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Careers In Psychology

Careers in Psychology


Careers in Psychology and Degrees in Psychology


The standard three degrees in psychology are the bachelors, masters and the doctorate.  People who obtain a bachelors degree in psychology and then move into the workforce often find themselves in social services, in advertising or in other businesses where an understanding of human motivation is a business asset.


Careers in School Psychology


Educational psychology is one field where a person can engage in a sort of clinical practice of psychology without a doctorate.  School psychologists can obtain a master’s degree and then complete a clinical internship, prior to taking a licensure exam.  This is one of those situations where every state’s requirements vary, but generally a master’s is all that is required from academia. 


School psychologists play an important role.  They can spot behavioral problems early in a child, and provide professional counseling if it is needed and effectual.  They can also work with parents in dealing with their child’s difficulties, whether they are learning disabilities or behavioral problems. 


Many parents have difficulty accepting the fact that their child may be struggling with some sort of internal aberration; denial is a powerful human psychological trait in all of us.  School psychologists can help dissolve those barriers.  They can also spot children who may have difficulties at home that should be addressed.  School psychologists are in a very sensitive and very important intersection in a child’s life.


Careers in Clinical Psychology


Clinical psychologists—who constitute the largest specialty—work most often in counseling centers, independent or group practices, hospitals, or clinics. They help mentally and emotionally disturbed clients adjust to life and may assist medical and surgical patients in dealing with illnesses or injuries.


Some clinical psychologists work in physical rehabilitation settings, treating patients with spinal cord injuries, chronic pain or illness, stroke, arthritis, and neurological conditions.  Chronic pain is a major catalyst for drug addiction and pain clinics have become important alternative forms of support therapy for addiction recovery.


Clinical psychologists may provide individual, family, or group psychotherapy and may design and implement behavior modification programs. Some clinical psychologists collaborate with physicians and other specialists to develop and implement treatment and intervention programs.  A clinical psychologist may choose to move into management and run a community mental health program.


Careers in Social Psychology


Social psychologists examine people’s interactions with others and with the social environment. This specialty may well take the psychologist into the corporate world.  They work in organizational consultation, marketing research, systems design, or other applied psychology fields.  Social psychologists are the people that design the motivational programs for employees in large organizations.  They are often the individuals that lead seminars for organizational leadership groups.  Many corporations that produce consumer products in highly competitive fields will bring a social psychologist into the product development phase, for input on any social characteristics that might be identified with the product on the drawing boards.


Careers in Psychological Research 

Research psychologists work in university and private research centers and in business, nonprofit, and governmental organizations. Individuals in these positions are generally studying one psychological theory or another, often utilizing animals as subjects as well as humans. Prominent areas of study in experimental research include motivation, attention, learning and memory; sensory and perceptual processes, effects of substance abuse, and genetic and neurological factors affecting behavior.

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