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Is psychology a good choice of career?

Hey! Let me tell you a bit about myself.
I like helping people A LOT. Understanding and empathizing with people are my dominant qualities. I like learning about human behaviour and cognitive functions. When I'm in a group, I can really absorb the feeling of others, I know when someone is uncomfortable, insecure, troubled etc . it comes to me naturally. But I am not sure if psychology has much scope in the future, or if it is a job that people look up to. (I am also a big people pleaser. I know, I'm not proud of it. Sorry!)
I am very sure that if I end up being a psychologist, I will be truly happy because emotionally supporting a person will not just be my job, It'll be something I love doing.
#psychology #psychologist #phd #advice #career-choice


I believe psychology is a great choice of career, not just simply because it is also my choice of career, but it also has many different subcategories of psychology that one may study. There is developmental, cognitive, clinical, and behavioral psychology, which are just some of few I know mainly about. Psychology really does allow one to apply their knowledge to the real life practice of helping others mentally, emotionally and psychologically. Having a career within the psychology world also can take place in any different such as hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centers, etc. When choosing a career within psychology, it is important to do your research and figure out what you actually want to pursue within this really huge career path. Diana J.

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Pratiksha’s Answer

If you are really passionate about being a psychologist, it's definitely worth spending some time to see what subjects you'll be studying and also talking to psychologists about their typical day and the different kind of opportunities available.

You mentioned that you are a people pleaser. I just wanted to point out that as much as being a psychologist is helping people it also involves having difficult conversations with people and enabling them to have these conversations with others. Such conversations are not always pleasant and people will not always be happy with you!

Finally, to answer your question about future scope - There is definitely a lot of scope in psychology in India and abroad. Specially in India, people are becoming more aware of the need of psychologists and a lot of schools and companies have in house psychologists to help their employees or students.

Pratiksha recommends the following next steps:

Talk to different psychologists and ask them questions about their work
Check out colleges that offer psychology as a major and check if the subjects interest you

Thank you for your advice, Pratiksha! Samyukta S.

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K. A.’s Answer

I think the critical question here is: Would psychology be a good choice *for you*? Based on what you're saying about your personality and interests, it sounds like it could definitely be a good match. I see that you're in India, and if you want to get a sense of job outlooks there (or elsewhere, if you're planning to move/study abroad in the future), you can search for job outlooks in specific fields.

I'm not sure how far along you are in your studies, but one thing you'll need to consider is how wide and varied the field really is, and how many paths exist under the 'psychology' umbrella. There are programs that will prepare you for a career in research, a career as a counselor or therapist (and it sounds like this appeals to you most), and many other careers and opportunities as well. Some programs prepare you for only one of these trajectories, and others offer more flexibility. You'll also probably need to get at least a master's degree to open some of these doors.

In the meantime, I'd recommend trying to gain some experience in the social services, either as an entry-level worker or a volunteer, so you can get some experience, as well as a sense of the day-to-day responsibilities and realities within the field. You may even connect with psychologists/therapists who are willing to offer you advice and insight regarding the field, and how they got where they currently are. If you're at university, I recommend taking plenty of psychology courses. Ask your professors for advice, and ways you may be able to get involved in the department.

Finally, you asked if people look up to the field. That's a difficult question to answer, and depends on the 'people' in question. It's not usually perceived as a glamorous, "flashy" career, so if a person values those things, they might not regard psychology as highly. But, when practiced well, psychology can help others in powerful, life-saving ways -- and to me, that's very respectable. Ultimately, you're the one choosing a career, and it needs to be a career that you like, respect, and admire. One of the greatest gifts is the sense of pride, fulfillment, and purpose you'll feel when you're on the path that's right for you. Good luck!

K. A. recommends the following next steps:

Take psychology courses, and try to get experience in the field
Further explore your options with a career/academic advisor
Research psychology programs online, and see what excites and motivates you

Great advice! Thanks a lot, K.A! Samyukta S.

