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Psychology = unemployment?
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hinata19 wrote in psychology
Recently when I mentioned that I plan to go into psychology, my uncle went, "No, that's no good! You'll be unemployed!" My mom's said similar things, that she's worried about me not being able to find a job. They keep trying to push me to go into something else. But I love psychology and really enjoy studying it, and I want to be able to help people with it someday (although one time when I said I really enjoyed my abnormal psych class, my mom laughed at me and said, "So you like reading about crazy people, huh?" -_-).

I've never heard about any particular difficulty in finding a job in the psychology field. Is there any truth to this? Has anyone else encountered this kind of attitude?

EDIT: I should have mentioned that I fully intend on going for a master's, whether that be a Ph.D or Psy.D (I'm still researching my options).

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Regardles of whether you'll get a job in psychology or not, a degree > no degree. A degree - any degree, as long as it's in something sensible - will allow you to get a job in a lot of fields.

For instance, a friend of mine managed to get a managerial position in a health authority with no experience and, of all things, a BA in English.

I had two friends recently graduate with a bachelor's degree in psychology, to find that there was nothing they could do with it unless they had a master's degree or higher. They're now working shitty jobs they could have done right out of high school. On the other hand, lots of employers just want a 4-year degree and might not care what it is in. But my advice would be to look at a masters or doctoral program in the future after the bachelor's degree.

On the other hand, I could be completely wrong because I decided to switch to a business major halfway through college. I'm sure someone will say I don't know what I'm talking about. ::puts on flameproof vest::

I had a woman stop me in the subway when she heard I was majoring in psych and warn me to go all the way to PhD with it, or just drop it altogether, because otherwise I wouldn't get a job :/

I'm currently starting my third year and majoring in psychology, and I've heard that story many times as well. It worries me, because I am currently going for a bachelor's.. only because my mom doesn't want to spend the money for master's degree. But I want to get a master's agree, because I want to counsel. So I'm looking up as much information as I can for scholarships, financial aid, etc. in hopes that I can get enough money to complete a master's degree. Good luck!

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when i was in high school and worked for a clothing retailer, my HR manager had a bachelor's in psych.

she went on to be the store manager, then transferred to be the store manager at a really high volume store, then went on to be a district manager for half a state.

she also invested in a lot of real estate and manages something like 25 rental properties in her hometown.

so like the others said, (and i have no idea as i am pursuing a career in IT), i'm guessing the only way to go is to get a masters or higher, but having a bachelor's will get you an excellent job as well, albeit not in the field.

If you have a psych degree you can usually get jobs in marketing I think...and a minor in public relations (or the equivalent) could also be useful. But people who go for psych degrees aren't usually looking to go into marketing I don't think.

I'm not a psych major (double majoring in polisci/philosophy with a possible minor in economics) and I still haven't decided what to do yet. Law school and grad school are definite options, but I am up with the same issues you are. Either go into post-secondary education before getting a job, or just get a shit job.

After graduating with my BA in psychology I found a good entry-level job as a data analyst in a hospital, but I think that had less to do with my degree than the fact that I had obtained good experience during college through employment and volunteering as a research assistant. The master's helps a little, but the job market really opens up at the doctoral level.

If your primary motivation for a career in psychology is helping people, be sure to investigate other options than advanced degrees in psychology (e.g., clinical social work, professional counseling, etc.). You don't need to become a psychologist if you just want to be able to provide counseling.

Here are some stats and info: Occupational Outlook Handbook. There are listings for psychologists, counselors, social workers.

APA also publishes info about the field.

If you're interested in quantitative research (stats) and can get some good experience during your undergrad years it will help you get a job in kind of in the field while you go to grad school. If you want to 'help people' you probably already know that you'll need either a MA (if you want to do counseling) or a doctorate (if you want to be a psychologist).

EDIT: I should have mentioned that I fully intend on going for a master's, whether that be a Ph.D or Psy.D (I'm still researching my options).

Just to clarify, a Masters isn't a Ph.D. or Psy.D, that'd be more along the lines of LCSW, MFT, or MSW or something like that. I'm in a Ph.D. program right now and I'll tell you that I did get a job right out of undergrad that paid not-to-bad. The thing is, it was due to the fact I'd worked there to a lesser degree for 2 years prior to that, and it was a middle-management job. Really as everyone else has said, your options are very limited psych-wise without some form of graduate degree (masters, or doctorate).

Whether you do a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. would probably play more into how clinical you want to be. While Ph.D.'s can still be clinical, you usually get a good basis in research and science, whereas Psy.D. seems to emphasize more of the actual clinical work. I'm interested in research and academia, so I'm doing PhD :-)

I've also heard that psych degrees get you about one step up from McDonald's, however, as somebody above said: a degree in anything is better than no degree, and at least Psych majors need to have a brain in their head. There are some majors that don't have that particular requirement. My personal recommendation is plan for at least 4 more years post undergrad, whether that be in a Ph.D., Psy.D. or Master's+internship.

