When you hear the term psychology, what do you instantly recall? The shrink, right? Yes, the study of psychology is a subject that comes under the field of medicine and life sciences.
In broad terms, psychology is a study of the human mind and behaviour, which also answers questions about the human brain, the way it works under stress, how it learns a new skill, numbers or language and how illnesses can lead to a dysfunction in its functioning.
If you have chosen or are about to choose a psychology degree for graduation, you must know that many different areas can be focused on during the course of your study. These areas include clinical, health, occupational, neuro, exercise, sport, forensic, research and teaching.
The opportunities are simply immense in terms of wide scope and area of your choosing. Typically, you will focus on broad knowhow of all these areas in the course of the first and second year of your psychology degree.
After that, you get to specialize and learn more about the area of your choosing, and if interested, undergo a postgraduate study in the same area. You can also enter your career in psychology just after graduation, in the area you have specialized with.
After entering to start a career in psychology, there are a number of things you can do and work as, depending on your interest and future career plans. These include:
If you would like to pursue the role of a psychologist, you can also opt for postgraduate study and gain the qualification of a chartered psychologist. In this specialization, you work with people across diverse backgrounds in terms of clients and patients.
You will get to analyse thoughts, behaviours as well as a multitude of emotions which will help you prescribe and advise on certain psychological issues and emotions.
Moreover, as a chartered psychologist, you can specialize in educational, occupational, mental health and sports psychology and pursue a relevant career in the respective fields, advising clients from various walks of life.
The job of a counsellor is to help people to come to terms with their experiences and life by exploring their emotions and feelings. The work setting of this profile will be confidential and you will be expected to be an attentive listener for your clients.
Among the key traits of any counsellor include the ability to empathize, offer patience and respect, listen to the patient and also simultaneously analyse the issues that are at play for the client, so that the client can cope with the situation in a better way.
Thus, though a counsellor might not give explicit advice, he would definitely act as a pillar of support for clients who want to make certain choices for themselves. Counselling can be practised in the areas of abuse, family, rehabilitation, education, mental health, marriage, grief, career guidance and paediatrics.
You can also opt to be a psychotherapist, who makes clients solve financial issues. These include stress, relationship-related, emotional and addiction issues. A psychotherapist can employ a number of approaches and therapies to treat patients.
These include psychoanalytic therapy, psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioural methods, drama therapy, art therapy, Hypno-psychotherapy, humanistic and integrative therapy and experiential therapy. The field of therapy can be employed across other fields like being a life coach, family therapist or musical therapist.
In order to attain the status of an educational psychologist, you must have similar qualifications to any other psychologist with a master’s degree and higher training. The role of an educational psychologist is concerned with developing youth in educational settings.
The aim is to enhance learning as well as dealing effectively in emotional and social issues along with solving difficulties experienced in the course of learning.
Overall, an educational psychologist needs to balance the need for solving problems of young people who can be easily swayed by negative thoughts, while also addressing their need for self-esteem and emotional well-being
The role of a social worker is to deal with people who are undergoing a tough phase in their lives. This group of people typically includes the elderly, children, victims of abuse and crime as well as people who have disabilities of any kind. As a social worker, you will need to ensure that these people stay out of harm’s way and safeguard and support them so that their situation can be improved.
Many institutions like hospitals, schools and public agencies employ social workers to deal with problems across children, vulnerable adults and others in the areas of addiction, corrections, disability, paediatrics, geriatrics, parole, medical and clinical, public and mental health along with substance abuse.
Research roles in the field of psychology are available across research agencies, universities and also within public and private organizations. The careers based at universities also combine research with teaching.
Careers at public institutions could mean giving your contribution to government policy development and issues which are of importance to industry, thereby contributing to healthier individuals and improving productivity.
Research roles are also available at charity organisations and NGOs who undertake research to solve challenges like child development, speech impediments, and the impact of drugs on psychological health as well as assessing brain damage.
Human Resource Manager
The field of psychology mostly concerns the way people think and understanding their motivations. Thus, the profession of a human resource manager can be another match for psychology graduates.
These roles are concerned with areas like recruitment, training, communications, professional development and PR in both public and private institutions. As psychology graduates have imbibed skills like empathy, people skills, processing data and analysis of problems, the role of an HR manager seems quite perfect.
A role in media might be the least in priority for a psychology graduate but it does come with its own set of needs which can be fulfilled solely by them. You can impart great insights into human behaviour, thereby increasing the efficacy of communication, advice as well as analysis and solution of complex problems.