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In this article I have mentioned about the Top 10 careers in Psychology. Psychology is the study of the human mind and of human behaviour. Every career includes people and work. So you have to deal with people. And there are many careers where your work objects are human beings, like medical. So knowing and understanding human mind is crucial in such professions. This is where human psychology is applied.
- As a psychologist one could contribute to a wide range of work including helping businesses, helping people improve their lives, promoting health, protecting the planet, serving communities, understanding the world around us and also working in schools.
- Human beings are social animals surrounded by other human beings. There are people everywhere in all professions. You need to deal with people all the time and you should have the skills to understand and work with them. Studying Psychology equips people with the skills and knowledge needed to socialize with people.
- In India too, efforts are now being made in promoting the importance of Psychology and Mental Health. People are now understanding that Psychology is not restricted to clinical setup but expands to other areas like- education, social, rehabilitation, forensic etc. The millennials are today open to visit counsellors to discuss and sort out issues that are troubling them to move ahead in life.
- Psychology as a career is flexible in nature. It can be mixed and matched with other disciplines. Examples of this are- Sports Psychology, Consumer Behaviour, Behavioural Economics, Dance therapy, Psychodrama, Special Education, Educational Psychology, and Artificial Intelligence.
- Psychology is not restricted to a specific stream, students from any stream can opt for this course. Most of the universities in India offer graduation and post-graduation in Psychology with various specialization.
- Psychology is an interesting subject. Though in most cases it’s a part of humanities but it’s a science too. So it’s a combination of science and arts.
To start a career in Psychology following path should be adopted.
Take Psychology as a subject in class 11th and 12th.
Graduation in Psychology from a UGC recognized university. In some colleges graduation is a B.A. degree while few others have a B.Sc. degree. To join a graduation in Psychology it’s not mandatory to have Psychology as a subject in class 12th. Admissions are generally based up on 12th marks or sometimes entrance exam. Minimum 50% is needed in 12th. If you have decided to go in a career related to Psychology, it’s good if this is one of the subjects in high school. It’s a 3 years degree with Honours or plain. In some cases it’s a 4 years degree too with 1 year of PG after this.
While you can get jobs after graduation, there are very few available.. . And if you are serious about a career, then you must go for a PG. There is good competition and the careers in Psychology need mastery over the subject. Having advanced knowledge of Psychology concepts and therapies helps in future careers. For PG having done graduation in Psychology or Psychology Honours is required. However, there are institutes where graduation in any discipline is fine.
Psychology plays a very important part in various careers and it can be a good combination with other degrees. Careers like HR, Consumer Behaviour, Teaching, Operations, Sales and marketing, Rehabilitation, Nursing are supported well if you have a backup in Psychology. So a combination of either UG or PG in this subject with other degrees will be an edge.
Students should pursue masters ideally to take up a career in Psychology. Having an M. Phil. Or a Ph. D. will be extremely helpful as it positions you on a much higher plane in certain professions. Specializations can be done in:
- Clinical Psychology
- Counselling Psychology
- Organizational Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
- Sports Psychology
Below are the Top 10 career options in Psychology.
1. Clinical Psychologist
A clinical psychologist is a mental health professional with highly specialized training in the diagnosis and psychological treatment of mental, behavioural and emotional illnesses.
Clinical psychologists work to treat mental patients but they do not prescribe medications to treat mental illness. Rather, they use psychological techniques, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychoanalytic therapy, talk therapy, etc.
They work with Psychiatrists to treat Patients. They use various therapies, tests, activities to engage with patients and help them recover and lead a normal life. They generally work in a hospital or clinical environment.
The difference between counselling psychologists and clinical psychologists is that the counselling professionals work to help normal people to sort out their psychological problems where as clinical psychologists work with mental patients.
To become Clinical Psychologists in India you need to complete Masters in Clinical Psychology and an M.Phil. after that. A Ph.D. definitely helps in achieving greater career heights.
Best M Phil Clinical Psychology colleges in India are the below ones.
- Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP), Ranchi
- National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Banglore
- Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), New Delhi
- University of Calcutta, Kolkata
- Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry & Allied Sciences
- Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh
- Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi
- King George’s Medical University, Lucknow
- Gujarat Forensic Sciences University
- Amity University, Noida
2. Counselling Psychologist
Counselling psychology focuses on teaching clients of all ages how to cope with emotional, physical, and mental health issues. Counselling psychologists often focus on patients’ daily life stressors, helping them find a balanced approach to overcoming stress. Some counselling psychologists intervene and assist people in times of crisis or extreme stress, providing assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of more severe psychological symptoms.
Counselling psychologists facilitate healthy personal and interpersonal relationships in their patients’ lives. Professionals work with individuals, organizations, groups, and families to reach the root of mental distress and help them find ways to live with or conquer these issues.
Depending on their specialization and licensure, counselling psychologists can work in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, businesses, and schools. Some open their own private practices. Counsellors tailor their approach to psychotherapy based on their settings and patients. While some psychologists focus on cognitive therapy, others take a more active approach and work to alter their patients’ behaviour.
To become a counsellor, you must do BA/ BSc and then MA/ MSc in Psychology. You can also do PG Diploma in Psychology. Some People also do degree in Social work, however it’s important to have at least one qualification in Psychology. A Ph.D. will definitely prepare for a great career.
Counsellors can be of different types for different stages of life. So Child, Adolescence, marriage, Family, Adult, Senior Citizen, Students counsellors are there.
Some leading colleges to pursue M.A / M.Sc. in Psychology/Counselling Psychology in India:
- Delhi University, New Delhi
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
- Ambedkar University, New Delhi
- Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi
- Christ University, Bengaluru
- Ashoka University, Sonepat
- Panjab University, Chandigarh
- Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
- Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
- Fergusson College, Pune
3. Forensic Psychologist
Forensic psychology, a subfield of psychology, involves the application of psychological knowledge and methods to both civil and criminal legal questions. In a broad way, forensic psychology involves the application of all psychological areas of research to the legal field. It is the application of clinical specialties to legal institutions and people who come into contact with the law.
It can include all subfields of psychology (e.g. social, clinical, experimental, counseling, neuropsychology) that apply “the scientific, technical, or specialized knowledge of psychology to the law.
Because forensic psychology is interlaced with the legal field, it requires an understanding of fundamental legal principles, such as those regarding standard legal practices and standards used by legal professionals, expert witness testimony, competence and insanity definitions and evaluations, and so on in order to be able to communicate effectively with judges, attorneys, and other legal professionals.
Forensic psychologist jobs exist in government agencies, prisons, police departments, and private firms. Some forensic psychologists become consultants and/or open private practices. Work takes place in jails or at crime scenes. While they are certainly busy, their jobs are not limited to tracking down serial killers who leave puzzling clues behind. As the name of the occupation implies, forensic psychologists are behavioral and mental health professionals whose findings are often used to make judicial determinations.
Some leading colleges for Forensic Psychology are as below
- Gujarat Forensic Sciences University
- Bhim Rao Ambedkar University- Agra
- Lovely Professional University-Jalandhar
- IFS India Education Department
- Bundelkhand University
- Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology & Forensic Science (LNJN NICFS),
- University of Madras
- Hari Singh Gour University,
- Osmania University, Hyderabad
4. School/ College Counsellor
On the job, school counsellors listen to students concerns about academic, emotional or social problems. Help students process their problems and plan goals and action. Mediate conflict between students and teachers.
First and foremost, a school counsellor needs to be a good listener. Often, they have several students they work with and may get very few chances to converse with them in a one on one setting. The counsellor must also keep an open mind, being careful not to make any judgments until they have heard the entire story.
School counsellors provide leadership to students, parents, staff and the community. They model high standards of behaviour for students and teach them about the importance respect and diversity. They also work with the surrounding community to create connections between students and neighbours.
In India, the Central Board of Secondary Education guidelines expect one school counsellor appointed for every affiliated school but this is less than 3% of all Indian students attending public schools.
How to Become a College Counsellor
- Complete a bachelor’s degree in a behavioural, social science field, or another field.
- Earn a master’s degree in counselling, psychology, or social work.
- Complete graduate and postgraduate internship experience for licensure requirements.
- Pass any required exams and apply for licensure.
5. Industrial/ Organizational Psychologist
Industrial and organizational psychology (I-O psychology) which is also known as occupational psychology, organizational psychology, or work and organizational psychology; is an applied discipline within psychology. Industrial, work and organizational psychology (IWO) is the broader global term for the field internationally.
