What Psychology Degree to Choose Based on Your Career Plans

Jul 25, 2018 by

When most people think of psychology, they picture the classic stereotype of a person sitting on a couch, complaining about a middle life crisis, while a therapist takes notes. However, psychology is a far more complex field of expertise, and in the recent years, its importance on our society has been recognize by numerous authorities. Nowadays, there are countless psychology subfields which are spread across numerous areas of interest. A degree in psychology can land you a job in a public school, a hospital, a private clinic or a government institution. It is not enough to be passionate about the human mind in order to pursue a career in this field. You need to establish from the start what type of work would bring your more satisfaction and choose the appropriate degree. To help you make this choice, we have put together a comprehensive guide to help you understand the benefits of different psychology degrees.

Bachelor’s Degree

This degree is not sufficient in order to practice as a psychologist, but it can open the door to numerous other job opportunities in different areas such as human services, advertising, career counseling, market research, probation and parole, rehabilitation, sales, teaching and writing. The skills that you will master while getting your bachelor’s degree can be put to use in numerous jobs, and they can also help you in your personal life. Nonetheless, if you really want to pursue a career in psychology, you will have to pursue a graduate degree.

Master’s Degree

With a master’s degree, you can pursue different careers in the field of psychology. The type of degree that you choose will dictate the trajectory of your career. A master’s in clinical psychology will allow you to work directly with mental health patients. On the other hand, a master’s in experimental psychology can land you a job in the fields of research or teaching. You can also pursue a master’s in applied psychology, and focus on a specific area such as forensic psychology or organizational psychology. A master’s in psychology can also help you get a job in various other fields such as business, sales, marketing or advertising.

PHD degree

This degree in earned in 5-7 years and it has a strong focus on research, as opposed to the PsyD degree which is more focused on clinical practice. With this degree, you can get a job as a clinical psychologist and work for a hospital, a clinic, a residential facility, or any other institution that deals with mental health issues. You can also work as a forensic psychologist, a rehabilitation psychologist, an experimental psychologist, a school psychologist or even a sports psychologist. It all depends on the specialization that you choose. The salaries range greatly based on the field of work, the geographic location and the specialization. Nonetheless, with a Psychology PHD you can expect to earn at least $65,000 per year, while a management position can help you earn as much as $150,000 per year.

Doctor of Psychology Degree

The PSYD can be awarded in numerous areas of psychology, from clinical psychology to business, school, organizational development or counseling psychology. These degrees take 4-7 years to be completed. The doctoral programs include a complex education in scientific psychology and treatment, as well as specialized training in adjacent areas such as neuropsychology or psychodynamic psychology. This degree will give you the license to diagnose and treat mental disorders, and it can open the doors to numerous job opportunities such as clinical psychologist, social worker, counselor, forensic psychologist or school psychologist. You can be employed by a government agency, and educational institution, a mental health clinic, a hospital, a private organization or a rehabilitation clinic. You can also open your own practice. The average salary for a doctor of psychology can range between $50,000 and $100,000. The highest salaries are usually earned in the field of clinical psychology.


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