Psychology is a field of study that enjoys unwavering interest from high school graduates. Every year, learning psychology at several dozen universities is started by thousands of people with different ideas for their professional careers. Psychology is a field of study that offers quite broad prospects for employment and development. Due to the growing demand for psychologists on the market, graduates of this faculty should not complain about problems with finding a job in the future, so in this article we will answer the question of what can you do after psychology?
Table of Contents
- Studies in the field of psychology
- What are psychological studies like?
- Specializations in the field of psychology
- Which universities can study psychology?
- Work after psychology
- Clinical psychologist
- School psychologist
- Police psychologist and prison psychologist
- Recruiter / HR specialist
- Career counselor
- Crisis intervener
- Addiction therapist
- Is it worth studying psychology?
Studies in the field of psychology
What are psychological studies like?
Usually, psychological studies last 5 years. At the vast majority of universities, you will study psychology in a uniform system. This means that the course of study is not divided into first-cycle (bachelor’s) and second-cycle (master’s) studies, but covers 5 years in a row and ends with the defense of the thesis and obtaining the title of master’s degree in psychology. In recent years, an accelerated path of psychological studies has also been created for people who have already completed another field of study. Studying on the path for Bachelors and Masters takes approximately 3 years and ends with obtaining a Master’s degree in Psychology.
You can study psychology both in full-time (daily) and part-time (evening or extramural) modes. Extramural classes are held, depending on the university, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays or only on Saturdays and Sundays.
Psychological studies include two groups of subjects to be passed:
General psychological subjects, which can be described as a must-have for every psychologist – allow you to acquire basic knowledge in the field of individual areas of psychology. These include biological behavior mechanisms, statistics, methodology, psychometrics, psychopathology, personality psychology, social psychology, clinical psychology and individual differences.
Subjects related to the selected path / specialization – usually appear in the study plan only in later years. As part of them, you will acquire knowledge of a higher level of advancement.
Psychological studies are not only lectures. From the first semesters you will have the opportunity to develop various practical skills during workshops and exercises with psychologists-practitioners, group trainers and trainers.
I imagine that many people who consider choosing psychology studies dream about “touching” real psychology as soon as possible: having contact with patients, observing therapies, conducting research. Meanwhile, the reality is different. You will have to devote the first 2 years of your studies to the already mentioned basic subjects. Some of them may seem boring to you. You may feel that this knowledge will never be useful to you in your life. However, it is worth being patient and reaching the later semesters, where you will start to have an increasing influence on what you will learn. All because of the choice of specialties. In addition, it is good to look for practical experiences in the field of psychology, deciding on various forms of non-academic activity, for example volunteering in a foundation supporting people in a mental health crisis.
Specializations in the field of psychology
In psychology studies, there are a number of paths and specializations that you can choose from. The most popular specializations in the field of psychology are:
Organizational and work psychology
child and family psychology
Which universities can study psychology?
Psychology is included in the catalog of majors of several dozen universities. They are both public and private universities. The most famous are:
A clinical psychologist is a graduate of 5-year studies who additionally completed 4-year specialization training. She deals with the diagnosis and therapy of mental disorders, as well as conducting activities in the field of mental health prevention. The clinical psychologist has knowledge of the mechanisms of the emergence and maintenance of mental illness. Typically, clinical psychologists specialize in working with a select group of patients (e.g., pediatric clinical psychologist, adolescent clinical psychologist, adult clinical psychologist) or disorder (e.g., clinical neuropsychologist). Clinical psychologists can find work in psychiatric hospitals, mental health clinics, addiction treatment centers and private practices. They are also increasingly employed in internal medicine and oncology departments.
In order to work as a psychologist, you must meet two conditions: complete a master’s degree in psychology and have pedagogical preparation. The role of a school psychologist is to provide psychological help to students, teachers and parents. Such support may include solving educational problems, supporting the student in his development, mediation in crisis situations, recognizing the needs and talents of students or carrying out activities in the field of addiction prevention.
