There’s a new paradigm shift in the mindset of the youth while choosing their career these days. This new fandom is all about not being a part of the ‘rat-race’ and pursuing something ‘unique.’ There are many streams that are coming into the limelight lately like fashion, business, marketing, photography, etc. Psychology is also one of these streams which have got a lot of popularity among young students in the last few decades.
Psychology as a Career Choice
Psychology is the most opted degree among undergraduate students all around the world. Students are seriously considering it a full-time career and devoting their time and study years to research in psychology. But the reason behind this degree being so popular is that it provides one with various career options. This degree widens up your horizon and allows you to keep many doors open to experiment and explore multiple options in your career. One can also consider this a second career option while getting majors in other subjects and minors in psychology. Here’s an article about why you should consider pursuing psychology and what job roles are open after one earns a psychology degree. So read below to learn about the various psychology career options available in India and abroad.
Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. It consists of the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feelings and the mind (Source: Wikipedia). This study aims to study the different properties of the brain as it evolves over time. Psychology is closely connected to the academic discipline of neuroscience. Due to the organic complexity inside our brains, researchers are still discovering truths about our human brain which we aren’t aware of. The human brain consists of approximately 86 billion neurons linked together by an estimated 100 trillion synapses or neural connections. Considering this abundant complexity, brains store mysteries to be discovered by us.
Psychology also involves studying behavioral patterns. It considers social pressures, biological influences, and environmental factors that dictate how individuals act, feel, and think. This discipline is a diverse field and has many areas to explore. There are many psychology career options to take up in varied fields like medicine, research, education, business, media, forensic, etc. There are many applications of psychology in our day-to-day life, which makes this course popular and the most opted degree. There are a total of 13 types of psychology recognized by scientists across the globe. The most popular ones among them are:
- Clinical Psychology – This field is an integration of science, theory, and clinical knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Forensic Psychology – It is a subfield of psychology, involving applying psychological knowledge and methods to civil and criminal legal questions. (Source: Wikipedia)
- NeuroPsychology – It is a branch of psychology concerned with how a person’s cognition and behavior are related to the brain and the rest of the nervous system. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Cognitive Psychology – It is the scientific study of mental processes such as attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity, and reasoning. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Health Psychology – It is the study of psychological and behavioral processes in health, illness, and healthcare. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Social Psychology – It is the scientific study of how the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of individuals are influenced by the real, imagined, and implied presence of others. Here ‘imagined’ and ‘implied presences’ refer to the internalized social norms that humans are influenced by even when they are alone. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Experimental Psychology – This refers to work done by those who apply experimental methods to psychological study and the processes that underlie it. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Educational Psychology – This refers to work done by those who apply experimental methods to psychological study and the processes that underlie it. (Source: Wikipedia)
Where can I Study Psychology?
Psychology is today a commonplace degree. Most of the undergraduate colleges offer a course in Psychology in India. Many colleges offer a specialized course in psychology, called an Honors degree. 1083 top psychology colleges in India offer quality education. O.P Jindal Global University Sonepat, Jagran Lakecity University Bhopal, Christ University Bangalore, Jamia Millia Islamia Delhi are top-ranked universities to study psychology in our country. On a global basis, Stanford University, the University of California, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan come first in the list of top-ranked universities. There are different courses offered in psychology by universities in India, which we will learn about in the next section.
Psychology, as discussed, is a very diverse field. The abundance of psychology career options is huge. Similarly, the courses listed under this study by universities are plenty.
After completing 12th grade, one can opt to get a bachelors’ degree or a diploma in psychology. Students from any stream in 12th grade can opt for a psychology degree. Few bachelor degrees are specifically designed for psychology, and others like BA degree offer psychology as one subject in their course.
Interested peers can further take up higher studies and complete their masters and doctorate in this field. MSc. and MPhil. are offered by the universities in India by various institutes. People taking up masters in psychology must have written at least one psychology paper in the final year of their bachelors’ program.
There are various entrance tests conducted by private institutions like Manipal Institute, Delhi University, Banaras Hindu University to get admissions.
