The area of Psychology has many facets, and the most important thing for you to do is to determine which might be most applicable for you based upon your personality traits as they relate to people in various areas of Psychology. Getting to know yourself better to determine applicable areas and then talking to people working in those areas, so that you could see what they do, how they got there, and what advice and suggestions that they have for you will help you to chart a successful education/career journey.
Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .
Ken recommends the following next steps:
Clinical psychology focuses on disorders and diseases of the mind. Those who earn a graduate degree in clinical psychology can practice as clinicians, meaning they can work as therapists, as psychiatrists (if they also possess an MD), or in other clinical settings such as rehabilitation facilities or prisons. Much like a clinician is a doctor, clinical psychologists are the doctors of the mind!
General psychology refers to the broader research topics of cognitive psychology, social psychology, neuroscience, and developmental psychology. These areas usually study on healthy, non-mentally ill populations in order to better understand how people think, act socially, how their thinking develops across the lifespan, and how their brains work. In other words, even if you receive a graduate degree in general psychology, you would not be qualified to treat or diagnose patients in a clinical setting such as therapy.
Hope this helps!