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Do you feel that a psychology major is "worth it"?

psychology psychiatrist I would love to attend college studying a psychology major, but just about every teacher I speak to tells me that it takes very long to obtain a degree, and the right amount of education to get a job.

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Corrina’s Answer

Hello! Psychology majors are quite versatile because you are studying the human mind which correlates to every job out there. It is important to note that if you were to graduate with a bachelor's degree in this field, you would need to have a plan of action for what field you want to go into. Unless you find a job that has a general requirement of "bachelor's degree" in related fields then your main option would be Applied Behavior Analysis. These positions are frequently available as they are very demanding jobs, but if this is not your ultimate goal, I would encourage you to keep in mind that a bachelor's degree in psychology would simply be a first-step.

Once you earn your degree, your options for high education are fairly open. I know people that have continued onto earn their Master's in Business Administration, Marketing, Human Resources, and education-related graduate degrees. For example, I personally graduated with a bachelor's degree and then continued on to earn my master's degree in education counseling.

To sum this up, yes. A bachelor's degree in psychology would take anywhere from four to five years to earn and would payoff with limited job options. Therefore, you would likely continue onto a master's degree specializing in your actual career interest field. I see that you used the "psychiatrist" hashtag, so I would start researching the education required for this career field, but remember to do one thing at a time. If you are confident that a psychology peaks your interest as your undergraduate degree, do your best and trust that between now and graduation, you will have had experiences and networking opportunities that help you decide which part of the mental health related careers you'd like to enter.

Corrina recommends the following next steps:

Research undergraduate schools that offer psychology programs and choose a school that has opportunities you are interested in.
Check for mental health-related internship or volunteer experiences.
Research psychiatry-related graduate programs.
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Bri’s Answer

Hi,
I think it’s worth it if it’s something you really want to do. You want to earn your undergraduate degree in psychology or in a related field such as sociology, education, anthropology, or social work. Then, you will want to decide if you want to earn a doctorate-level degree. The reason you should make a decision at this point is due to the fact that many programs do not offer a terminal master's degree in psychology. In such cases, you will enroll in a graduate program after earning your bachelor's degree and then spend 4 to 7 years working on your doctorate.
To become a clinical psychologist, you will need an undergraduate degree (4 to 5years of college) plus a doctorate degree (four to seven years of graduate school). For this specialty area most people will spend between 8 to 12 years in higher education. Also, there are other career options in psychology that do not require as many years of college. For example, you could become a licensed marriage and family therapist with a master's degree, which would require 2 to 3 years of graduate study. Check this website out: https://www.verywellmind.com/specialty-areas-in-psychology-2794930 Hope this helps, Good Luck!
Additional information about the licensed marriage and family therapist option with a master's degree: The above-mentioned 2-3 years of graduate study does not include the time it will take after graduation to obtain your license. Depending on your state's requirements for LMFT licensure, the licensure process could take a year or more after graduation, as it involves obtaining the required number of hours of in-person therapy, supervision, and passing the licensure examination. If you are interested in learning more about becoming an LMFT, I suggest reviewing your state's licensure requirements here: https://www.aamft.org/AAMFT/BUILD_Your_Career/MFT_State_Provincial_Resources/Advocacy/State_Resources/MFT_State_Resources.aspx?hkey=261d7879-9d5b-4aa0-b60c-c15e82b8b095 Krissy Leehane
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Prashanth’s Answer

Hi Natalia,

I hope you’re doing well & wish you have a great week ahead.
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
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.
Here are some possible job opportunities for you:
Psychometrist/Clinician
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:
Clinical Psychology
Sports Psychology
Forensic Psychology
Health Psychology
Industrial-Organizational Psychology
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.

