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Is it okay to select forensic psychology as a career option, if you are from humanities background?

So, I am from India and am interested in psychology so I chose humanities.. however, alot of people in my surrounding are asking me not to continue psychology as it is kind of a dead career option since not much jobs are available and it will be hard to fend myself later..
So what should I do.. I don't understand.. though i like it and would like to continue my opinion of going through with it but then the opinions of other people are also justifiable so I don't know what to do....
(I want to go for forensic psychology specifically..)

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Rachael’s Answer

Hello Vaisgnavi,

As many have mentioned, forensic psychology does provide options within the criminal justice career field. I received my masters degree in forensic psychology, and now I work as a Special Agent for a federal law enforcement agency. My degree has helped me in many way: during my investigations, interviewing suspects and victims, and just having an overall better understanding of people.

Best of luck to you,
Rachael
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James Constantine’s Answer

Subject: Exploring a Forensic Psychology Career with a Humanities Background

Dear Vaishnavi,

Forensic psychology is a fascinating blend of psychology and the criminal justice system. It offers a unique perspective on criminal behavior, mental health assessments of offenders, and expert court testimonies. If this field piques your interest, your academic background and potential job opportunities are key factors to consider.

The Academic Pathway to Forensic Psychology

While a psychology degree is not a hard and fast requirement for forensic psychology, it's certainly beneficial. A bachelor's degree in psychology equips you with a solid understanding of psychology's principles and practices, which are crucial for comprehending criminal behavior and assessing offenders' mental health. Nevertheless, a humanities degree can also be advantageous, fostering critical thinking, communication, and analytical skills essential for this field.

To become a forensic psychologist, you'll typically need a master's or doctoral degree in psychology or forensic psychology. These programs offer in-depth knowledge in psychological assessment, research methods, and legal procedures. Many also provide internships or practicum experiences in forensic settings like prisons, courts, or law enforcement agencies, offering invaluable real-world experience and professional networking opportunities.

Potential Job Opportunities in Forensic Psychology

The job market for psychologists can be competitive, but forensic psychologists have numerous opportunities. As per the American Psychological Association (APA), forensic psychologists can work in diverse settings such as:

- Correctional facilities: Assessing offenders' mental health and providing treatment services.
- Courts: Offering expert testimony in court cases and conducting evaluations of defendants.
- Law enforcement agencies: Assisting with crime investigations, offender profiling, and providing psychological training.
- Community mental health centers: Offering assessment and treatment services to individuals involved in the criminal justice system.

Forensic psychologists can also work as consultants or independent practitioners, providing expert testimony, conducting offender evaluations, or offering training and consulting services to organizations involved in the criminal justice system.

Planning Your Career Path

If you're considering a career in forensic psychology, it's crucial to contemplate your career goals and the steps necessary to achieve them. Here are some tips:

- Assess your strengths and weaknesses: Reflect on your skills and interests and how they align with a career in forensic psychology.
- Research career paths: Investigate different career paths within forensic psychology and understand the qualifications and skills needed for each.
- Gain relevant experience: Look for internships, practica, or volunteer work to enhance your skills and knowledge.
- Pursue graduate education: Consider programs that offer specialized training in forensic psychology and provide internships or practica opportunities.
- Stay updated on best practices: Keep abreast of the latest trends and developments in the field.

May God bless you on your journey!

Best regards,
James Constantine Frangos.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Vaishnavi !

You have a few options with Forensic Psychology but ultimately, you must do what you want and follow what you believe you should do. The first option is to become a Psychologist by studying at a university. The second option is to attend the National Forensics Sciences University in your country. Another way to do it is to get your Bachelors Degree in Psychology and your Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology. This is how it is done in your country. If you want to work in a clinical setting or in the universities, you would need to obtain your Doctorate Degree. You would than get licensure and certification also.

My advice is to take it all the way and get your Doctorate Degree as a Psychologist. Even though Forensics is very much shown in the media and looks exciting, to be a forensics psychologist means that you are a Psychologist. Forensics is one of the very many realms that a psychologist should know how to do. In your college path, you will no doubt have courses within your psychology major for Criminal Psychology and Abnormal Psychology. You are going to learn about all types of behavior and situations with a straight Psychology path in your undergraduate years. As electives or a minor, you can venture over to your campus Administration of Justice Dept. and take courses there, too. But in your country, they do offer a Masters in Forensic Psych. If you get your Doctorate Degree so many more doors will be opened for you and you won't be pigeon holed as the person who only does forensics.

Here is what I would do. Since the people have discouraged you, I would test what they've said. Go to as many Indian Employment websites as you can and look at the amount of job openings specifically for Forensic Psychologists. Keep a written tally of how many openings there are. I have also provided a link below of an informative paper you may want to read. If you find that there are not many jobs in Forensics, think more about if you want to be a Psychologist. It is a demanding course of study and you will be expected to be an expert with all populations and many issues. You can always learn a specialty, but Psychology is a whole subject and not a partial field with another partial field. Give it more time and if it's Forensics that you like more than Psychology, you can consider going into lab work or law enforcement. The reason that the people may have told you that the job prospect is low is that a lot of times, Psychologists are not labeled with a clientele or specified task, they're just indicated as Psychologist. There may be a type of psychologist they're looking for but that would be to indicate the type of clients/issues you'd be working with. People go for extended training to become expert in some topics of psychology. So this is what I mean about considering whether or not you want to be the Psychologist or a Forensics person that only works with Forensics. Also, reconsider your Humanities major if you want to go into Psychology because it would not be a good undergraduate degree for either psychology or forensics.

There really is much more advice I'd like to give, but I will end here and wish you the absolute best with your decision in your continued studies.

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

FORENSIC PSYCOLOGY IN INDIA - WHERE IS IT GOING ? chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://indianmentalhealth.com/pdf/2018/vol5-issue2/Viewpoint_Article_Forensic_Psychology.pdf
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