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Is it worth it?

Becoming a psychologist requires at least 12 years of studying, but I found out that they don't earn as much I thought they earn. Suppose I graduate from a prestigious university like Harvard med school, and then become a psychologist; will all the studying and hard work be worth it? Will I get a good salary?
#medical #money #psychology

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John’s Answer

If psychology is your passion, then you should absolutely pursue it with all your heart Samyukta.

Psychology is one of the most popular college majors throughout the world. Despite the popularity of the degree Samyukta, a lot of students wonder exactly how to make a living after majoring in psychology. People often stress the importance of pursuing a career that is best for the current situation or economy. You might feel pressured to pursue a college major or a job path simply because it appears to be the most practical or financially rewarding option. But you should feel excited and passionate about the field you are pursuing. Samyukta one of the biggest misunderstandings among students planning on majoring in psychology is that they expect to start making big bucks immediately after earning their doctorate degree. Yes, there is certainly the potential to earn a high salary after graduating from a prestigious university like Harvard med school, but this JOB is just to get your foot in the door of your profession, the rest of your career will be up to your reputation. Establishing your own private therapy practice gives you the opportunity to have full control over your career. If you enjoy working for yourself and have an entrepreneurial spirit, becoming a psychologist can be an excellent career choice.


With any advanced degree, it’s important to consider what your future career prospects are, and how interested you are in those careers. If you want to earn a PhD for the intellectual prestige and money, I recommend that a doctorate program probably isn’t right for you. Careers in psychology can be lucrative, but the upfront cost is often great. If you’re considering a doctorate because you generally “like to help people,” then a doctorate program probably isn’t right for you either. There are plenty of career opportunities available where you can help people without having to earn a doctorate. And if you’re not interested in a career that doesn’t require a doctoral degree, then a doctorate program definitely isn’t right for you. Earning a doctorate can sometimes over qualify you for positions, so it’s important to discipline yourself and know your career aspirations before making this commit for the next 12-13 years.

However, if you’re interested in conducting research to further the study of psychology, working in academia, or working as a licensed psychologist, a doctorate program is probably right for you. One of the greatest things about psychology is the huge range of specialization options. Forensic psychology, social psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, and developmental psychology are just a few that you might want to consider. No matter what your interest might be, there is probably an area of psychology that would appeal to you. The key is to carefully research your chosen field to determine how much education and training you will need to enter that field. Time, cost, and commitment aside Samyukta, a Doctorate in Psychology is the right choice for your career goals, and a doctorate pays off after graduation. With a doctorate degree, you will qualify for a greater range of jobs than those who only hold a Master’s degree—and you’ll have a good shot of landing the job you really want, too. In an analysis of a Doctorate Employment Survey, the APA’s Center for Workforce Studies discovered that 72 percent of responding psychologists at the time secured their first choice for employment after graduate school, with 73 percent finding a job within three months of earning their doctorate.

Is a career in psychology right for you? Well, the short answer is it depends on YOU. There are advantages and disadvantages to being a psychologist. But chances are if you enjoy helping people, facing new challenges, and are willing to continually learn and grow you'll enjoy psychology Samyukta.

What you achieve inwardly will change your outer reality.

I appreciate the continuous dedication to provide us students with such valuable knowledge. Thank you for inspiring the lives of many! Aun M.

Thank You Aun. Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much. John Frick

Thanks for such a detailed answer, John!! I am very much grateful to you. Samyukta S.

Your Welcome Samyukta. The real opportunity for success lies within the person and not in the job. John Frick

Thank You for your Continued Support Dhairya. Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision, the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. John Frick

Thank You Alycia. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” –Anne Frank John Frick

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Micaela’s Answer

Samyukta, I had the same question many years ago as I explored my love of psychology and helping people. It really comes down to what you would like to spend your time doing: research? clinical work? teaching? Realize that throughout your life your drive or purpose may change. I started in the clinical field with an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and became licensed as a clinical therapist and a clinical addiction counselor. I spent my days with clients in institutional settings such as prisons, treatment centers, and acute hospital care providing group/individual therapy. I absolutely loved it! I didn't need a Ph.D. to do these things. But it's not for everyone, some people enjoy teaching at a college level or doing research and for these both, you would need a Ph.D. However, if you pursue an M.A., you can always go back for a Ph.D. later...just a thought. After 10 years in the clinical field, I moved into administration as an executive and I have been here ever since.

One recommendation to get real-life experience is to become a Mental Health Technician in acute psychiatric care - it will be an immersive experience and you can see a variety of diagnoses and treatments.

Good luck!

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Charles’s Answer

My advice is that what you will get from a long regimen of study depends on what your passion is. If you can picture yourself in the psychologist role. Will you be comfortable dealing with people and using your professional skills to deal with problems in your area of expertise. You may find that the years of study will bring you years of contented work efforts and a true sense of accomplishment.