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 😊

Prashanth TM
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Yasemin’s Answer

HI Natalia! I was a psychology major and I loved it! I think it's important to like your major and be interested in it! It's also important to plan what you would like to do with it, such as counseling, education , medical school, research, etc. I liked psychology because it's a growing field and many things are connected to it; I hope to become a physician and I think psychology has made me more well-rounded for my future aspirations. In addition, many degrees take time, such as completing a master's or PhD so don't let time affect your passion; you can also find work with bachelor's as well which can help support you as you further your education. Explore a little, take some classes in college and get involved and see if you like the major and if it's a good fit for your future goals. In the end, do what you love and what's best for you!

Best of luck!
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Todd’s Answer

A Psychology undergraduate degree is a good option that presents employment options outside its field. Consider careers in insurance or finance, if you choose not to continue your education, because you will have options to advance your career and obtain specialized knowledge. Most employers value Psychology graduates because they have learned basic statistical analysis and have comprehensive writing skills.
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Jason’s Answer

My honest answer would be yes, however sociology would be greatly improving your skills before a psychological degree.
Hi Jason, can you explain why you think sociology would be helpful? Gurpreet Lally, Admin
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Katherine’s Answer

Psychology describes the operation of human behavior from different angles, from the externally visible behavioral representation to the internally invisible psychological process, all are interested in psychology.
Hi Katherine, this doesn't answer the student's question. You explained what psychology is but not if there is long term payoff for a psychology degree Gurpreet Lally, Admin
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Krissy’s Answer

I was a Psychology major, and went on to complete my masters degree in Professional Community Counseling, with the goal of becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). However, I never did obtain my license, and I do not currently have a job in the field of psychology. I would like to share a few things that I learned along this journey.

First of all, I want to emphasize that I do not regret the education I received in psychology or marriage and family therapy. I have found countless ways to apply the knowledge and skills that I learned in school to my personal and professional life, even though I am not working in psychology field. A foundation in psychology lends itself to better communication skills, richer relationships, conflict resolution skills, and a deeper understanding of the human psyche that can make you a better human being and employee in any field.

That being said, I did take out a lot of school loans in order to complete my B.S. in Psychology and my M.S. in Counseling, and I am still working to pay them off more than a decade after grad school. As others have pointed out, a college degree in psychology isn't enough to get you into a therapist/counselor role (which is what most psychology majors want to do).; you will need to plan for the additional time and cost of a masters degree and licensure. The cost of an education that I don't directly use is the only piece of the puzzle that I sort of regret. This financial burden was one of the stumbling blocks that contributed to my decision not to pursue licensure; at the time, I couldn't afford to pay my bills, student loans, and pay for licensed supervision on the salary I was getting in a non-licensed job. The time and cost that it takes to obtain on LMFT license (in Minnesota) was more than I expected. I had to make the difficult decision to take a job outside of the counseling field because it paid me the money that I needed to live.

If you are interested in eventually providing counseling/therapy services, I would recommend the following path. In hindsight I wish someone had suggested this to me!

- Psychology or Sociology major, with a plan to obtain a masters degree to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Anecdotally, I found in MN there seemed to be more job opportunities for Social Workers, and if any sort of counseling or therapy is your goal, this work is often also done by LCSWs. In comparing the LMFT licensure requirements to the LCSW licensure requirements, I found that the road toward becoming a LCSW (in MN) was shorter and easier.

Finally, I want to share what is probably the most important piece of my journey: I learned that a person's career path from a major in college to professional career is rarely linear. You may enter college with one dream, and then stumble on other dreams along the way that you never knew existed. Whatever you choose for your major, keep an open mind that it will likely not define the rest of your life, and may not even define your career. You will have many opportunities to change your mind and pursue new dreams - and you should be courageous to take those opportunities when they arise.

Krissy recommends the following next steps:

Think about what you ultimately want your job to be
Determine what licensure will be needed to obtain that job
Research those licensure requirements for the state in which you would want to practice
Once you determine what licensure you ultimately want to obtain, work backwards to create an educational plan for getting there
Factor in the time and money it will take to get through all your degrees and obtain licensure
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