Subjects Offered in Psychology
There are numerous subjects offered, considering the diverse psychology career options when one opts to major in this subject. The major subjects offered in psychology are:
- Abnormal Psychology – This is the branch of psychology that studies unusual patterns of behavior, emotion, and thought, which could possibly be understood as a mental disorder. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Personality Theories – It is a branch of psychology that studies personality and its variation among individuals. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Clinical Psychology – It is an integration of science, theory, and clinical knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Psychological Statistics – It is the application of formulas, theorems, numbers, and laws to psychology. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Cognitive Statistics – It refers to the cognitivephenomenon where organisms use data to make generalizations and predictions about the world. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Social Development – This attempts to explain qualitative changes in the structure and framework of society that help the society to better realize aims and objectives. (Source: Wikipedia)
Also, the subjects differ based on the course you take up and from one institution to another. One can choose to study psychology from the Science stream (BSc. or BS) or the Arts stream (BA), depending on one’s interest.
These subjects determine what profession one can take up out of the many psychology career options.
Bachelors and Masters
One can start working and take up a job directly after bachelors if they wish to do so. But specific careers require one to complete their masters or doctorate before they can start their career. Careers like Forensic Research Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Psychology Professor, etc., require specialization, which can be done in masters and doctorate. Specific job roles in media, advertising, human resources, recruitment, etc., can be taken up directly after a bachelors’ degree. One could also take the profession of a primary school teacher with a psychology degree and then get a teaching degree if they wish to teach higher classes.
Typical Career Options
What to do after getting a degree in psychology?
After one gets a degree in psychology, the individual is well equipped to pursue careers in science as well as the arts stream. The most typical jobs one can expect after earning a degree in psychology surround the areas of private and public healthcare, education, social work, mental health, therapy, and counseling. These job roles are usually advisory, research-led, treatment based or therapeutic. These are the most threaded paths by individuals who study psychology. A psychiatrist is a highly valued professional in this field. It demands a doctorate but is a highly respected and recognized occupation around the world. Therapists and mental health counselors have observed an increase in demand recently after a surge of mental health awareness stormed among the youth.
Affiliated Career Options
Numerous less typical careers can also be taken up and have a fair demand in the marketplace. These jobs include being a part of the business, HR, media, and other creative industries. Also, what job roles one can take up depends on which subject the individual chose to do minors during graduation.
There are many options and careers available for psychology students based on the coursework of their bachelors’ or masters’ program. Many jobs are available outside the healthcare industry for psychological students as the advantages of having psychological and analytical expertise are widely recognized. Hence in broad terms, once you get a psychology degree, the psychology career options are abundant, and you can work in all sections of society without any limitations to the career opportunities.
What are the career options for a Psychology degree?
Let’s explore the numerous psychology career options available for the youth to take up. The career options are numerous and are spread across diverse fields like health, education, media, business, forensic, etc. We shall see both typical career options and the not-so-typical career options for a psychology student. Here are some of the best career choices after a Psychology degree:–
Psychology Careers in Health
- Chartered Psychologist – As a Chartered Psychologist, one gets to work with people from various backgrounds, like patients and clients. The work of a chartered psychologist is to study and analyze behaviors, thoughts, emotions better to understand a person or certain actions about a person. This is a highly specialized job role and requires higher qualifications. One has to study further after a psychology degree in order to become a chartered psychologist.
- Psychotherapist – A psychotherapist helps an individual, couple, family, or a group of people with psychological issues through therapy. The psychological issues can be various like relationship issues, emotional issues, post-tragedy trauma, stress-related issues, or it can even be an addiction. A psychotherapist uses numerous approaches like cognitive-behavioral methods, psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies, art therapy, drama therapy, humanistic and integrative psychotherapy, Hypno psychotherapy, and experimental therapy to communicate with their patients. One can specialize in any of these fields depending on their interests and their subjects during graduation.
- Counselor – A Counselors’ job role is to help people better understand and access their own lives. One as to listen intently, empathize, offer patience and understanding to their clients. A counsellor is just like a psychotherapist who provides verbal therapy to his clients. A counselor’s issues can be anything like marriage, family, business, stress, health, abuse, grief, death, rehabilitation, relationship, education, career, etc. A counsellor also helps in making choices in their clients’ life and better cope with certain situations.
- Psychiatrist – This is one of the most highly valued professions in psychology. Though this profession is closely connected to psychology, one can’t become a psychiatrist after a psychology degree. You must get a doctors’ degree in order to take up this profession. This occupation involves diagnosing patients with certain mental illnesses and treating them.
Psychology Careers in Education
- Educational Psychologist – This job role needs specialization, just like the case of any other psychologist. One needs a masters’ degree and some further training to take up this profession. This role is related to the development of the youth in an educational environment. Educational psychologists are responsible for enhancing learning with their expertise in child psychology. They also give extra care about the social and emotional issues being battled by the children, which cause learning difficulties in the study years of student life.
