Careers in Psychology
is a branch of science that deals with mental processes and behavior. It is the
systematic study of human and animal behaviour, mind and thought. To pursue the
career of a psychologist, one should have a genuine desire to help other human
Psychology is mainly concerned with the way
the mind works. Psychologists study the processes, motives, reactions, feelings
and nature of the human mind. Their treatment is based on changing the
behavioural patterns of the patients without medication. They do counceling and
help people by bringing about changes in their thought process, thus improving
their quality of life.
Psychologists need not have a medical
degree. But they have to study several years to specialise in various aspects of
psychology. One can pursue Psychology at the plus two level, graduate, post
graduate and doctorate level. There are specialisations in many fields of
psychology such as social psychology, child psychology, occupational psychology,
clinical psychology, educational psychology, experimental psychology, etc
Psychologists teach, practice and do
research or work in one of the many branches of applied psychology. They apply
their knowledge and techniques to a wide range of endeavors, including human
services, management, education, law and sports.
Psychology is offered as a subject at the
Plus Two or equivalent level with a combination of other social sciences and
statistics. At the graduate level, one can study psychology as an Honors subject
in most universities. After graduation, one can opt for an MA or MSc in
Psychology, Social work or Counseling. Specialisations in the subject can be
pursued at the post graduate level or at the doctoral level- M.Phil or Ph.D,
after post graduation. At the master's and doctoral level, education becomes
Post graduate courses in psychology are
offered only to students who have graduated with psychology. Post graduate and
doctoral degrees in Psychology puts emphasis on research. If your interest is in
practice, i.e helping people with problems (counseling ) you could opt for
Psychology-related graduate programs such as education and social work
align="justify">For those who do not wish to put in too many
years of study, there are one year Diploma courses in Special Education or
For Bachelor programme in psychology - 10+2
For Post graduate courses in psychology - Bachelor degree in psychology
For Ph.D./ M.Phil - PG or Diploma in psychology
Graduation in psychology is a 3 year
Post graduation is of 2 years duration and during the course, specialization in
a special branch of psychology is possible.
M.Phil or Ph.D. is of 2 year duration.
Personal Skills: Good
communication skills, patience, ability to work with all kinds of social/
cultural and age groups are the essential qualities of a psychologist. They
should have a genuine interest in people, their behaviour and have empathy for
their problems. They have to be sensitive and caring and also have the ability
to understand people of very different backgrounds and upbringing.
Study of psychology includes a diverse
range of activities such as the processes of thinking, learning and perceiving,
remembering, forgetting, physiology of the nervous system, development of
children, social relationships and their effect on personality development,
mental disorders, applications of psychology to the study of society, industry,
education etc., techniques of experimenting and testing, and statistics. There
is a wide variety of topics in the professional study of psychology and some
overlapping occurs between the different specialized
branches. Good at science, math, critical reading and writing.
Job Prospects and Career Options
The nature of work of a psychologist is
influenced most by the areas of specialisation in the subject. They work in a
number of different settings, including universities and colleges, primary and
secondary schools, government agencies, private industry, hospitals, clinics,
and private practices. They are also employed in social welfare organizations,
research establishments, rehabilitation centres, prisons, child/ youth guidance
centres, advertising industry and in a variety of other set-ups.
Psychologist with master's degree, work
under the supervision of one or more doctoral level psychologists. Those with
bachelor's degree are eligible for jobs in community health centers and
vocational rehabilitations and as administrative assistants.
Career prospects in Psychology depend on the
area of specialization. There are variety of options for psychologists. They can
specialise in various areas such as
Clinical Psychologists -
Clinical Psychologists work in counseling centers, independent or group
practices, hospitals, community health centers or clinics. They help mentally
and emotionally disturbed clients adjust to life and may help medical and
surgical patients deal with illnesses or injuries. Areas of specialization
within clinical psychology include health psychology, neuro psychology, and gero
Counseling Psychologists -
Counseling is the skill of helping normal people, through discussion, to decide
how best to cope in specific situations. Counseling psychologists deals with
people who have serious emotional and personal problems. They use various
techniques, including interviewing and testing, to advise people on how to deal
with problems of everyday living.
Social Psychologists -
Social psychologists work with social organisations and institutions in
research, systems design or other applied psychology fields. They seek to
understand the nature and causes of individual behaviour with others and with
the social environment.
Educational Psychologists -
They work in schools and colleges with teachers, students, parents and
administrators to resolve students learning and behaviour problems. They may
evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs, behavior management procedures,
and other services provided in the school setting.
Industrial Psychologists -
Industrial psychologists work for business, industry or government. They apply
psychological principles and research methods to the workplace to improve the
working conditions and productivity of employees. They also advise companies on
ways of getting consumers interested in products and services.
Research psychologists - As
researchers, psychologists proceed like scientists. They investigate the
physical, cognitive, emotional, or social aspects of human behavior. They use
laboratory experiments and various kinds of tests, interviews, questionnaires
and surveys. Prominent areas of study in experimental research include
motivation, thought, attention, learning and memory, sensory and perceptual
processes, effects of substance abuse, and genetic and neurological factors
Developmental psychologists -
They study the physiological, cognitive, and social development that takes place
throughout life. Some specialize in behavior during infancy, childhood, and
adolescence, or changes that occur during maturity or old age.
The work of a professional psychologist is challenging and
highly remunerative. Earnings depend on qualification, area of specialisation
and experience. The highest- paying position is for psychologists having M.Phil
and Ph.D degree. Remunerations in the corporate sector are the highest, though
salaries vary according to the level of involvement and the job profile. At the
entry level the remuneration varies approximately from Rs. 5000/- to Rs.8000/-.
Established consultants in any of the fields of specialization can earn at an
average between Rs.8000 to Rs.10,000 or even more. Those are in private practice
have much more earnings.