Careers in Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Educational psychology, Developmental psychology Pages: 6 (1126 words) Published: April 15, 2014

Career Options After Pursuing a Degree in Psychology
Ariana Olson
Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Career Options After Pursuing a Degree in Psychology
Choosing a major or a degree field to go into after graduating from high school is one of the more difficult things that recently graduated young adults have to go through. Many different aspects of a future career field are evaluated to help the individual in choosing the best career path for them. These evaluations include required education, salary, future places of employment and most importantly, what an employee in this specific area of employment will be doing. Choosing to earn a degree in Psychology offers many different possibilities for future areas of employment that can fit almost any type of person. In addition to the diversity of the field, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted an increase in psychology job opportunities over the next decade due to increased demands for these services in education, law, hospitals, and private companies along with many more options (BLS, 2010). With so many different areas of society requiring these services pursuing a degree in psychology opens up many career paths outside the commonly stereotyped job description of psychologists. Even though many people assume that clinical psychology or other types of therapy are the only options with this degree, an individual in this study can go into fields such as neuropsychology, developmental psychology, and educational psychology.

A neuropsychologist is one who has received a doctoral degree, typically a PhD, from an accredited American Psychological Association university along with completing the one year internship required for the degree, and a two year training period within a neuropsychology practice (Moberg,2006). The job description includes, studying the relations among brain structure and behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and sensory and perceptual functions along with the diagnosing and treatment of disorders related to the central nervous system. Most neuropsychologists organize and conduct academic research relating to the aforementioned topics, along with assisting and witnessing testimony in court cases that involve judgment to the psychological conditions of the people involved. Outside of the court system, neuropsychologists usually work in laboratories, along side medical professionals at hospitals, or privately making starting salaries between $60,089 and $91,476 annually. After some years of experience an accredited neuropsychologist can make anywhere up to $300,000 a year, but the average yearly salary as of 2010 was approximately $127,460 (BLS, 2010). On top of earning a relatively large wage neuropsychologists report to having overall high job satisfaction, with less than twenty percent of them considering changing jobs or leaving the psychology field for a different one all together (Moberg, 2006). Being strongly interested in the functioning of the central nervous system and wanting to go into an area of research would make neuropsychology a top choice for anyone interested in pursuing a doctoral psychology degree.

For a person who is more interested in a field dealing with people as a whole and not just the internal functioning of them, developmental psychology could be a possible career option. A developmental psychologist is someone who studies human growth and development that occurs throughout the entire lifespan. This includes biological development, but also focuses on cognitive, social, intellectual, personality, and emotional growth. Although the specific tasks of the psychologists vary based on the area they specialize in, most of them perform research and evaluations in the area of their study, such as studying a particular age range (Beilock, 2012). For example one could study how moral reasoning develops in children, or how people influence the personalities of others. Many developmental...
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