Psychology is a broad term and a rather broad subject when it comes to establishing a career. Just because you have earned a degree in psychology, even a doctorate degree, doesn’t necessarily mean you will become a private practice doctor, a clinical doctor, or even find a job for that matter. You can’t simply show up with a doctorate degree and expect to be placed automatically. You must carefully plan your career now, while in the training stages, so that you can build a career path and land the successful dream job of a lifetime.
Deciding on a Specific Career in Psychology
For starters, decide what avenue of psychology appeals to you. This is partly determined by your educational background, but that background is something you can change here and now. After all, some jobs can start immediately with only a bachelor’s degree. However, most doctors or leadership positions require a PhD, Psy.D, or at minimum, a master’s degree. Also, bear in mind that some jobs are considered psychology careers, while others may technically be categorized elsewhere, but still favor psychological training.
You may already know of psychologist, psychiatrist, and researcher positions, not to mention industrial psychologist or educator. However, consider some other careers in psychology, such as counseling. You could pursue a career in academic counseling, substance abuse counseling, vocational or military counseling or even a small-town community counselor. There are also job opportunities in grief counseling, career counseling, and youth counseling.
You may be aware that you can work as a general psychologist in a private practice or with a hospital or clinic; however, did you know that you could also work as an aviation psychologist, engineering psychologist, environmental psychologist or a health psychologist?
Other Unique Jobs Involving Psychology Fundamentals
Most psychology students start their careers in the business side of the field, such as employment interviewing and recruiting. There are also possibilities in the human resources department, whether as an advisor or a manager. If you love the idea of making a difference in the community and living an exciting life, you can also pursue a job as a lawyer (with psychology specialization and law training), or a case worker, or even a criminal investigator.
Even in the entertainment side of life, you can find options for psychology-oriented careers. You could pursue a job as an advertising agent, or complement your writing skills with a thorough understanding of psychological theory, choosing to work as an editor, technical writer, journalist, public relations agent, and so on. You can even shift your focus from human psychology and delve deeper into animal psychology, working as an animal trainer or animal researcher.
What’s important is getting started now—that is, weighing all the pros and cons and determining a long-term career path. Determining the amount of schooling required, and the amount of work experience, and set a goal or even a series of academic goals. This is the best way to ensure that you make the best of a college education and land a high-paying job that pays off for your schooling in a short time.