On a whim and while struggling with the challenge of finishing my doctoral dissertation, I purchased a flask with the following quote engraved on its leather sleeve: “The problem with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass.” I thought that was quite a hoot given my current state of mind and long-held belief that running could never be something I would enjoy. The notion of running for fun also contradicted my memories of eighth grade and running suicides in the Moore Junior High School gym.
For most careers, providing professional services using psychological knowledge requires a doctoral degree in psychology, and these careers are often called professional or health service psychology. However, psychology careers for individuals holding master’s degrees are available in multiple occupational settings and in fields across the discipline. The demand for jobs at this level of training is reflected in the growth of master’s psychology degrees — from slightly below 18,000 in 2003 to nearly 28,000 in 2013. Similarly, the National Science Foundation reports growth during the past decade in research-focused psychology master’s degrees: approximately 15,000 in 2003 and 22,000 in 2011.
With a surge of awareness from many mainstream media outlets and a newfound push to teach the importance of mental health, psychology has never been more popular and readily accessible to the public. Although there has been an increase in awareness, there are still many fields and subjects of psychology that are not as commonly popular or are simply unknown.
When I was earning my bachelor’s degree in psychology, classmates, professors, family members and guidance counselors would tell me that I needed a graduate degree if I wanted to get a job using my degree. At first, I believed them and planned for graduate school at some point in the future. But, before going to graduate school, I worked for four years in academic research. Below, I’ll describe some different research careers that someone with a bachelor’s degree in psychology could pursue and, most importantly given the difficulty some college graduates encounter finding jobs, what you need to do to prepare for each career.
As commencement approaches, our baccalaureate psychology graduates will likely hear the familiar admonition “But you can’t get a decent job with a bachelor’s degree in psychology!” There is some truth to that warning (Carnevale, et al., 2015; Rajecki & Borden, 2011) and to employers’ complaints that graduates are unprepared for work. However, if we vigorously shared other data with our students we could instill optimism in the 55% of those graduates who enter the job market.
How can teachers and advisors help?
What is I-O psychology?
Industrial-organizational psychologists research and apply principles of psychology to the world of work. Their mission is to identify and apply techniques that benefit not only employers, but also employees. In general, the more efficient an organization is (be it a for-profit corporation, non-profit agency, or government entity) the more all stakeholders benefit. For more about what I-O psychologists do click here.
Happy New Year! After a (hopefully) restful respite, we are back on the Road to Graduate School. Most deadlines, especially for doctoral programs, have passed, and you’re in a waiting stage, while selection and admission committees review applications, deciding on whom to invite to the next stage: The Interview.
It’s November, and chances are deadlines for graduate school are approaching fast. But don’t panic – you’ve been following along with our blog, and you’re ahead of the curve (so to speak): In the first article we focused on why you want to go to graduate school, and in the second article we discussed how to research programs and narrow down your options. In other words, you know where you want to go, and the way(s) to get there.
Doctoral degrees in psychology offer individuals preparation to conduct scientific research, professional practice or both. Most individuals receive either the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree. Although each of these degrees is designed to engage students in deep knowledge and skills within a subfield of psychology, there are substantial differences in the type of training and career plans of individuals with these degrees. Finding the best-fitting program for an individual student begins with understanding these differences.