Searching for the perfect career can be a drudgerous process. You may spend hours scouring the web but still be unable to find enough information.
Rest assured! This article is here to save the day! The perfect article for confused and lost psychology students.
Here are all the major branches and careers available in the field of psychology.
There are many branches of psychology and the most popular one is clinical psychology. There are two main career options under this branch and their purpose is to cater to patients suffering from mental disorders. This career path requires several years of education and is a huge investment which is why they are among the highest paying jobs in psychology.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors specializing in psychology. They are trained to diagnose and treat mentally ill patients. Diagnosing involves conducting several Projective and Objective assessments in order to evaluate the patient’s mental condition. Treatment may include psychotherapy, CBT, medication, etc.
Psychiatry is the highest paying career in the field of psychology and in order to become a psychiatrist one needs to dedicate at least 10 or more years of their lives to studying.
A career similar to that of a psychiatrist is of a clinical psychologist. Often many people get confused between the two, however, there are some key differences.
They obtain a postgraduate degree in clinical psychology and then practise their work (residency) so that they may receive their license. However, as they are not medical doctors they cannot prescribe medicine and their main focus is on providing talking therapy to the person suffering from a mental illness.
Practising as a clinical psychologist is no easy feat. It requires an investment of time and emotion into the patient. Listening to people share traumatic stories is difficult and can be draining. However, being able to help them becomes so rewarding that people choose to go into this career despite the risks.
The field of counselling is slightly different from that of clinical psychology. Counsellors work with populations suffering from less pathological problems. They listen to their problems and guide them in solving those issues. There are different kinds of counsellors and each of them specializes in a specific field.
Their task is to help confused students in schools or colleges in selecting the perfect career path for them, according to their interests and skills. They do this by conducting lectures, seminars or by having one-on-one sessions with those individuals.
They can provide insightful advice on self-awareness through personality tests, and by analyzing their academic performance. They also keep themselves informed regarding different programs available in different universities (national or international) in order to find the perfect fit for the student.
Marriage and Family Counsellor
Human beings that spend most of their time together, are bound to have some clashes and conflicts. If these issues are not resolved soon, relationship ties can be severed and may cause a lot of heartbreak. In case of that situation, it is best to seek out a counsellor who is specialized in dealing with these issues and can help the people in finding common ground, teach them to compromise and assist them in empathizing with each other. That is the basic task of a marriage/family counsellor.
Substance Abuse Counsellor
A substance abuse counsellor helps individuals with harmful addictions- especially those who are addicted to narcotics. It can be very difficult to let go of that habit, and these counsellors assist people in recognizing the harmful effects and then teach them techniques which would make it easier for them to recover. They also help in building support networks for the sufferer by conducting group therapy sessions.
They can choose to work in rehabilitation centres or start their independent practice after gaining some experience.
Different kinds of therapy
Talking to a sufferer is not the only way to help them in dealing with their issues. There are other mediums through which a psychologist can reach their patient.
● Art Therapist
Art has proven to be a therapeutic form of expression, and it helps an individual in dealing with emotions that they may not be able to express verbally. An art therapist’s job is to help their patient, in finding the perfect medium of expression, and then assisting them in gaining self-awareness in order to deal with their emotions in a healthy manner.
An art therapist must have a master’s degree and should have credits in a few psychological courses. They must also have a good understanding of the different forms of art in order to cater to different kinds of patients.
● Sports Therapist
Those with a passion for sports, and psychology have the wonderful option of becoming a sports therapist. A sports therapist advises athletes on how to prevent injuries and in case of an injury, they assist in the rehabilitation process. Their job is to help their patient physically and mentally so that they can perform at their optimum level.
● Environmental Psychologist
Their task is to study the relationship between an individual and their environment. They investigate and assess how different surrounding natural or man-made affect individuals and then advise their clients in choosing an environment suitable for them.
People who are passionate about observing, dissecting, analyzing, hypothesizing and researching have the perfect chance to carry this out on the practical field with a career in research psychology
In order to become a research psychologist and practise independently, an individual must have a doctoral degree in psychology.
Research psychologists help us in understanding human behaviour by collecting data, analyzing it and compiling it.
Individuals with only a bachelor’s or Master’s in Psychology can work as technicians or research assistants if this field appeals to them.
Experimental Psychologists investigate hypotheses and test them out in different settings according to psychological principles and research methods. Some well known experimental psychologists that you may have heard of are Phillip Zimbardo (Stanford Prison Experiment) and Ivan Pavlov (conditioning a dog).
Their findings have helped us understand many valuable aspects of human nature.
Students who have an interest in law along with psychology should definitely explore the field of Forensic Psychology.
What is a Forensic Psychologist?
The American Psychology Association (APA) describes a forensics psychologist as “a specialty in professional psychology characterized by activities primarily intended to provide professional psychological expertise within the judicial and legal systems.”
Forensic psychologists are involved in criminal indictments and they also evaluate cases in civil courts. They assess autopsies, provide expert opinions, make witness reports and much more.
In order to become a forensic psychologist one needs to get a postgraduate degree in the subject and after a few years of experience they can thrive in this field.
The field that overlaps with business and marketing is consumer psychology. This branch of psychology urges it’s students to analyze and understand consumer behaviour- the stimuli affecting them and their decision-making process.
Consumer psychologists work can work in:
They can help a company in increasing their sales and their following by studying the product and their demographic and understanding their relationship with one another.
They observe and assess companies through the lens of a psychologist and they apply those principles in workplaces in order to make the work more effective. They study and understand the behaviour of organizations, including the employees and they assist in creating policies which will help an organization flourish.
They can work as:
In conclusion, this shows that psychology is not limited to studying solely about mental illnesses. It has many diverse career paths, for those who are interested in studying the subject. The fascinating thing about this subject is that it overlaps into several other fields as well. Are you a psychology student with multiple interests? Which career appeals to you the most?