Graduate Degrees in Psychology

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What Goes Into a Graduate Psychology Degree Program?

Psychology is a complex field that deals with the inner workings of the human mind as well as how external and internal forces can affect thoughts, feelings, and actions. Those who possess a curiosity about these subjects would do well in psychology. Graduate students in a graduate psychology program will take courses in human behavior, natural science, social psychology, professional development, laws and ethics, and other related topics. Many students will also take courses that relate to their intended field of work. For example, those who endeavor to work primarily in health facilities may take classes that focus on mental illnesses and treatments, whereas those who endeavor to work primarily in business and human resources settings may take classes that focus on ethics and community psychology. Many graduate psychology programs mandate that students participate in clinical work, which is essentially like an internship in the field. These are supervised work hours where students will either work at a clinic or shadow a professional working at one in order to gain hands-on experience before graduation. This way, graduates will know for sure whether or not they are a good fit for the field and what areas they should work on before the end of their school career.

What Jobs Can Graduate Psychology Degree Holders Get?

Nearly all psychology graduates end up working as professional psychologists. However, the types of psychologists that graduates can become are wide and varied. For example, graduates can choose to work as clinical psychologists, who assess, diagnose, and treat mental disorders. These psychologists make up the bulk of those in the psychology profession, and as mental health becomes less taboo and more important in the eyes of the public, clinical psychologists are sure to see great prosperity. In fact, employment opportunities for these psychologists are projected to increase 11% during the 2008-18 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This will add about 16,800 new jobs into the market. Graduates with a master's or doctoral degree in psychology can also find work as school psychologists. These psychologists deal with children who have developmental or learning conditions, ensuring that even students with special needs are receiving a good opportunity to learn in school. To gain licensure to practice, most states require that psychologists possess a doctoral degree in the field, have completed a professional internship, and pass an examination. This ensures that only those who take the profession seriously may work as psychologists.

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