I wish you the best.

Chuck B

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Prashanth’s Answer

Hi Samyukta,

I will try to answer your question by sharing some information related to your query. Let me give you a disclaimer that I am not a Psychologist & these are information that I have acquired online & sincerely hope that it will help you decide and choose better, also I am sharing information keeping in mind that you are based in Bengaluru

From a Education perspective, Psychology is a study of understanding human behavior and mind. Psychology as a discipline is based upon scientific theories and exhaustive research work.
The demand for Psychologists is increasing day by day. You can work in hospitals, organizations, schools NGO's etc. Wherever you like that also depend on the specialization you have.
• M.A. (Psychology)
• M.A. (Applied Psychology)
• M.A. (Clinical Psychology)
Here are some possible job opportunities for you:
A clinician is someone who administers psychological testing and scores them. They work under a licensed psychologist and they are not allowed to interpret test results or give clinical assessments.
Psychometrists work under the clinical setting wherein one has to administer clinical tests to patients, or under the organizational setting wherein they administer tests to applicants, employees, and/ or students.
Substance Abuse Counselor
This is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States in which one works with clients addicted to alcohol, or any other illegal be qualified, you not only need an academic background, but you also need to dealing with patients undergoing recovery, and thus, suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

Psychiatric Technician
In the clinical setting, another career you could choose is being a psychiatric technician. Psy Techs are in charge of the patient’s overall mental wellness by reporting the patient’s mental and emotional state to a medical staff. They assist in the personal hygiene, rehabilitation programs and administering of oral and inject-able medications to mentally ill patients.
Masters in Clinical Psychology
You don’t need any further graduate study in clinical psychology, but you need to be licensed before going into practice. However, under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist, you could already provide psychotherapy and psychological assessments.
The main duty of a clinical psychologist involves improvement in the psychological well being of patients and to make positive changes on overall mental health. In this position, you’ll work along other professionals to provide various forms of treatments.
Experimental Psychologists
This is a degree wherein students are being prepared for further graduate study. Some states may require a Ph.D. in order to hold the title of psychologist. You could be a laboratory manager, research assistant, or part of a marketing research team. This is not a terminal degree. Meaning, students can focus on a specialty area like developmental, cognitive, and social psychology.
A psychology degree not only offers students the opportunity for personal growth, it also opens up a huge range and variety of career opportunities.
Below are some points illustrating why choosing psychology above other courses is worth for a good career option.
• It Can Open the Door to a Variety of Careers : One of the greatest strengths of a psychology degree is the enormous variety of career paths that are available to graduates. Students can tailor their education and degree to focus on specialty areas that appeal to their interests. Some of these potential professions include:
o Clinical Psychology
o Sports Psychology
o Forensic Psychology
o Health Psychology
o Industrial-Organizational Psychology
o Human Factors Psychology
• A Great Way to Learn More About Yourself and Others : Earning a degree in psychology is an excellent way to gain a greater understanding of people. In addition to satisfying your own interest in human nature, having a solid understanding of what makes people do certain things can be a very marketable skill in a wide variety of job settings, including social services, advertising, marketing, education, health care, and politics.
• Working in Psychology Can Be Fun, Rewarding, and Challenging : No matter which area interests you, psychology presents unique challenges that can also be deeply rewarding.
• Make a Difference in People’s Lives : Psychologists devote their time and energy to helping people overcome adversity, increase their well-being, and realize their full potential. While this type of work can be emotionally demanding and stressful at times, it can also be very fulfilling.
• Can Serve as a Great Background for Further Graduate Study : An undergraduate degree in psychology can be an excellent starting point for further graduate study.Having a background in human psychology can also lead to further study in areas such as law, medicine, or the life sciences.
Top Colleges offering Psychology courses are :
• Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar
• Loreto College, Kolkata
• Christ College, Bangalore
• Fergusson College, Pune
• Jai Hind College, Mumbai
• St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad

The best possible reason to earn a degree in psychology is simply a love for the subject matter.
If you look forward to going to your psychology courses, enjoy discussing psychology topics, spend your free time browsing psychology websites, and love learning new facts about psychology, then chances are really good that earning a psychology degree is a good choice for you.

Good Luck.

TM Prashanth

Thank you, Prashanth! I appreciate your efforts in giving me such a detailed response. thanks again. :D Samyukta S.

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wendi’s Answer

This will depend on the extent of the field of study. See the link. Masters and Doctorate might take you into the 12 years but not all fields require that.


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Charles’s Answer

My advice is that what you will get from a long regimen of study depends on what your passion is. If you can picture yourself in the psychologist role. Will you be comfortable dealing with people and using your professional skills to deal with problems in your area of expertise. You may find that the years of study will bring you years of contented work efforts and a true sense of accomplishment.

I wish you the best.

Chuck B