State-specific requirements exist, and not because you’re a psychologist in California doesn’t mean you are in New York. When planning to transfer to a different state or shift to a new psychological profession, keep this in mind. It’s highly recommended to check out the American Psychological Association for the requirements before deciding on anything else. This way, you’ll save time and can set out your expectations.
It’s great to be published, but it shouldn’t be your main focus.
Sure, getting published is commendable and can help you promote yourself and gain plenty of incredible opportunities. However, this shouldn’t be your primary focus, mainly if you aim for a clinical position. Clinical experience, among other skills, is equally important, if not more. So make sure you have everything balanced and avoid focusing only on one skill.
How to succeed in psychology
If you’re now fully decided on taking up the journey into becoming a psychologist, here are a few tips that might be helpful:
Earn a degree and a specialty.
This goes without saying and is the most fundamental requirement on your road to becoming a psychologist. Earn your degree first, followed by any postgraduate studies you need for the specialization you’ve chosen.
Go for an internship.
Most states usually require internships. This is beneficial for you, too, as you get on-the-job training and learn which profession is perfect for you.
Of course, you can’t practice without a license. All states have different requirements, on top of passing a national exam. As mentioned earlier, it’s best to check your requirements early to make sure you’re prepared.
Look for your dream job!
Finally, you got your license, congratulations! However, this is just part of the beginning of your journey. You’ll still have to look for job openings in your area. Don’t forget to do more research on the hospital or company you’re applying to.
Perfect your resume.
Resumes will always be a part of your dream job hunting journey, no matter what your profession is. With the recruitment process of most organizations modernized, you have to make sure you don’t get left out. Look into a modern resume sample to guide you in writing a professional and organized resume that would surely pass applicant tracking systems (ATS). Looking into psychology-specific templates might also be a great help.
Prepare for your interview, and ace it!
After everything you’ve been through, you’re finally in the interview room. Make sure you give your best, come prepared, and act professionally. If you’ve followed all these tips, then you’re already almost there. Good luck!