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Do you recommend being a psychologist?

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Subject: Career question for you
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3 answers

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Brenda’s Answer

I recommend you work with a Career Service professional to find your passion. You should pursue whatever career you believe you will love. I'm sure what you really want to know. I think it will be helpful if you ask a more specific question.

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Alexis’s Answer

I would recommend that you talk with a Guidance Counselor about career options with a Psychology Degree. Ask if you could intern or shadow a Psychologist, even during this time of a medical pandemic and racial injustice. There are children and adults who are experiencing a multitude of traumatic situations that will impact them for long sustaining periods of their lives. Practicing licensed Psychologists, those who conduct therapy and assessments, need to have Doctoral Degree in counseling, clinical or school psychology.

Alexis recommends the following next steps:

I. Associate Degree - 2 years - Rehabilitation Worker
II. Bachelor's Degree - 4 years - Career Counselor; Behavior Technician
III. Master's Degree - 2-3 years - Drug and Alcohol Specialist - Licensing Required
IV. Ph.D. - 4-6 years - Professor ; Therapist; Criminal Justice System Psychology Administrator - Licensing Required
V. Psy.D. - 4-6 years - Psychotherapist;Criminal Justice Psychology Administrator - Licensing Required

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Alexandra’s Answer

I think it depends on what you want your everyday to look like and what you're passionate about! Fortunately a degree in psychology offers a LOT of flexibility for different types of careers.

You can be a clinical psychologist who provides therapy to individuals (eg, for depression, substance use, trauma, ADHD, sexual disorders, transitions/adjustments [college age, LGBTQ+ youth]) and you can do this in a lot of different settings (eg, private practice, students from elementary thru college, prison system, foster care system, eating disorders center, etc). As a clinician, you can also conduct cognitive assessments in addition to or instead of therapy (eg, for Alzheimer's, traumatic brain injury, ADHD, autism spectrum, etc).

You could also have a career in research in LOTS of different areas of psychology (eg, mental health/psychopathology, social psychology, personality psychology, cognitive psychology, etc). This would involve you pursuing a PhD in one of these areas. A clinical psychology degree gives you flexibility for both clinical and/or research careers.

There are additional "non-academic" options for psychologists, whether with a bachelors, masters, or phd degree (most broad options with a PhD, but requires the most training). You can go into industry jobs, data science jobs, science communication, or health policy. And that's just a few of the options!

Note that you will generally have to pay for a masters or PsyD degree in psychology, but PhD programs are usually paid for and you receive a stipend (not much money, but enough to live on).

Personally, I am in the middle of pursuing a clinical psychology degree and I LOVE the flexibility that the degree affords. I know I will be more competitive for certain jobs because I will end up as a licensed clinician and I will have a lot of training/skills in research. I'm unsure about my ultimate career and am starting to explore science communication. I will say that this degree is a lot of work, since we have to do classes, research, teaching (sometimes), AND clinical work, which can be pretty draining. That said, it's also rewarding and all experiences are beneficial to learn what I am and am not as passionate about. Please feel free to reach out with additional questions and best of luck.