- Psychology Professor – Apart from a Psychology Bachelor’, one needs to complete a Master’s or a Doctorate further or earn a teaching degree to teach in universities for graduate students. But to take up teaching in primary and higher primary schools, a psychology degree must suffice.
- Social Worker – This job role is for students who are interested in social services. This looks into the learning of a specific backward community or within the prison sector. Educating people in orphanages, old age homes, young prisoners, backward classes is what this job focuses on. An individual can be a part of some NGO or some organization to provide social service to society,
Psychology Careers in Research
One can take up job roles in research as it has a lot of scopes and a bright future. There are a variety of roles available in this field. One can be an experimental psychologist conducting various research about the psychology of human beings. They aim at better understanding the Science of the human or animal mind and brain.
Research in this field is being carried out all across the globe in huge numbers. Hence this profession has great scope presently as well as in the future.
Also, some individuals opt to be a part of a university to teach students and conduct their own research simultaneously. Many professors do this as they get to be a part of both education as well as the research sector.
Many individuals go up to be a part of some organization, both private as well as public, which is actively involved in research in this field. There are many different fields to specialize in further in psychology. Depending on the field chosen by the person, the research matter and the experiments vary. Some organizations also keep conducting surveys for their research which are done by these research psychologists. Every day they keep digging up new facts and information about psychology and keep the river of knowledge from dying out.
Psychology Careers in Media
It might seem weird for a psychology student to take up a job role related to media, but the careers in media are varied and provide a good amount of opportunities to apply the skills acquired from a psychology degree. The silver lining to the psychology degree is, it comes with the package of skills like understanding human behavior and thoughts, analyzing problems based on that, listening intently, and empathizing with others. This makes job roles in production, management, advertising, writing all within reach of psychology graduates. Also, one can opt to further take a specialized degree in this particular field after studying psychology to get a much stable job.
Psychology Careers in Business, Management, and Communications
Thanks to how the psychology degree teaches students how to handle both people and data, these graduates are able to enter into diverse realms like business, management, human resources, etc. Even though further studies and specialized degrees are important for these graduates to work their way up the ladder, it’s astonishing how this course does not limit to just a few careers and keeps numerous doors open to make a career.
Analyzing human thought and understanding them is what these psychology graduates learn in the course. Due to this, they are generally given a place in the job interview panel. This way, a psychology graduate could make his way into the HR department of any company. Business consultancy, marketing sales, advertising, or business development are specific other job roles that are a good match for psychology students.
Psychology graduates can also be a part of human resources and internal communications as these fields are closely connected. Many public and private sectors hire psychology graduates in the company as they perform well in areas like employee satisfaction, professional development, training, recruitment, PR, payroll, and internal communications.
Understanding the human psyche gives these graduate students the advantages of stepping into most of these media and advertising careers, and the opportunities seem endless. They could be copywriters, video visualizers, production heads, public relations heads, touchpoints in client servicing, and whatnot. When the person in power understands what exactly the target audience wants, the company prospers. Thus psychology graduates are known to make employee-friendly and data-driven decisions.
Psychology Careers in Forensic
What to do after getting a degree in psychology? If you are someone who is fascinated by crime and detective fiction, then Forensic Psychology is the perfect course and profession for you! Forensic Psychology is key to examining the many aspects of criminology. It involves studying the criminals’ psychology, understanding the crime scene, playing the detective in finding the criminal. There are many jobs roles available in this field like:
- Correctional Counsellor – This is the application of basic and applied psychological Science or scientifically-oriented professional practice to the justice system to enable the proper classification, treatment, and management of offenders. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Jail Supervisor – Is a uniformed official responsible for the custody, supervision, safety, and regulation of prisoners. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Victim Advocate – They are trained to support victims of crime. They offer emotional support, victims’ rights information, help in finding needed resources, and assistance. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Jury Consultants – They are human behavior experts who help attorneys research and select jurors and provide insight into juror behavior. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Police Consultant – Political consulting is a form of consulting that consists primarily of advising and assisting political campaigns. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor – A licensed clinical professional counselor is a professional who has been qualified to provide psychotherapy and other counselling services. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Probation Officer – They are officials appointed to investigate, report on, and supervise the conduct of convicted offenders on probation and those released from incarceration to community supervision such as parole. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Crime Analyst – Crime analysts identify patterns and gather valuable data that can be used to help police command personnel and better allocate their police officers and detectives. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Forensic Research Psychologists – Forensic psychologists help solve criminal cases by studying suspects and evidence to determine a motive. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Investigative Journalist – Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, such as serious crimes, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Forensic Social Worker – Forensic social workers are responsible for providing diagnosis, treatment, and recommendations for the criminal and juvenile justice populations and take part in the process of screening, evaluating, and training law enforcement and other criminal justice personnel. (Source: Wikipedia)
Out of these many psychology career options available in the forensic field, Forensic Research Psychologist is the most popular choice. This job requires them to carry out their research in different aspects of criminology and look into criminal history, interrogating suspects, victims, and other people related to the crime. Crime Analyst is also a closely linked profession to a Forensic Psychologist. Crime analysts work with law enforcement agencies to keep track of criminal profiles and detect criminals.
