Psychology is the study of mental functions and behaviors. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011-12 nearly 16.5% of bachelor’s degrees and approximately 28% of all graduate degrees conferred were in the field of psychology. Many occupations in this subject require a graduate degree; however, jobs are available with varying levels of education requirements. It is estimated that about 25% of students in this popular field go on to attain a graduate degree. Popular culture says a psychologist is someone who just listens to your problem and asks you how you feel about it, but there is much more to this interesting discipline. So what are some of the careers a person with a degree in psychology can have and what level of education is necessary?
Case managers usually have a bachelor’s degree. They help individuals to get the services and care they need to cope with various mental health problems. They do evaluations and create treatment plans to meet the needs of those in their care.
Psychiatric technicians generally have a bachelor’s degree. They provide hands-on care to patients being treated for mental illnesses or developmental disabilities. They are responsible for a wide range of tasks such as assisting patients with activities of daily living, monitoring vital signs, observing behavior, leading group therapy and more.
Rehabilitation psychologists hold a graduate degree. They treat individuals with disabilities or other issues that interfere with normal day to day life. They assess and diagnose patients and develop treatment plans to help their patients lead happy and productive lives.
Counselors usually have a graduate degree. They treat individuals with various social, emotional or behavioral problems. They help individuals to understand and control their own emotions. They typically treat people with less serious symptoms than clinical psychologists do.
Forensic psychologists have a graduate degree. They work with the legal system and have a myriad of responsibilities. They study matters like eye witness testimony, why certain people commit different crimes and how to prevent people from committing crimes. They may develop criminal profiles or assist in determining an individual’s competence to stand trial.
Industrial-Organizational Psychologists have a graduate degree. They deal with issues in the workplace. A couple of their job responsibilities include increasing worker productivity and choosing the best employees for specific roles.
Clinical psychologists have either a PhD or a PsyD. They assess, diagnose and treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. They often treat individuals with more serious symptoms than counselors do.
Neuropsychologists have a PhD. They study how the brain relates to thinking and behavior, especially in cases involving illnesses or injuries. They often use brain scans and other methods to evaluate patients and then recommend treatments.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts higher demand and a 12% job growth rate between 2012 and 2022 for psychologists and other mental health professions. The American Psychological Association reports that there will be more jobs at a higher level for those with a graduate degree than an undergraduate degree. These are only a handful of the diverse possibilities in this exciting field.