CAREERS IN PSYCHOLOGY
Why do people do the things they do? What causes them to do such things? These are just two of the many questions that professionals in psychology concern themselves about.
The field of psychology covers a wide range of studies from a personal to a social and corporate level. The journey to pursuing a career in psychology starts of by obtaining a bachelor’s degree that covers the general scope of the subject. Students aiming to pursue a professional career are expected to have the requisite postgraduate qualifications such as a Master’s, PsyD, PhD in one specific area.
There are generally 9 areas of specialisation within psychology.
Academia, Research & Teaching Psychology
Do you have an interest in research? Do you feel the excitement of sharing the knowledge and information you have gathered? If so, academia, research and teaching psychology is the field for you. Students will learn how to conduct and publish researches, as well as how to prepare a proper syllabus for lecturers and teachers to use. In most cases, graduates will conduct lectures themselves as professional lecturers in educational institutions.
Over the years, many films have been produced about psychopaths, characters that can see the supernatural, and children with special needs. What if we told you that all these has a theoretical or scientific explanation about it? In abnormal psychology, students will learn about the various dysfunctions of the brain that may cause people to act in a certain manner. Students will also be taught the different approaches taken (including medications) to treat individuals suffering from mental health issues such as depression, addiction, and anxiety.
Counselling psychology deals with everyday life problems such as family or marital issues, relationship issues, abuse, and traumatic or stressful life events. Students who enjoy dealing with clients in an interpersonal manner should consider venturing into counselling psychology. Students will learn the various kinds of psychological therapies that could be put into practice when dealing with easing the negative mental stress of clients. It is also one of more applicable fields of psychology.
Education/ Child Psychology
Educational or child psychologists deal with issues surrounding children and young people in educational settings. These issues include learning difficulties, developmental disorders, disabilities, and social and emotional issues. Educational or child psychologists assess and evaluate cases, offer recommendations and advice for treatment, and provide support to parents and teachers. They also conduct research and offer suggestions on strategies to motivate children and young people in their studies.
Forensic psychologists often find themselves at court as witnesses. The job scope of a forensic psychologist includes criminal profiling, assessing and implementing criminal treatment programs, and giving evidence in court based on psychological theories, research, and analysis. The evidence a forensic psychologist gives determines the weight of the penalty given by the judge towards the criminal. Therefore, a forensic psychologist plays an important role in the legal system.
More and more people are becoming increasingly concerned with living a healthy lifestyle. After all, what is wealth without health? While some may find it easy to achieve, others lack the knowledge, or simply struggle to find a consistent method to remain healthy. Students in health psychology will learn how to consult clients on ways to improve their general well-being (physical, psychological, and emotional). Some areas that concern health psychologists include the importance of a healthy diet and regular sleep patterns, and the dangers of smoking. They also support patients who are chronically ill.
Unlike counselling psychology, neuropsychology deals with actual brain injuries, and disorders or diseases that affect the brain such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Neuropsychologists work in hospitals dealing with neurological disorders, and within rehabilitation centres with patients recovering from brain injury. Students will learn specifically about the brain and how damages to specific areas of the brain affect movement and performance.
Organisational/ Occupational Psychology
Large corporate groups want to hire the right people for the right job, and learns the ways to motivate their employees to get the job done better. Students in organisational psychology learn how to develop and use psychometric tests to help organisation hire the right people, as well as how to use incentives to keep people motivated. Graduates in this area of psychology can look forward to careers in human resource department or as self-employed motivational speakers who would be hired by companies.
Sports & Exercise Psychology
Any athlete will tell you that sports is a battle of the mind. Almost every athlete or athletic team has a coach to remind them to stay focus and to motivate them to strive for improvement. Students studying sports psychology will learn the different theories about handling stress during competitions, implementing goal setting strategies, and keeping a positive mind-set.