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To whomever it may apply to, how did you know what career path of psychology to pursue?

I am a senior in high school right now and I am searching some potential career opportunities for after a I graduate college. However, although I do have time to decide what to do with my life, I fear that I will not know what will interest me the best when deciding what direction of psychology to pursue as a career. #psychology #careers #undeclared

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Alan’s Answer

While I am not in the field of Psychology, it was a major field of practice for me in college. I thought I wanted to be in the field, but a decision point for me was how much I like to work with people. Psychology provides a basis for a lot of fields that may not be evident. For me, I loved math and statistics but was less of a people person. Clinical and therapy-related fields were going to be difficult for me unless they were purely research-based.

Thus, I looked for other opportunities where I could pair my grounding in Psychology along with my math skills. I ended up in Consumer Response modeling and analytics, and been the happier for it.

I guess my point is that Psychology can provide you a broad range of opportunities because it teaches you about how people think and behave. There are a lot of fields in research, marketing, analytics, etc. where Psychology provides a good base of knowledge and understanding. Don't be afraid to think broadly.

Regards,
Alan
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Shelly M.’s Answer

Hi,


That can be a difficult thing to ascertain. In my experience, it is often an ongoing process, one that you will continue throughout college, and after as you hone your skills and define your niche as a clinician. If you are serious about studying psychology, I think you have a solid beginning to knowing what you want to do. There are so many branches that you can pursue, and I imagine there will be new ones popping up over the next few years. Before you graduate college, there will be likely more psych opportunities than there are now and in different fields.


It may be helpful to job shadow several different people, or interview them as to the details of their careers. Talking to a Clinical Psychologist, a Marriage and Family Therapist, a research Psychologist, a psychiatrist, an organizational psychologist, or a neuropsychologist (etc., etc.) will each provide you with very different ways to view the field and paths to consider. For most, I believe the answer to your question becomes clear once you are studying in college. You will learn details about the different areas of the field, and most of the time, people tend to be attracted to one area over another. It's a process that can take time, but will become clear the more you learn.


I wouldn't worry about the having an answer right away, because it may change over the course anyway. It is terrific that you are beginning to look at your options and consider different paths however.


Hope this information is helpful,
Shelly

Thank you comment icon This was very helpful. Thank you so much shelly! I greatly appreciate it. Abner
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Katy’s Answer

Ultimately, choosing a career that you feel most passionate about is most important. The cliche of "if you love what you do for work, you'll never work another day" is true. Find something that you find enjoyment in but also something that challenges you in ways you enjoy to be challenged. I earned my degree in something very similar to Psychology and saw there are many ways you can apply what you learn. I think a very standard career path is to become a Psychologist or Therapist, however psychology can be used in many careers. For instance, the Psychology degree allows you to better understand people, their behaviors and the way they think. Understanding that is important for many careers such as the one I have chosen: Recruiting. Understanding my candidates, whats most important to them and why they are looking for a new career is what makes me be successful in identifying the best position for them within my company. Knowing the decision to start a new career is life changing and sometimes stressful, allows me to be empathetic to my candidates as they make that decision. Find a career that aligns to what you enjoy and that you will enjoy doing each and every day.
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