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Rakesh’s Answer

I feel there are a lot of opportunities in the field of Psychology. Psychology in itself has a lot of specializations, which you must want to consider pursuing based on your interest. There is always an increasing demand for psychologists, across educational institutions , professional assistance, managing relationship, handling success/failures and so on, so you must understand each specializations better to make that your priority. It is very different from being sensitive to the people you interact with.

The competition to succeed has made many people wary of only results, which is mostly financial benefits/status and the Emotional Well being is usually ignored. Emotional well being is related to many factors around every individual.

Given the opportunities, there are challenges too. For instance, in India, many people still consider approaching a psychologist /counselor demeaning to them. There are social stigmas to people that approach a psychiatrist. Hopefully this improves in the coming years.

If you are keen at interacting with people and being sensitive to their grievances and want to be in a position to address them, I would suggest a few more options, which you could consider along with taking up psychology. Our society has a huge segment of people who are not educated enough to understand their rights&benefits. They usually do not receive enough support instead end up being played many times.

Apart from being able to empathize with them, you must be able to provide them solutions so that their life improves. You could consider being a Legal Consultant or a Civil/Administrative Services Personnel.

Best Wishes.

Rakesh recommends the following next steps:

https://www.apnaahangout.com/psychology-courses-india/
http://www.iipr.in/

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Alexis’s Answer

If you are in high school, your guidance counselor would be a good source for recommending colleges and universities with good Psychology programs. Now, if you are in college or a university your advisor should be able to advise you. There are opportunities for high school and college students to shadow or intern within the career fields that are of interest to them. The field of Psychology offers many opportunities from A.A. degrees to Ph.D. degrees. There are new opportunities that address traumas which would include the pandemic that we are experiencing that is leading to complications of suicidal ideation, social isolation, substance abuse, financial crisis, economic crisis, educational crisis, relationship crisis to include major family dysfunctional problems, spiritual crisis just to name a few. Psychology is not a field for one to "people please." It is based on evidence-based care and treatment programs. Most of the Psychological career opportunities require licensure. I hope that this information helps.

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Abhilash’s Answer

I believe that your empathy will serve you well in the field of Psychology. However you will need to be able to hold to your own center and sense of self when helping others in difficult situations; if you get totally caught up in the other person and their problems, then it would be difficult to help them. As far as opportunities in this field, nowadays there is much need for people like you that want to help others to navigate the various stresses of modern life.

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Gabriele’s Answer

It is not an easy question to answer, if you are passionate about this field you should try it;
first of all you need to study it to understand, attending the courses at the university, if the subject is really of interest for you.
Then of course, after the degree, you will have multiple paths in front of you: from an independent job, to a possible role in the public sector or a position in the HR team of a big company.

Thanks for your answer, Gabriele! Samyukta S.

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David’s Answer

I believe that your empathy will serve you well in the field of Psychology. However you will need to be able to hold to your own center and sense of self when helping others in difficult situations; if you get totally caught up in the other person and their problems, then it would be difficult to help them. As far as opportunities in this field, nowadays there is much need for people like you that want to help others to navigate the various stresses of modern life. Good luck with your decision!

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Holly’s Answer

It sounds like you have a handle on what interests you and energizes you. That's lucky to have at such a young age.

I concur with the other points that this might be a good fit, but I would also encourage you to explore other career options that allow you to help others. Other career consideration that might would align with your desire to help others could be a social worker, case manager, or a physical therapist.

My partner is a psychologist and similar to you, he loves helping others. One thing though is that you have to go through a rigorous education process (undergrad, grad, certification) to be able to practice. Also, as a psychologist you have to follow an ethical code that might conflict with your "people pleasing" at times. Nevertheless, being a psychologist is a wonderful thing and certainly there is no shortage in demand in this career field :)

Holly recommends the following next steps:

Look up career paths about becoming a psychologist
Research other career options (ie. social worker, case manager, physical therapist)

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