According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, the current growth trend in psychology shows a steady rise in positions. It is reported that in general, jobs for psychologists will rise at a rate of 12 percent between 2012 and 2022. This is considered an average rate of growth in the United States. What must be taken into consideration is that although the general field of psychology will see average growth overall, certain degree levels and sub specialties in psychology will see a much more drastic rise.
Career Opportunities as Industrial /Organizational psychologists
The area of psychology that will see the greatest growth in jobs is Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology. This sub specialty of psychology involves the scientific study of human behavior in the workplace. These psychologists typically work in the private sector although there are positions available in some governmental agencies. I/O Psychologists work to promote the highest level of well being for employees of a company or agency. They work to promote employee satisfaction, productivity and safety. They often work alongside human resources professionals during the hiring process to help find ideal candidates for a particular position. In some cases I / O Psychologists are brought into a company on the verge of structural, managerial or other change in order to help employees experience a smooth transition.
Career Opportunities Working With Geriatric Population
Another area of psychology that will see a dramatic rise in positions is work with the geriatric population. As the average lifespan increases throughout the Unites States, more and more older Americans are dealing with psychiatric and general mental health issues. Issues such as depression, grief counseling, poor stress management, and full time caregiving are greatly affecting the geriatric population. As these issues increase so does the need for psychologists to fill these positions.
Career Opportunities Working With Military Personnel and Their Families
Yet another area of substantial growth in the field of psychology is employment working with military personnel and their families. The American Psychological Association (APA) reported that United States Veteran Affairs job growth alone has created over 800 new jobs working with this population. As more soldiers return home from the Middle East and other areas of conflict, psychologists will be needed to work with transitioning soldiers back to civilian life, helping them deal with the affects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and helping wounded veterans carve out a new life. This area of psychology will likely grow for years to come.
Overall, almost every degree level and area of psychology will see average or above average growth in the next ten years. With that growth will be strong competition for jobs in the field of psychology. Some psychological specialties will have a much higher rate of competition than others. Psychologists who possess a doctoral or specialized degree who also have completed post-doctoral work will have the most success in finding a job. By paying attention to what areas of psychology will see the most dramatic increases, students can cater their education to accommodate both their career aspirations but also upcoming changes in the field of psychology.