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It depends on the programs. The ones I've been looking at recommend 4 years, and some actually have time cutoffs like 5 years max or something. But I mean, at LEAST four years of post grad is a pretty good indication of what to expect, I'd say.

It all depends on what specifically you want to do and how hard you look. I just got out of college with a BA in psych, and I got a job doing trial consulting, which is all about social psych. Other psych majors with BAs I know who aren't going straight to grad school are doing outdoor therapy stuff in a camp environment with troubled teens, the same thing in an urban setting, an analyst for a business consulting firm, a researcher for a medical non-profit that does work with cancer, a research assistant at UCLA doing neuro research, and a coordinator for dress for success. You won't be able to go out and get a super fancy financial consulting job like a lot of econ/business majors you might know, but there is plenty of stuff you can do if you look off the beaten path. You can get a lot of work at non-profits or places that do social work, marketing, other kinds of consulting, research jobs, teaching jobs; really a whole variety of things. It just might take you a bit longer and require you putting in more applications than some of your friends with different majors.

I wouldn't listen to them, just listen to yourself and do what you want to do. It's your life, not theirs.

I also want to get a PHD in order to consel people .. but it's tough when you don't have the funds. So I just say, good luck. I would do my best and not worry about what others have to say. If you work hard enough, there is bound to be a good job for you somewhere out there.

OKay. If you want to get a bachelors degree, and stop there, in almost any field, you need experience. While still in school, look for internship opportunities. Get work experience. dont expect to graduate and be handed a job somewhere.

I majored in psych as an undergrad, went for my PhD afterwards, and am now in full time private practice as a psychologist. You can do it!

you're a licensed psychologist right now?

omg, you are a licensed psychologist .. how awesome ;)

how long did it take?

Undergrad - 4 years
Grad school - 5 years (I got accepted into a PhD program w/o a masters)
Postdoc - 1 year
Studying for licensing exam - 1/2 year

wow, thats like .. 10 years and 6 months ..

is your practice going well?

It is, thanks! Having a specialized niche area helps.

private practice

How does one go about getting into a PhD program without a masters? somehoew thatg dosen't seem legit..but I could be wrong..I am currently in a MFT program and debating on whether or not to go full speed (and just go for the MA in psych in order to get to the...)Psy D program. Any feedback?

Re: private practice

Some programs allow you to get a PhD without first having a masters... ask around. Mine did.

That's what I want to do as well. :D

Did you have research experience before going into grad school/that Ph.D program? Did you take the GRE? What did postdoc consist of? And what's the licensing exam like?

Sorry for all the questions, I just want to be as prepared as I can. ^^;

I had very little research experience going in. I had some clinically relevant experience though.

I took the GRE.

Postdoc is basically a year of working at a job in the field, or under the supervision of someone who's licensed.

National licensing exam - lots of questions in lots of topic areas - more studying = better score.

State licensing exam - varies by state, widely. Some states have written, some oral, some none at all.

May I ask what your GPA was? I, too, want to be as prepared as possible. :D

Undergrad - 3.2, and that was only 'cause my university was generous and didn't average in the no-credits - they just didn't give you credit ;-) But since it was from an Ivy League school, it got weighted a bit higher than GPAs from state colleges and such.

Grad - 3.94

You do have to have at least a Master's before you can begin to practice. The biggest predicament I've begun to notice is that every dimwit and their mother wants to be a psychologist these days. I don't know if it's partly in lieu of this pseudo-intellectual trend going on recently or if people just think it's easy...but at the rate it's going, there's going to be more psychologists than there are patients.

I couldn't have stated that any better :)

I'm currently completing my Master's program in Michigan. It varies from state to state a little, but I can't think of many states where you can actually practice psychology without at least a Master's. In most states, you'll need a Master's degree plus licensure classes. A Bachelor's degree might as well be in anything, it just says that you're more than a high-school grad. I've heard stories of some lucky people finding research assistant-type jobs with Bachelors', but that's about it.

As to employment, yes, it's a pain in the ass in most states to get a job in the specific area you want. A lot of the things like school counselor buy-outs and new retirement options that were supposed to open up new positions didn't have the desired effect. Keep in mind that the OOH folks and university faculty/staff are biased when it comes to the job market. It might be best to contact some people who recently graduated from the program you want to go into and keep in touch regarding their employment process. Several of my friends just became licensed, as well as my sister, and all of them have been having trouble finding employment.

I'm in the same situation and have heard many things as stated above, but it also depends on the location right?

It depends exactly what you want to do. I don't want to be a psychiatrist aor a thera[ist, and I only have a BA so far. I've never had a problem finding a job, but finding a job that actually utilizes my psyc degree has been hard.

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