The study of psychology informs our understanding of the human mind and how it functions. There is a world of career paths in psychology to explore. However, it may surprise you how expansive the field actually is.
The broad job scope of psychology can look daunting when there are so many options available. This guide will help you navigate key psychology careers and why they might suit you.
Key areas of psychology
There are many different types of psychology to explore. Each specialisation has its own purpose and deals with issues unique to that area.
Clinical psychology combines science, theory and practice to understand psychological stress or dysfunction. It aims to help people suffering from mental health issues to understand, address and better manage their mental health in the future.
Psychological assessment and psychotherapy make up the core of the work, but clinical psychologists are also involved in research and occupational psychology within the business sector.
The treatment that psychologists provide is as individual as the patients they work with. From ongoing conditions like depression, anxiety or anger to helping those experiencing short-term issues such as bereavement or workplace bIf you’re interested in neurological mental processes like problem solving, memory, learning and language then cognitive psychology may be the right fit for you. Cognitive psychology looks at how people think, perceive, communicate and learn, and then aims to help improve areas such as memory and decision making.
Psychology has a deep-rooted place within the health care sector. It’s also known as behavioural medicine or medical psychology, and focuses on how behaviour, biology and social contexts can influence our health.
While a physician will look at a biological cause of an illness, a health psychologist will evaluate the way mental pressures influence a person’s health.
Occupational psychology aims to help businesses develop more effective workplace and training procedures because. People in this area have a strong understanding of what people strategies help improve workplace effectiveness, job satisfaction and retention.
Social psychology focuses on how social experiences influence behaviour. The study of social psychology helps us link our thoughts and feelings with the people around us. This is especially important in situations that involve group behaviour in schools, workplaces and community organisations.
Psychology career paths
There are a range of psychology careers available to you after completing your qualification. Different paths may require specific specialisations or further study depending on what you’re interested in.
A counsellor is what people generally think of when they imagine a psychologist. Counsellors are trained to help patients through personal and emotional issues. Issues that include anxiety and depression, relationship and family issues, sexuality and gender identity, grief and loss, and development. It’s a challenging but rewarding job that aims to change people’s lives for the better.
Clinical psychologists examine different aspects of psychology, including psychoanalytic, behavioural and cognitive-behavioural. They work with a broad range of mental health illnesses, including mild issues like anxiety and depression and can specialise in more extreme cases such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Clinical psychologists must express an in-depth understanding of the ethical and legal principles and build trusting relationships with clients and other practitioners.
Becoming a Clinical Psychologist with General Registration will require additional study and practice.
Educational and developmental psychologist
Educational and developmental psychologists diagnose and help children and teenagers with behavioural and emotional issues. This is a unique and vital position for a psychologist as they deal firsthand with child development.
Psychologists in this area must have a strong grasp on developmental and social psychology and a strong sense of empathy. Child psychologists also work closely with schools, parents and health care.
Alternative career paths with a psychology qualification
Careers in psychology aren’t always as obvious as a counsellor or clinical psychologist. A background in psychology can give you a huge advantage in a range of career paths, including as a school teacher, communications specialist and HR professional.
For a school teacher, a background in psychology is a powerful asset. Teachers who have a deep understanding of child psychology can identify and understand the individual needs of their students and form innovative solutions. If you’re on the path to becoming a teacher, experience in psychology is an excellent way to inform your practice and pedagogy.
Communication specialists with a qualification in psychology are some of the most effective communicators in the workplace. Because they have a rich understanding of how people think and react, they can prepare clear and tailored communications for audiences. Understanding the psychology of the people you’re writing for is a huge advantage.
Human resources management
It’s vital for HR professionals to have a firm grasp of what motivates people and workplace behaviour. This is especially important for interview processes, recruitment screenings and resolving workplace conflicts. A background in psychology allows HR professionals to assess and make highly informed recommendations about the performance of people within a workplace.
There is an abundance of different paths you can take with a psychology qualification. Whether you’re committed to becoming a registered psychologist or want to integrate psychology into an alternative career, Monash Online has just the psychology course for you.