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Is A Degree In Psychology Worth It?
Believe it or not, psychology is a fairly recent field of study. For centuries, people have had a physiological interest in the human body and have spent time, money, and energy learning about every physical part of the body. But such an important facet that controls so much of the human function was overlooked for a long time.
The mind controls all things that we do, think, and feel. But for the longest time, it was deemed something that cannot get sick. This, however, was seen to be an extremely incorrect notion. In recent years, the importance of the mind and mental health is now seen as equally important to physical health.
With the increased focus on the importance of mental health, psychologists have also gained popularity. With that being said, many people often find themselves wondering if a psychology degree is worth it. Yes, it is. Psychology can set you on a successful path with career growth and income levels.
Read along to learn more about this extremely interesting and lucrative career path many choose to follow successfully.
Is A Psychology Degree Worth It?
As a multifaceted question, that seems to be rooted deep in psychology itself, this question has many possible answers based on the point of view from which you are asking. Many people have different ideas and directions they want their lives to go. And depending on the end goal you hope to achieve in life, this will affect your decisions.
When asking a group of people what they are studying, the common response always seems to be psychology. But it is often wondered how many of those people sit in an office across from a patient asking them to share their feelings in a safe place.
But psychology opens up more than just the possibility of being a psychologist. Let's start with the most common goal: pursuing a career in psychology. If you want to become a psychologist, then pursuing an associate degree or a bachelor's degree in psychology will be a great steppingstone in getting you there but it definitely won't be enough.
To become a practicing clinical psychologist, you will need more than just the theoretical foundation of undergraduate degrees. This often comes as a surprise to many when they set their sights on becoming a psychologist, get their degree, and face limitations in their career space. This often leads them to wonder if it is worth it.
But becoming a psychologist does not end with a bachelor's degree; your career will require you to pursue a higher degree in the form of a master's degree or a doctorate in psychology. This tends to be the factor that deters most people from investing time into their studies.
This, coupled with the fact that it is extremely competitive to get into a higher degree program, leads people to abandon their pursuits in the field of psychology.
But many people find themselves pursuing undergraduate degrees in psychology for reasons other than seeking a career as a psychologist. An associate or bachelor's degree in psychology has proven beneficial in many career fields.
For example, as mentioned before, the field of psychology is fairly new in terms of new developments being uncovered in the function of the human mind. Many people find themselves drawn to understanding and uncovering the human mind and pursue a psychology degree out of passion and heightened interests.
In so doing, they often find themselves choosing other major or minor subjects within psychology to help them in their career pursuits.
But an undergraduate degree can help your career If you are hoping to go into any field that requires interactions with other people – so in almost all fields.
While the principles you learn may not be directly useful in the role you end up in, they will give you a better understanding of interacting and working with others. It has been proven to be beneficial in the fields of communications, marketing, and journalism.
However, choosing an undergraduate degree in psychology should not be done if you think it is an easy career path to pursue. As a field closely related to medicine, it is anything but easy and requires consistent hard work, especially if you seek to achieve a career.
What Can You Do With A Degree In Psychology?
Many might say that you can't do much with an undergraduate degree. While it may be true that it does pose limitations on following a direct path in psychology, there are many other roles you can pursue with an associate or bachelor's degree in hand.
Different Roles You Can Hold
The nice thing about an undergraduate degree in psychology is that, while you may not be able to open up a psychology practice of your own, you will be able to pursue multiple jobs where psychology is either required or beneficial to the role.
Many large corporate companies seek individuals with an undergraduate psychology degree for sales and marketing roles. This is because selling a product or a service requires the seller to appeal to the buyer. Understanding the inner workings of the mind or knowing how to appeal to others are skills you will learn from your associate's or bachelor's degree in psychology.
Additionally, a valuable role that you can hold in large corporate companies with an undergraduate psychology degree that is still related to working with people, specifically internal employees, is a role within the human resources division of a company.
Those in human resources assist the internal legal departments draft company policies that set rules and regulations for those working in the company. They also draft contracts and policies that protect the employees within the company.
Additionally, those in human resource roles must have skills in counseling and advising internal employees. They need to know how to ensure employee wellbeing is maintained throughout an employee's tenure.
This would mean working with others through mental health difficulties that are sometimes personal, or work-related, helping employees avoid or overcome burnout, and ensuring that internal teams stay motivated.
How Can A Psychology Degree Benefit You In Other Areas Of Your Life?
Going above and beyond the career prospects that a degree in psychology may offer, you will find yourself gaining general life skills that will be beneficial to everyday life if you have a degree in psychology.
By fully immersing yourself in cognitive and behavioral development, you may take different parenting approaches to your young children, should you have any, as you approach their behaviors with a different understanding. You will find yourself with a new understanding and perception of people's personalities and social psychology.
Having this means that you are equipped with analytical skills, critical thinking skills, thought flexibility, a new understanding of the world's socio-economic intricacies daily, and an entirely adjusted and new world view than you would have had before studying psychology.
Things To Consider
As interesting and amazing as a degree and career path in psychology may appear, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing this as your path.
The first understanding is that an associate's or bachelor's degree will not be enough if you are aspiring to be a practicing clinical psychologist. You need to know that you must pursue a higher degree, which would mean a greater investment of time and money towards your career path.
Psychology is extremely people orientated. If you find yourself trying to avoid the crowds or not enjoying spending time with people, if you wouldn't be described as a people person, then perhaps this is not your career. Every aspect of psychology is based on the human mind and interaction, and close human interaction is required.
As a psychologist, you will be carrying the mental load of many others. People will come to you and reveal their deepest secrets. In addition to carrying the emotional and mental load of others, we cannot ignore the fact that you too will face the highs and lows of life.
It is important to know that as a psychologist, you too will need to have a therapist on hand to speak to and offload the heaviness that both clients and patients, and your personal life throws at you.
Psychology is something that you need to be passionate about. It stems from a place of wanting to help others. If you view it only as a job and a way to earn an income, then it may not be the best career path for you.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), psychologists earn a median annual salary of $81,040. And while this career path is expected to see a projected 8% growth between 2020 and 2030, the BLS stipulates that psychologists must have a doctorate or a master's degree to study and assess emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of individuals.
When asked if a degree in psychology is worth it, you can find answers that best suit your goal. For you, it may be worth it because it comes from a passion to help others and work with people from all walks of life. From social work and counseling to corporate roles, psychology has its place in society.
It depends on the role you wish to fulfill and the dedication you hope to give to your career in psychology that will determine if it is worth it.
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