Police psychologist and prison psychologist
The presence of psychologists in the police and prison service has been a standard for several years. Such work can only be undertaken by people who have a master’s degree in psychology and have undergone the full recruitment process for the services. A police or prison psychologist can be employed as a civilian or as an officer, the latter scenario being much more common. The main area of work of a police psychologist is psychological assistance and psychoeducation. Psychologists organize support in the form of crisis interventions, advice and support groups for police officers, as well as victims of accidents and crime. They are on duty, during which policemen experiencing difficulties resulting from the burdensome nature of their work can obtain help. Police psychologists can also support officers in their investigative activities by creating psychological profiles of the perpetrators. They also conduct a diagnosis of candidates for service. The work of a prison psychologist is aimed at ensuring the safety of inmates. A psychologist diagnoses prisoners and assesses their level of functioning. It also provides support to people in crisis.
In order to qualify as a psychotherapist, you must complete a 5-year master’s degree program and post-graduate training in a school of psychotherapy. The latter usually lasts 4 years and most often ends with a certification exam, there are over a dozen psychotherapy schools that provide education in accordance with various trends. Before choosing a school, the candidate should familiarize himself with the theoretical assumptions of the school. The role of a psychotherapist is to provide psychological support to patients and to use therapeutic interventions aimed at curing or alleviating disease symptoms. Psychotherapists find employment in psychiatric hospitals, mental health clinics, addiction treatment centers, private offices and crisis intervention centers.
Recruiter / HR specialist
There is no need to convince anyone that a good employee is a treasure. Employers are committed to creating teams whose efforts will be effective. Selection of candidates and creating teams is precisely the role of a recruiter. Work in recruitment is firmly rooted in the analysis of the personality traits and potential of an individual. Recruiters take care of the entire recruitment process – from the preparation of the advertisement to the formalities related to employment. They are also often involved in the promotion of the company’s personnel policy, for example by participating in job fairs. In the work of a recruiter, apart from specialist education, the skills of selecting and organizing information, communication skills and openness are important. You can find work in this position in HR departments of larger companies. Recruiters with experience are also hired as freelancers as experts to conduct specific recruitment processes.
Admit it yourself that choosing a field of study and further career path is not easy. To make a good decision, you need to take into account not only trends, parents’ dreams and promises of good earnings, but most of all our individual predispositions. It is the career counselor who helps in the objective assessment of the latter. He supports his clients in identifying their own potential and limitations and choosing the right direction of development. Help from a career counselor is sought not only by young people, but also by those who are struggling with professional burnout or faced with the need to retrain. Vocational counselors are employed, among others, in schools, employment offices and training centers. They also work as freelancers and set up private offices. One of the tools used at work as a career counselor may be the popular Gallup test.
Due to changes in regulations, mediation is becoming more and more popular in legal system. Mediation is also decided by people who are not in a court dispute with each other, but who simply need help in resolving the conflict. A court mediator may be any person who has full legal capacity and enjoys full civil rights (except judges) after being entered on the list of mediators in a court. The role of the mediator is to improve communication between the parties to the dispute and to support them in working out a solution acceptable to both parties. The key issues in this profession are neutrality and impartiality. In addition to working in court, mediators find employment in consulting companies, family support centers and private offices.
Such work is usually undertaken by masters of psychology after completing specialist postgraduate studies. The role of the crisis intervener is to provide quick support to people experiencing traumatic and crisis situations, e.g. death of a loved one, suicidal thoughts, loss of job, experiencing violence. The main goal of such an intervention is to alleviate the patient’s symptoms, eliminate the threat to his health and life, and develop specific solutions to the experienced problems. People practicing this profession often work in crisis intervention centers, social welfare centers, mental health clinics and private offices.
It is a profession performed by people with a master’s degree after completing postgraduate studies in psychodietetics or human nutrition. At work, the psycho-dietician uses knowledge in the field of psychology, medicine and nutritional principles, as well as practical skills of efficient communication and motivating patients. People who have problems with maintaining a healthy body weight or using correct eating habits come to the psychiatric clinic. So they can be patients suffering, for example, from anorexia, bulimia or obesity. The psychodietician deals with the diagnosis of eating disorders, psychoeducation and supporting the patient in the process of changing habits. Psychodietetics are employed in hospitals, mental health clinics, diet clinics and private offices.