Another important occupation is that of an Investigative Journalist. Anyone with a forensic psychology background can become a crime reporter or an investigative journalist. Crime reporters play a very crucial but often under-rated role in criminal justice and criminology.
Scope for Psychology
Psychology is a tremendously vast and diverse subject. We have seen above the variety of specializations offered in this course which thus results in a manifold of psychology career options. We don’t meet anyone who is just a ‘psychologist.’ This field has applications in every walk of life-like – marriage, education, sports, relationship, business, etc. Hence the scope for this subject is tremendous. Research in psychology is happening at the forefront in most of the worlds’ renowned institutes like Stanford, Harvard, MIT, etc. Hence there is a lot of scope for graduates who go to further study till doctorate after graduating and take up research as their profession.
Though this profession was formerly famous in Europe and the USA, it’s starting to receive recognition in India in the current decade. What makes this course unique is, it is multi-disciplinary in nature. At the undergraduate level, the students get exposed to various branches like clinical, cognitive, educational, developmental, statistical, organizational, etc.
It connects various fields like health, education, human resources, neurosciences, etc., and thus provides a large array of professions to take up for young graduates. Also, the coursework in this field is so unique that it fits precisely with the present mindset of the young generation of doing something ‘out of the box.
Pros and Cons of the Subject
● Psychology is a very diverse field and is multi-disciplinary in nature. Hence there are numerous career options.
● Psychology graduates have the skill to understand human psychology and how people react and respond; hence this gives them an upper hand to work in any field without any difficulty.
● Also, because the number of students who take up psychology in their graduation is less compared to other popular science and commerce streams, the job availability is ample in this field.
● Psychology is still not a mainstream course in India. Compared to other courses like engineering and medical, this doesn’t receive the same amount of importance.
● The salary or pay received by the psychology graduates after education is less compared to other streams unless one has very highly qualified professionals.
● The subjects in universities and the course work of psychology aren’t updated to the new technology available in the real world. The courses being given in these universities are outdated compared to other international universities.
Alternate Options (Second Career Option)
There are many other ways to take up a career in the psychology field. One could also pursue a majors’ degree in another subject and choose to take minors’ in psychology. Your majors subject could be anything depending on which course you take up. For example, it could be a BSc. degree or BS degree or a BA degree. All these degrees, in certain institutions, enable you to take some other subject as majors and choose Psychology as minors. There are two advantages to choosing this alternative way. First, if there are two fields of your interest and you cannot choose which one to study between them, then in such a case, this alternative way is the best option to go. Second, if you don’t do well in either of these professions in the future, you have a backup subject or a savings net you can fall into and switch your profession any day.
Outside India Options
Psychology receives a lot of importance outside India in countries like the US, UK, and Netherlands. One can expect a higher quality of education in those countries. In certain countries, the tuition fee is meager, and also a lot of scholarships are given out based on merit.
Many institutions also provide financial help to students who can’t afford to pay the tuition fee. Few institutions follow the policy of need-blind while taking institutions which basically means that if the student asks for financial help, it doesn’t affect their selection in any way. MIT, Harvard, Yale, Minerva are examples of few need-blind institutions. Though the acceptance rate in these universities is very low, the standard of education is unmatched.
The Psychology career options outside India in countries like the US, UK, and other European countries are humongous. Their course work is latest and up to date with the current technology and methods in use. Psychology is actually the most popular stream among undergraduate students in the USA. Also, the average salary earned by any psychologist is way higher compared to that of India. A psychologist in the United States earns $79,399 per year, and a psychologist in the UK earns 35,645 euros per year on average.
Best Career Option
Best career choice after a psychology degree
What’s the best career choice to make after earning a psychology degree? This question is out of my reach to answer. In fact, this question is out of the reach of any person you ask. The answer to this question can only be answered by the person themselves who asked it in the first place. What’s the best choice to make depends totally on what an individual is interested in and what the person is actually good at.
