Magazine article Psychology Today

Careers in Psychology: Why Study Psychology?

Magazine article Psychology Today

Careers in Psychology: Why Study Psychology?

Article excerpt

IF YOU'RE considering a degree in psychology, you're probably well aware of the upsides of studying human behavior. Of course, knowledge of the ins and outs of the human mind can better equip you to navigate the highs and lows of human relationships at work and everywhere else. But, too, from law to communications to sales, there isn't a field of human endeavor in which an understanding of the human psyche is not of practical value. Further, the pursuit of a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in the science of how we act (and why) can open doors to an array of fascinating career paths-and not just the ones typically associated with psychology, like becoming a researcher, psychotherapist, or counselor.

Think career advisor, expert witness, human resources manager, genetics counselor, organizational consultant, executive coach, child advocate, neuropsychologist, special ed teacher. And more.

Over the past decade in the United States, the number of bachelor's degrees awarded in psychol- 1,1 ogy increased by more than 40 percent, while the number of associate's degrees conferred in the field has burgeoned by a whopping 177 percent. In 2012, 26,834 graduates walked away with a master's degree in psychology, up from 19,770 just five yearsearlier. Meanwhile, doctoral degrees awarded in psychology in 2012 reached nearly 6,000, a steady increase of about 100 per year since 2006.

Where do all the new grads go? Many who major in psych as undergrads go on to careers in administration, sales, human resources management, and marketing.

Those with a master's degree can consider becoming certified social workers, mental health counselors, or marital and family therapists. They can find work in courts, prisons, and social service agencies as well as in private practice. There are plenty of positions available that utilize a psychology background in nontherapeutic contexts, and the greatest opportunities in the immediate future are in the industrial/organizational arena, where master's psychologists are needed for employee selection, training and development, performance management, and similartasks.

To become a psychologist, whether to research, diagnose, or treat mental disorders, you'll need a doctorate. The Ph.D. has long been the traditional route to a career in research, teaching, or clinical practice; the Psy.D. generally provides a quicker track to a clinical career. Check the chart overleaf to find a career path right for you.

Hour Trending!

I/O Psychology

Why has Industrial/Organizational Psychology become one of the most in-demand fields? For starters, its main goal is to boost employee productivity and maximize workplace efficiency.

In our competitive economic climate, what company wouldn't want to hire a trained I/O professional to pinpoint development needs, choose and train workers for specific jobs, optimize organizational policies, and calculate consumer preferences? (This is only for starters. I/O folks also design performance evaluations, coach employees, and implement strategies to boost office-wide motivation.)

The 53 percent increase expected in I/O jobs across the U.S. over the next decade boils down to the growing need of modern businesses for the know-how on keeping employees engaged and industrious as well as maintaining customer loyalty.

Also credit the increasingly multigenetational workforce for boosting the need for I/O experts. The current U.S. workforce comprises four distinct generations-millennial, generation-Xers, baby boomers, and the so-called silent igeneratio-more than any number in history, reports the Society for Industrial/Organiz.ational Psychology. They come to work with different perspectives and skills, and they sometimes clash. Companies find it takes more management effort to maximize information exchange and team collaboration.

Mental Health Counseling

Why get a master's in counseling instead ofa master's in social work? …

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