The discipline is the science of human behaviour relating to work and applies psychological theories and principles to organizations and individuals in their places of work as well as the individual’s work-life more generally. Industrial and organizational psychologists are trained in the scientist–practitioner model. They contribute to an organization’s success by improving the performance, motivation, job satisfaction, and occupational safety and health as well as the overall health and well-being of its employees.
Below are the best institutes for this field. Different colleges provide various degrees. So I have created a table for the same.
M.Sc. Applied Psychology in Organizational Psychology
Offers post graduate level specialization in Industrial Psychology
M.A. Psychology ( Industrial Psychology)
M.A in Psychology (Organizational Psychology)
M.Sc. in Applied Psychology: I/O Psychology
M.A Industrial Organization Psychology
6. Education Psychologist
An educational psychologist is a psychologist whose differentiating functions may include diagnostic and psycho-educational assessment, psychological counselling in educational communities (students, teachers, parents, and academic authorities), community-type psycho-educational intervention, and mediation, coordination, and referral to other professionals, at all levels of the educational system.
There are many reasons your child or teen could benefit from seeing an educational psychologist. This can include if your child is: showing signs of lagging behind with language, play, independence, emotions, exhibiting possible signs of dyslexia or other learning challenges. Yes, an Educational Psychologist can diagnose both Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. They can also make recommendations and devise strategies to help children with either of these conditions overcome any barriers they may be experiencing in their learning and development.
You can do Psychology PG or Ph. D. from any universaty of your choice and take up this profession.
Apart from the above core Psychology professions, below are the careers where Psychology plays an important role.
HR is about people and understanding people and how people behave is crucial in HR. Having Psychology as a background for HR professions comes with a plus.
So, if you aim an HR career, do a UG in Psychology before an MBA in HR. This will help you in many ways right from conflict resolution, recruitment, appraisals, training and employee behaviours.
8. Marketing & Advertising
Marketing and Sales both deal with human psychology. How consumers buy and what psych makes them to take a decision to buy a particular product is studied in Marketing. Understanding consumer behaviour will help in marketing and advertising, so having psychology as a subject along with others can be helpful. In sales too it is required to understand, how to put up your case with customers so that they buy the product. This needs understanding their emotions and mind.
9. Sports Psychologists
Sports is an upcoming field in India with so many companies now involved in various games. Sports people have to deal with lot of expectations. They need to follow a highly disciplined life and do rigorous training, not just related to the sport, but with regards to fitness, health, food and nutrition. They have to deal with competition all the time and need a constant mental and emotional support.
Sports Psychologists work with other coaches to ensure a high emotional stability for the sportspersons. Sports psychology is the study of the mental and emotional wellbeing of athletes in relation to their performance, mental health, and relations with sports organizations and settings.
The sporting world involves intense competition and pressure to be at the peak of one’s game. This pressure can often drive athletes to overwork themselves and suffer physical, mental, and emotional burnout. Sports psychologists work with athletes to help them overcome and guard against such burnout, while also assisting them with performance improvement and building a sustainable lifestyle.
In addition, sports psychologists play an important role in helping non-athletes integrate sport into their lives as part of an exercise program.
Coach in any field with a knowledge of Psychology is an advantage. A coach is a mentor, guide a teacher and the one who can change the life of the one whom he is coaching. Understanding the emotional, moral and psychological need of the trainees is an important functions of the coaches. Having knowledge of psychology and hence a degree helps them to take up scientific methods to coach and train their disciples.
After Masters in Psychology, you can work in the following work settings-
- Adoption and Child Care Agencies
- Business Corporations
- Children, Youth, & Family Services
- Religious Organizations
- Civil Rights Commission
- Community Organizations
- Correctional Institutions
- Court Systems
- Educational Periodicals
- Central Trade Commission
- Foreign Service
- Government Agencies
- Housing and Urban Development
- Non- Profit Organizations
- Universities and Educational Institutions
So, overall if you have seen, doing a Psychology UG/PG / ABOVE is a great option and can lead to some of the very lucrative career options today. Psychology is taking an important position in our lives in todays world and getting qualified into it will give great scope in the coming many years.