What to Know Before Choosing Psychology As a Major
- Enjoyment of Working With Others
- Think About One’s Ability to Cope With Stress
- Consider the Desire to Be a Student for a Long Time
- Determine Personal Interests Within Psychology
- Think About the Desired Career Path
Psychology is a popular major in undergraduate and graduate studies, and a person should be aware of these five pieces of advice before pursuing a psychology degree. For a bachelor’s degree, a person might choose psychology in order to prepare for a career in many different fields, such as human resources or sales. A person who chooses psychology for a master’s or doctoral degree should give even more consideration and follow this advice before finalizing their decision.
Related resource: Ranking Top 30 Public Ivies Offering a Degree in Psychology
1. Enjoyment of Working With Others
A person who wants to earn a degree in psychology should think about whether or not they enjoy working with others. Psychologists work with many clients and colleagues on a daily basis. Not everyone is a people person. If being around people wears an individual out, a career in psychology would not be a good choice.
2. Think About One’s Ability to Cope With Stress
Some people handle stress with ease. They can listen to other people’s problems all day long and not feel upset or worried. Other people will empathize a lot and ruminate about the problems of others to their own detriment. If a person cannot cope with stress and strong emotions, a degree in psychology might not be the best choice.
3. Consider the Desire to Be a Student for a Long Time
A person who wants to work as a practicing psychologist who treats patients will need to earn a doctorate degree and a license to practice in the state where they reside. This takes a considerable amount of time. After earning a bachelor’s degree, a doctoral degree takes another four to six years for a full-time graduate student. A fellowship and specialization add another two years to the timeline. Gaining licensure may also take a few months.
4. Determine Personal Interests Within Psychology
An individual who wants to pursue a psychology degree should spend some time thinking about what their interests are within psychology. This field is large, and it encompasses many types of practice. A person who likes talking to others and giving advice to other people might be well-suited to marriage and family therapy. A person who likes data and science might do well in a research psychology type of job.
5. Think About the Desired Career Path
According to Very Well Mind, another consideration before pursuing a psychology degree is the individual’s desired career path. There are many specialties of psychology, and a person might not be suited to one or more of them. For example, a person who is low on patience may not be well-suited to working in clinical psychology with children or people who have mental health disorders that take a long time to treat. A person should also think about whether they want to practice independently or work for an employer, such as a healthcare system or mental health facility.
Earning a degree in psychology sets up a person for many different career options. If a person wants to work as a practicing clinical psychologist or research psychologist, they should heed these five pieces of advice and put some contemplation and thought into their decision-making process. Considering each of these five pieces of advice before pursuing a psychology degree helps a person feel more confident about their decision.