Psychology is probably among the popular courses you can study at any level. While most psychology degrees are anchored to natural and life sciences, it offers a wide area for students to explore other social sciences, such as philosophy and criminology. This explains why the subject continues to appeal to more students from varying academic backgrounds. If you were thinking of pursuing psychology as a career, here is just a guide to help root your decisions on[i].
Benefits of Psychology Degrees
Before looking deeper into this course, it is important to understand the benefits of studying psychology. Some great reasons to learn psychology include:
– Understand others better – if you are majoring in a career that involves interacting with different people, such as nursing or teaching, studying psychology can be tremendously helpful. Even if you won’t interact with many people in your career, psychology skills help to understand human behavior.
– Understand yourself better – just like understanding others, a degree in psychology can help in getting to know yourself better. You can easily know your motivations, personality, and contributors to how you think and behave.
– Improve critical thinking skills – studying psychology can help you think and analyze any information critically. Critical thinking is useful in various careers.
– Prepares you for various carriers – studying psychology is the gateway to different job opportunities. Some of these opportunities are listed below.
Psychology Degree Classes
If you are thinking of taking a psychology course, you can choose from several degree options at both the undergraduate and graduate levels[ii]. However, before choosing the type of degree to study, you should first understand the entry requirements. Below are different psychology degree classes, study times, and career options available.
An Associate Degree in psychology
An associate degree in psychology is a step above certificate and diploma courses. This undergraduate degree often takes no more than 2 years to complete. It is offered in most community colleges, and most students often transfer to a state university for advanced bachelor’s degrees. It is the gateway to most entry-level psychology employment opportunities.
Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
Unlike Associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees are undergraduate level and take four years to complete. This degree offers a wide range of job opportunities and a solid basis for advancing graduate studies.
Master’s Degree in Psychology
This graduate-level degree takes two or three years to complete. Employment opportunities at this stage are quite plentiful and better paying. Graduates can work in diverse areas, including government agencies, business fields, health services, and more.
P.H.D in Psychology
This is a doctoral-level degree that takes between four and six years to complete. Unlike master’s degrees, this level is research-oriented and includes theoretical and applied training.
Potential Jobs and Salaries for Those with Psychology Degrees
As mentioned, there is endless diversity among psychology graduates, with varied and satisfactory salaries. While there are several careers with high-annual pay, your actual income will rely on various factors such as the sector of employment, educational background, years of experience, and geographic location. Among the highest-paying jobs, include[iii];
With an average annual income of $216,090, psychiatry is heavily tied to medical careers and psychology applications. Psychiatrists are essentially medical doctors with specialized training in diagnosing and treating both mental and emotional disorders. Though often confused with psychologists, psychiatrists have a medical degree and can prescribe medication. After completing a bachelor’s degree, psychiatrists should graduate from medical schools.
The organizational psychologist uses their expertise to help businesses improve workplace performance. They study and alter workplace behavior for better productivity and efficiency. You will need a master’s degree in psychology to get such an opportunity. While other opportunities are available at the master’s level, an organizational psychologist can bank up to 102,530 annually.
These are mental health professionals with specialized studies in the brain and cognition. Neuropsychologists are also involved in the study of various drugs and their effect on the nervous system. Eligible neuropsychologist should have a doctorate degree in neuropsychology. Nonetheless, it is rewarding, paying up to $90,360 annually.
Other key areas of employment with satisfactory salary range include;
– Health psychologist
– Clinical psychologist
– Educational psychologist
– Forensic psychologist
– High-intensity therapist
– Mental health nurse
The Bottom Line
Choosing to study psychology is a significant decision. However, you shouldn’t rush in making such lifetime decisions. Consider several factors, among them potential career options, availability of jobs, and salaries. The satisfactory salary, coupled with the ability to gain several skills, including people skills, communication skills, conceptual reasoning, memorization techniques, and behavioral training skills, probably explains the current surge in psychology students[iv].
[i] Writer, Staff. 2020. “How To Become A Psychologist | Psychology Degrees And Careers”. Learnhowtobecome.Org. https://www.learnhowtobecome.org/psychologist/
[ii] 2020. Careersinpsychology.Org. https://careersinpsychology.org/choosing-bachelors-degree-program-psychology/
[iii] “20 Highest Paid Jobs In The Field Of Psychology”. 2020. Online Psychology Degrees. https://www.online-psychology-degrees.org/highest-paid-jobs-in-psychology/
[iv] Psychology, 8. 2020. “8 Nice Life Benefits From Studying Psychology”. Mallory. https://mallory.com.au/cm/benefits-studying-psychology/