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Different Types of Psychology Jobs

Career News August 11, 2013

If you enjoy the subject of psychology then don’t conclude that you have to follow a rigid path, or spend your entire life in school. There are actually many avenues of psychology that you can pursue, as well as a variety of subsections. The choice truly depends on what you want to do with your life and what particular avenue appeals to you professionally.

What are the Major Types of Psychology Careers?

Going to school at University of Maryland, University of Texas, Harvard University or other institutions will prepare you for general psychology, but you will have your choice of what career focus to take. For instance, there is applied psychology, which deals with research and problem solving. This type of job can be filled by a student who brings a master’s degree to the table, though a doctorate may be preferably for some institutions.

If you truly want to earn top dollar, then don’t be afraid to branch outside of clinical practice, instead join the corporate world. Large companies are highly interested in psychologists and specialists who can help with industrial psychology or organizational psychology. This study involves everything from workplace behavior (helping employees be happy and efficient), as well as ergonomics for the work environment. These professionals oversee many functions including hiring new workers, testing, designing new products and systems, and creating training programs for workers and managers.

There is a great need for workers that excel in legal theory and practice. Forensic psychologists are often needed to testify in court and help establish cases for criminal trials. This form of psychology is in high-demand, and you can enter the field with only a master’s degree. Still, many lawyers and courtrooms do prefer to work with Ph.D. graduates with work experience. You can also specialize in a subfield within forensic psychology, such as family court, criminal court or even work independently as a private consultant.

There is a field known as human factors psychology, which is an extension beyond industrial psychology, and one that deals with workplace safety, human capabilities and even the way humans interact with artificial intelligence and other computer issues. This is a specialized part of industrial psychology that focuses on interaction within the office, as opposed to managerial or motivational disciplines.

Can You Find Work with a Bachelor’s Degree?

In theory, yes, you can start working after receiving a bachelor’s degree, but usually in an assistant’s position. A master’s degree is preferred for most psychology jobs, while doctors and high-ranking leaders usually go further and earn their doctorate degree in their area of specialization.

Of course, even without licensing (which also requires master’s degrees at a minimum); you can still find an advantage in the job market when you bring a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) to the table. The real question to ask yourself is what kind of occupational setting do you see yourself in, how do you want to spend the majority of your time, and lastly, how much commitment can you afford to put into this career?

Remember, you can always pursue higher education as you work. Now is the time to jumpstart your career in a profession that matters and pays well!

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