Such work can be performed after completing master’s studies and postgraduate training completed with obtaining a certificate. Addiction therapist conducts individual or group therapy for people with behavioral, psychoactive or mixed addictions. The therapist has knowledge of addiction models, diagnosis and problems of addicts, as well as competences in the field of motivational dialogue and psychoeducation. Due to the intensive development of psychology, therapists often specialize in working with a specific type of addiction (e.g. alcohol addiction) or a selected group of patients (e.g. adolescents). Addiction therapists will find work in psychiatric hospitals, addiction treatment centers, mental health clinics, crisis intervention centers, social welfare centers and family support centers.
Is it worth studying psychology?
For many years, psychology has been at the forefront of the most-chosen fields of study. At the same time, neither studying nor working as a psychologist are the easiest. Together with you, we are wondering whether it is worth studying psychology. For this purpose, we have collected a few arguments that should be considered when considering the choice of this direction.
Psychology allows you to acquire knowledge useful in professional and personal life
Regardless of whether you decide to work in the profession or choose a different career path after graduation, the knowledge that you will gain during psychological studies will definitely be useful to you. Psychology students explore such issues as social impact, the functioning of groups and societies, interpersonal communication and team building, which are of great importance for the professional development of people working in the vast majority of the industry. At the same time, there is no room for this type of classes in other faculties, which builds a certain advantage of psychology graduates in the area of soft skills.
Psychology is an interdisciplinary field in which everyone has the chance to find something interesting for themselves
Although psychology is a social science, the studies themselves should be considered rather interdisciplinary. Psychology students learn both the biological mechanisms of behavior, which cover the basics of neurobiology, and the psychology of personality, which is closer to the humanities. They have classes in psychopathology – a close relative of psychiatry, as well as in statistics and methodology. Thanks to this, you will always find something for yourself in psychology.
Psychology is studies that allow you to develop your personality
It is probably hard to find the second such field of study that allows not only to gain knowledge and skills included in the education program, but also to develop your personality. Due to the fact that psychology is the science of human behavior, it is hard to avoid references to yourself. It is not always an easy experience, but it should be considered very valuable in the long run. Until we become aware of what psychological processes take place in us and in our environment, we cannot shape them in a way that would satisfy us. Psychological studies with a rich lecture, training and workshop offer allow not only to gain knowledge about how a person functions, but above all to get to know oneself and own needs better, as well as to develop a number of skills useful in various aspects of life.
Psychology opens up broad career prospects
There is a belief in society that psychological studies are often chosen by people who have no idea what to do in life. Even if this is true, is there anything wrong with it? Absolutely not. At the beginning of the road, we have the right to be confused and not know what we would like to dedicate our career to. During your studies in Psychology, you will have the opportunity to look at this field from different angles. You will meet psychologists who work in the business world on a daily basis and those who specialize in working with clinical patients. You will be able to explore the secrets of social psychology as well as conduct your first own research. These studies are a great opportunity to try your hand at different types of activity and choose one that will become your work. However, it should be remembered that in the profession of a psychologist, learning lasts a lifetime, and studies are only an introduction. Your reputation will be determined by your further education, courses and training, and ultimately – the experience you can boast about.
Working as a psychologist can be burdensome
Although psychologists are specialists in coping with stress and mental disorders, and in the course of their studies they learn how to wisely support another person, they do not have the nerves of steel. Accompanying others in the experienced traumas and supporting them in overcoming difficulties is a burdensome experience that most psychologists working with patients have to deal with. Fortunately, however, there is a supervision system that allows the psychologist to work through difficult emotions and look at his own work from the side with the support of another specialist.
The psychologist learns throughout life and it is sometimes very costly
Our society is currently experiencing a real boom in psychologists. In view of the growing scale of mental health problems for children and adults, as well as increasing difficulties in communication, we seek help from specialists. The work of a psychologist is also valued in many other areas, such as human resource management, marketing and team building. However, this does not mean that everyone who graduates in psychology will immediately find a satisfactory job. In this area, the workshop is very important, i.e. how you care for the further development of professional competences and knowledge. This is often a very costly process.