Learn What You Can Do With a Psychology Degree

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What to expect in Graduate school?

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Expect to have a heavy work load. It depends on your program but usually you will have 4 classes a semester with a class time of 12 hours. There will be a lot of researching, writing, and reading. It will be like your undergrad but at a faster pace with more work. Most of your time will be spent learning and working under a professor who will oversee your training.

 

Graduate school is a very big commitment of money and time. A master program will take about 2 years to complete while a PhD program will usually take 4-6 years. You must truly by motivated and desire to further your education in what ever area you study. If you go to graduate school because of a parental figure or because of the money your motivation will be limited. Further your education because you really want to. If you enjoy doing what you’re interested in then work becomes rewarding and not something you have to do but something you chose to do.

What does it take for a psychology major to get into graduate school?

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Your dreams are set to one day become a great psychologist or psychiatrist but your grades aren’t so good and you barely have any experience of volunteer in the psychology field. The harsh reality is that getting accepted to graduate school for a PhD program is difficult. Here’s what you should know before you apply.

 

You need several things for graduate schools even think about accepting you. These are grades, GREs, statement of intent, letters of recommendation, experience, and an official transcript showing grades from your 4-5 academic years.

 

Your grade point average is important since schools have a cut off on what they will and will not accept. For instance masters programs require 3.0 or above while PhD programs require 3.5 and above. If you are short here you need to make it up in another area.

 

Most programs will require you to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). There are three sections. They are quantitative, verbal, and analytical. Here is a great site that has practice exams. www.greguide.com/gre-practice-tests.html. The test is difficult but with enough studying and practice you should be able to get a good score. For PhD programs a score of 1200 or above is recommended and for masters programs over 1000.

 

Your statement of intent needs to state why you choose that specific program. It has to be clear, concise, and answer the questions the graduate school asks. Make sure to write drafts of this paper making sure your writing is good. If you have trouble writing and need help proofreading we recommended the site www.errnet.net. This great site proofreads your work in seconds and emails the results as low as a dollar a page. You can try shrinking the size of your document to fit if money is an issue.

 

Letters of recommendation need to be from an authority source. A letter from a professor will have more weight than a co worker. When finding those that can write you a good letter consider what skills of yours they can write about and how well they can evaluate your skills. These letters are meant to “talk” you up and show graduate schools that you are the best candidate for their program. At the end don’t forget to send letters thanking those that recommended you to your dream school.

 

Experience is crucial for the program you desire to get in to. It needs to be an area related to the type of program you are applying to. For instance if you are applying to clinical program it helps if you have volunteered at a behavioral center and understand the type of environment for that field.

 

Transitioning from Undergraduate school to finding a Career or to Graduate school?

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

The decision to attend graduate depends on your desire for advanced training. If you do not desire to go that is alright since there are jobs you can get just with a bachelors in psychology. Some of the jobs out there are:

This list is provided by http://psych.hanover.edu/handbook/bachpsy2.html.

 


1. Community Relations Officer: works either for business or government in promoting good relations with the local community.
2. Affirmative Action Officer: works for recruitment and equal opportunities for minorities; employed by business, industries, schools and government.
3. Recreation Worker: plans and supervises community recreation facilities. (Increasing number of opportunities available for therapeutic recreation workers, often requiring course work in therapeutic recreation.)
4. Urban Planning Officer: deals with city planning, renewal.
5. Personnel Administrator: works with employee relations, selection, promotions, etc.
6. Advertising copywriter: researches audience and media, writes text of advertisements.
7. Media Buyer: researches product and audiences to select most effective media for advertising.
8. Health Educator: gives public information about health and disease.
9. Vocational Rehabilitation: counsels persons with handicaps and illnesses in preparation for new vocations (some states require an M.A. degree for this position).
10. Psychiatric Technician/Assistant: administers routine tests, helps with patients under supervision of psychiatrist.
11. Director of Volunteer Service: responsible for volunteers-recruits, supervises, trains, and evaluates volunteers.
12. Public Statistician: collects and interprets data on health and disease and community relations.
13. Customs Inspector: serves at international borders and airports in investigations and inquiries.
14. Probation and Parole Officer: persons with psychology backgrounds are often preferred for such positions, especially with adolescent parolees.
15. Newspaper Reporter: social science, psychological interest areas.
16. Technical Writer: researches and writes material dealing with social science and psychological knowledge for magazines, newspapers and journals.
17. Sales Representative: major publishers of psychological books often seek out undergraduates with psychology majors for these positions on college campuses.
18. Opinion Survey Researcher: does opinion polls and interprets results.
19. Daycare Center Supervisor: supervises and coordinates activities of preschool children with working parents.
20. Research Assistant: assists in the collection and analysis of data for major investigations. Positions usually available only in large hospitals, businesses, and government.
21. Laboratory Assistant: psychology background preferred for students working with animal behavior research, especially primate laboratories.
22. Scientific Instrument Salesperson: opportunities in sales and development for companies specializing in psychology apparatus.

(To know how much each of these careers make annually simply visit www.bls.com and type in the job title)

Are you returning to school? Perhaps it’s been a year or a couple years. When you decide to return you need to renew you old network from university/college. You can also try going back and taking a few classes to meet professors. In order to go to graduate school you may need recommendation letters. Having professors that can recommend you for graduate school has value when the board of admissions is looking at your file. In your statement of intent you can address your many years away from school and why you desired to return. When writing your paper you can detail the many experiences you’ve gone through and what you have learned from them. For instance, if you took care of an elder family member you can say the experience taught you about time management. When returning to school also consider if you need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

How much do psychology majors make after they graduate?

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Money is often a concern when getting a job in any career. What’s the salary annually? Will you be able to support yourself? Theses are all questions to figure out when getting into any field of work. Individuals with PhD’s in psychology and private practices can make up to 5 to 6 figures. Usually the more schooling received indicates more training and constitutes for a higher salary.

You may choose to major in psychology and then continue schooling in graduate school. Don’t continue graduate studies because you don’t know what else to do or it’s the next step. Do it because you are interested in advancing yourself academically/training and career wise in the field of psychology. When it comes to how much a career makes we are not the authority but this helpful site is:

www.bls.gov

The above link stands for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the current statistics for Psychologists:

  • About 34 percent of psychologists are self-employed, mainly as private practitioners and independent consultants.
  • Employment growth will vary by specialty; for example, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists will have 11 percent growth; industrial-organizational psychologists, 26 percent growth; and 14 percent growth is expected for all other psychologists.
  • Acceptance to graduate psychology programs is highly competitive.
  • Job opportunities should be the best for those with a doctoral degree in a sub-field, such as health; those with a master’s degree will have good prospects in industrial-organization; bachelor’s degree holders will have limited prospects.

Earnings

Median annual wages of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists were $64,140 in May 2008. The middle 50 of that percent earned between $48,700 and $82,800. The lowest 10 percent of workers earned less than $37,900, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $106,840. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists were:

Offices of other health practitioners $68,400
Elementary and secondary schools 65,710
State government 63,710
Outpatient care centers 59,130
Individual and family services 57,44

Median annual wages of wage and salary industrial-organizational psychologists were $77,010 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $54,100 and $115,720. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $38,690, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $149,120.

If you would like to look up any career in the psychology field such as Marriage-Family Therapist simply type the title on the website and click search.