After looking into these two aspects, it is also necessary to consider how much scope the chosen field has got before one makes any career decision. Though I refuse to answer the question of what’s the best career choice after a psychology degree, I would like to answer below: what’s the most popular career option after a psychology degree?
A psychiatrist is the most popular choice by far in the field of psychology. Even though this profession is all about psychology, a psychology graduate can not pursue this. One needs a doctorate degree in order to become a psychiatrist.
Industrial-Organizational Psychiatrist is another popular choice in the field of psychology. One needs qualification of a Masters’ degree and specialized training to take up this profession. The popularity of this job role is that it’s the highest-paid occupation under the job roles for a psychology graduate.
Other popular choices made by psychology graduates are related to the field of health. Clinical Psychologist, Counseling Psychologist, and Psychotherapist are the highly opted professions and are the highest-paid job roles at the same time.
Pay and Income
Let’s look into the pay and income of various job roles in psychology. Most of the professions receive a salary in the medium range with respect to other occupations. Here are figures of average salaries from a few selected professions in psychology. (All figures are from payscale.)
Psychiatrist – 978,628 INR per year
Psychotherapist – 505.65 INR per hour
Psychology Professor – 46,700 INR per month
Counselling Psychologist – 362,758 INR per year
Educational Psychologist – 294,791 INR per year
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist – 450,000 INR per year
Crime Analyst – 403,033 INR per year
Forensic Research Psychologist – 406,946 INR per year
Police Consultant – 302,273 INR per year
Jail Supervisor – 14,300 INR per year
Probation Officer – 42,429 INR per month
How to Get Started?
If you are overwhelmed by the number of diverse career options after surfing the net, then know that it’s alright. Making a career choice can often get very confusing and tiresome because of the different career options available these days. If you are a 12th grade student, choosing the right course and the subjects can be difficult. But if you are already a graduate student, then you are already on the right track.
Take your time during the graduation years to see which course you want to specialize in and what your interests are. Choose a profession wisely depending on your interests, what you are good at, and the scope of the subject at present and future.
1. I have studied Science in the 12th Can I still earn a Psychology degree?
Yes, a student can opt for a psychology degree irrespective of which stream they come from, i.e., Science or Commerce.
2. What is the average pay for a psychologist in India?
The average salary for a psychologist in India varies in the range of 20,000 – 30,000 INR per month.
3. Which country is popular for studying psychology?
Europe is certainly regarded as the best place to study psychology. In Europe, countries like the UK and Netherlands have the most highly ranked universities for psychology.
4. Which are the most popular psychology career options?
Psychologists and psychotherapists are the two most popular career options in psychology.
5. What is the average pay for a psychotherapist in India?
An average psychotherapist in India earns INR 500 per hour. (Source: payscale)
6. What are the best research institutes for psychology in India?
The Indian Institute of Psychology and Research in Bangalore, Karnataka, is ranked as the best research institute for psychology in India.
7. What are the best research institutes for psychology outside India?
The best research institutes for psychology in the world are Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, and the University of Cambridge.
8. What is the average pay for a psychologist in the USA?
The average salary or pay for a psychologist in the United States is $79,399 per year. (Source: payscale)
9. Which is the most popular course in psychology?
Clinical Psychology is the most popular course in psychology and is the most commonly opted specialty field in this stream.
10. What are the average tuition fees of colleges to study psychology in India?
The average tuition fees for a Psychology course in universities range from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 25 Lakhs and depend on the marks obtained by the candidates in their 12th grade.
11. Which field of Psychology is highest paid?
Psychiatry is, by all means, the highest-paid career in psychology. The average salary for this job is $245,673 in the US.
12. What fields of Psychology are in demand?
Clinical psychology, Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatry, Private Counseling, or organizational Psychology are the five fields that are most in-demand and also have great scope compared to the other psychology career options.
13. Is psychology a good career in India?
Yes, psychology is definitely a good career in India. Psychiatrists need to get a doctorate which can get tough, but the profession is well recognized in India.
14. What is the average pay of a Forensic Research Psychologist in India?
The average salary of a Forensic Research Psychologist in India is 4 06,946 INR per year.
15. Can I become a psychiatrist after earning a degree in psychology?
No, one needs a doctors’ degree in order to become a psychiatrist and practice in their clinic.
16. Can I become a psychotherapist after a psychology degree?
One can become a psychotherapist only after receiving a masters’ degree and specialized training in that field.
Last but not least, before making any career decision in your life, one important aspect is you make yourself happy.