Psychology
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What You Can Do With A Graduate Degree In Psychology

What You Can Do With A Graduate Degree In Psychology

Chasing a career in psychology can seem a lot like a dog chasing behind a vehicle – you get your degree, but you find out you need to do a bit more to become a practicing clinical psychologist, so you pursue your honor's degree. You then discover that an honor's degree is not enough, so you pursue a master's degree. But you have already made it so far that you just consider pursuing your doctorate.

Now you have your doctorate in your hands and suddenly the vehicle you have been chasing behind for miles and miles has stopped and you have no idea what to do.

Once you have obtained your undergraduate degree in psychology, you can begin to hit your stride in your master's and doctorate degrees. It is here where you choose the specialty you wish to pursue, having gained some direction from coursework you completed in your bachelor's degree.

Let us look in-depth at master's and doctorate degrees in psychology and what career path these degrees can help you.

What You Do With A Master's Degree In Psychology

No one will pursue a master's degree or higher in a field where they didn't aim to follow the expected career path that comes with that degree. No one pursues a master's degree or a doctorate in psychology to go into an administrative or teaching role.

With the effort and investment that you put into yourself and your education when pursuing a higher degree, the chances are you have a clear goal in mind and these degrees are pursued with the aim of seeing your goals come to fruition.

By the time you reach your master's degree, you would have acquired theoretical and practical skills that will send you on a successful career path in psychology. At this point in your academic career, you can decide which field of specialty you are hoping to pursue.

There are a number of specialized fields within psychology that serve as interesting and viable career paths. From clinical psychology to research psychology, and many options in between, your choices may seem overwhelmingly endless.

But it is important to know that you are never tied down or limited in options when it comes to career prospects, especially when you have a master's degree. Clinical psychology or counseling roles are not the only jobs that you can pursue, and you can follow career paths in marketing, human resources, and other office-based roles.

One of the challenges that some people find with higher degrees or post-graduate degrees is that employers are sometimes apprehensive about hiring them for roles within companies. This is because they are often thought to be overqualified, which means they are expensive for the company to employ, and they may not have any work experience.

That is why, when you are pursuing an academic higher degree, it is always beneficial to do volunteer work or work in roles at your academic institute which can contribute towards your acquired experience, and that will be useful when you do join the workforce.

Clinical Psychologist

Pursuing a role as a clinical psychologist seems like the most mapped-out career path to follow, especially with a master's degree in clinical psychology. Once you have obtained this degree, you need not study any further and you can successfully start conducting psychotherapy on patients once you have been registered with the American Psychological Association (APA).

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), clinical and counseling psychologists can earn a median annual salary of $82,510.

Academic Roles

This may not seem like a viable option for you in the moment because the field is so competitive but lecturing and teaching roles within a college or a university is a great career path to pursue with a master's degree in psychology.

Additionally, your role does not need to be limited to lecturing and teaching and instead can be used to pursue student counseling roles at the academic institute.

According to the BLS, psychology teachers and postsecondary careers which include those who teach psychology, as well as those who teach and conduct research, can expect a median annual salary of $77,860.

Federal, State, And Local Government

Master's degrees in psychology can prove to be extremely beneficial in government and law enforcement roles. Whether you are working as a criminal or forensic psychologist, or you are pursuing a role as a detective, a master's degree in psychology will prove to be extremely beneficial.

According to the BLS, forensic psychologists can expect to earn a median annual salary of $81,040

How Many Years For A Master's Degree In Psychology?

After completing a bachelor's degree in psychology which can take between three to four years, a master's degree takes an additional two years to complete.

How Much Does A Master's Degree In Psychology Cost?

At a private institution, a master's degree in psychology can cost around $30,000.

What Does A Master's Degree In Psychology Teach You?

A Master's Degree in Psychology equips you with the knowledge and understanding to identify behavioral anomalies that are of concern within people, it allows you to identify personality and behavioral disabilities and challenges that the person may face, and it allows you to advise and treat any disorders appropriately.

What You Do With A Doctorate's Degree In Psychology

At the top of the academic food chain lies the doctoral degree. It is extremely sought after but it is not easy to obtain. With a doctorate degree in psychology, you can pursue a multitude of career paths as holding this degree opens many doors.

Being accepted into a psychology doctorate program is enough to let you know you have made it and you are on your path to success. During this degree program, you will learn skills that include patient care and interaction, psychopharmacology, psychological diagnosis and assessment, and so much more.

Let us look at the roles you can successfully fulfill when you hold a doctoral degree in psychology.

Consulting

Holding a doctoral degree in psychology equips you with everything you need to know to provide accurate and valuable input into governmental spheres, corporate spheres, and large organizational spheres.

Medical And Health Services Managers

Earning a doctoral degree in psychology shows that you have what it takes to manage people successfully. This advanced degree proves that you have the skills and abilities to not only manage and oversee other people but to also manage and oversee operations also successfully.

Medical and health services managers oversee, direct, and manage all business activities of a health care facility, including all health care providers that actively operate in the environment. From financials to operations and supplies, medical and health services managers make sure that everything runs smoothly.

According to the BLS, medical and health service managers earn a median annual salary of $101,340 and the job outlook expects to see a projected growth of 32% in the next decade between 2020 and 2030.

Research Psychology

Being equipped with data analysis and research method coursework allows you to successfully pursue a career in research. Not only does this role allow you to identify new advancements in the field, but it also allows you to make valuable contributions to developments within psychology, however small or great these contributions may be.

How Many Years For A Doctoral Degree In Psychology?

While obtaining a doctoral degree can take about three years to achieve, your whole academic career can take about seven to 10 years to complete.

How Much Does A Doctoral Degree In Psychology Cost?

Coming in at quite a hefty amount, the cost of pursuing a doctoral degree is an average of about $114,300.

What Does A Doctoral Degree In Psychology Teach You?

Your bachelor's and master's degrees equip you with all the theoretical knowledge you need for a career path in psychology, but a doctorate degree is where you begin acquiring the practical and research skills that are required for you to treat patients and contribute to the field.

This degree is particularly leadership-orientated requiring all candidates to make active contributions in working with, and training those, pursuing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Conclusion

With all the possibilities that a degree in psychology brings with it, it shouldn't beg the question of what you can do with a degree in psychology but rather what you can't do. From specializing in very particular fields to giving you skills that will allow you to thrive in almost all other fields, a degree in psychology is as versatile as it is sought after.