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How To Become A Psychologist
Psychologists conduct experiments and study human behavior, mental processes and diseases, and interpret the results using data analysis techniques. They form hypotheses about human behavior, and work more on an individual level than some of the other social sciences. Sometimes, they are employed in schools, large organizations, or work in academia. If you are very serious about the career, you may want to contact experts in the field, such as those operating their own practices or those working in academia, about how to become a psychologist.
What is it Like to be a Psychologist?
According to one of the very best resources of employment data, the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychologists should expect fairly steady demand in terms of career opportunities. This is partly due to natural increases in population. Choosing a specialty area is an important part of the process of how to become a psychologist. There are several specializations in psychology. With some research, you might find some that you could possibly see yourself being involved in professionally.
What Kind of Schooling do I Need to Become a Psychologist?
How far you can advance in psychology is most likely directly related to how far you progress in your education. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you might work in management, community centers, or perform administrative or technical duties in psychological research. It may be interesting to note that with a bachelor’s degree in psychology you can work for the federal government as a psychologist, but most employers and organizations prefer at least a master’s degree. You may want to use your psychology education in sales or marketing, as many of the skills and information you learn applies to these and many other areas.
With a master’s degree, you are probably qualified to perform research, under the mentorship of a professor, and possibly be able to work in a large business or organization. Some colleges allow psychology experts with master’s degrees to teach the subject.
After performing, and possibly publishing, original research, you may want to pursue a doctoral degree. With this credential, you are qualified for several positions, such as a psychology professor, school psychologist, independent psychology researcher, and counseling. You could also supervise individual or group therapy sessions, using your own practice or for your employer. Any of these professionals are great resources of information about how to become a psychologist.
Every state has different, specific requirements when it comes to licensing or certification in terms of how you may work as a psychologist. You should check your state’s licensing boards for these.
At some point during your education you might work or look for convenient ways to earn college credits. Some college students are starting to see the benefits and flexibility of online courses. Some of your coursework may be available online. Online classes are great ways to study over the summer, for example, and catch up or stay busy. The best online colleges are accredited, and sometimes credits will transfer.
There are several career levels in psychology that may be available to you. Don’t forget to ask your academic adviser and college admissions office any questions you may have about how to become a psychologist.