Questions for people with a pyschology background

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Hello all. I was wondering if people who majored in pysch could answer a few questions of mine.

    Until recently I worked as an IT technician. I got laid off and realized that finding another IT position is going to be near impossible in this flooded market. (espcially for someone who didn't have a chance yet to grab any MCSE's and we know how fast the computer world changes so by the time I got another job, I would have to work my ass off, just to learn all the new technology) Also, on top of that, I didn't really love IT work. While I did enjoy it, I already knew when doing it, it wasn't something I wanted to for the rest of my life. (funny how they expect you to make a decision about what you want to do for the rest of your life when you're only 17/18 years old.....but that's a whole other tangent ;) ) As I became more self-aware of my talents I realized I had the uncanny ability to pyschoanalyze people, culture, ect. I also found myself reading a lot of the works of Freud, Leary, ect. If I take care of everything I need to, I can go back to college in a year and I'm seriously considering pyschology. So I have a few questions for those who already went down that road......

    What are the general types of jobs you can obtain with a bachelor's degree in pysch?

    Did you go to graduate school after getting your degree? What types of employment are available then? How long does it take to obtain a PHd?

    Pyschology seems to be a pretty open field. How open is the job market. Is getting a pysch job nepolitical or is it actually based on what you know and not who you know? What is the internship market like? Did your school help you find an internship?

    If you minored in another field, what was is, and how did it help your pyschology major?

    Any other information you can wish to tell me is alright to. I would also love to hear from anyone currently in school, majoring in pysch. I'm really considering this path. It interests me, it seems to be fairly liberal (I don't like ultra-structured things), and I really would like help people. I really appreciate those who take their time to talk about their pyschology history. :)
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Hint: Memorize this line: "Did you want that supersized, sir?"

    The professional degree in psychology is a PhD. You can get work as a social worker with a master's degree.
  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    I minored in pysch, my brother majored and got a job as a psychiatric social worker after he got his masters. It's doable, but he had quite a bit of "right place, right time" and "who you know" in his favor.

    It ain't easy, but you can also look into being a psychiatrist, which does require you to be an MD. Another avenue to look into is being an APRN, which is a psychiatric nurse who can prescribe medication. Some have private practices.
  4. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    After checking out some resources about this, I've come to realize that my whole outlook on school is faulty. I always thought that a master's degree was something that was pursued instead of a bachelor's degree, not something after obtaining a BA in place of a PHD of PSYd, so that clears things up a whole lot for me. With my goals, I think that the PHD route would be the best, even though it will take longer. I don't mind schooling. Still, please tell me your expierences.
  5. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    i've got a bs in counseling (and another in philosophy, that's two useless degrees now), not terribly different from a psych degree, lot of the same requisite courses. anyways....unless you have a great deal of time and money on your hands, their are easier paths to work than a phd in psychology. i minored in sociology this time around, and while it certainly hasn't helped my employability, the soc. coupled with all the lovely critical thinking skills i got w/ philosophy contribute greatly to my job performance.

    the market is flooded w/ psychologists, phd's included. jobs in the field are at a premium for anything above case management (which you can do w/ a ba/bs, if you're a masochist.) i've been working w/ mentally retarded adults, one on one, for the govt. and loved it. the pay stinks at anything below social worker/director/supervisor/LPC etc.

    still, with a bachelor's you can do the direct care/counseling thing w/ mentally retarded/ill clients, troubled adolescents etc, crisis intervention (shelters, hotlines; usually volunteer,) welfare/food stamp/other govt. social program work, substance abuse counseling. w/ more specialized programs you can lead psychoeducational groups (necrophiliacs anon.) or do assessments/intake.

    these entry level jobs abound if you know where to look. frankly, they are usually so under-staffed that they will take any warm body they can get. i was the sole educated person at my last position, and while i was compensated monetarily for my knowledge and skills, it's not encouraging when one's co-workers are 50 yr. old fat redneck mountain women who (literally) can't read. walking in as a white male, college educated, with an actual suit (not a sweat-suit) will see most of these places lunge to employ and underpay you. why? nobody wants to take care of mentally retarded people.

    a phd or psyd, if i recall, can take 4-5 years of intensive study. a masters degree can be had in a year or two. i haven't attended grad school as of yet, and don't plan on it in the social sciences disciplines. i did my internship w/ a high school as an assistant guidance counselor, and it was super cool! i wish i had had me around when i was getting out of school. internships aren't hard to find unless you expect to be paid; then, watch out, there's not a lot of others around.

    i'm a little down on it all, after a few years kicking around w/ a variety of populations. the system is redundant, our clients are low iq's w/ big dollar signs in their eyes to the administrators, human rights are severely neglected, ethics are a fantasy, and frankly, nobody cares. so, i'm out, going back to school (again!) to be a psych or surgical rn.

    best of luck.
  6. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Munji is right. I know several people with a BS in Psych and they are all in that boat.

    If you want to major in psych, make sure it's a stepping stone to something else.
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    A lot of psych majors go to law school. Psych is a huge "party major," but it's a degree and you can use it as a stepping stone to a Juris Doctorate. BTW, "party major" of the sciences? Geology.
  8. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings

    What you talkin' about... Geology Rocks!

    Actually I'd have to say it's General Science, seeing as you could take Geology and any other easy courses you please...
  9. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    There are some subfields in the Psych major. The University I attended was specialized in 'Experimental Psychology' as opposed to Clinical Psychology or Cognitive Sciences.

    The job market with a MA is weak. With a BA/BS just about nonexistent. With a PHD from an Ivy caliber school you can get hired. MAYBE. Paricularly if you are published, or have cowritten with professors who are published.

    A good psychologist often make a good salesperson, particulary if they have good insight and are astute students of human behavior. And that's where the time, freedom, and earning potential lies. I'm not talking Amway here, there are a lot of good companies that produce and sell good products that need creative salespeople to market their products. The best salespeople produce a lot of sales and profits, and often get to share in the return.

    I worked with Autistic children when I got out of college. I got paid nothing for that.

    Hungry? I sell seafood for a living. I love it. I yak on the phone to people all day. Anybody planning on taking a few meals off because of the recession? Don't think so.

    But if you can afford the education, get it.

  10. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Thanks for the insights, guys.

    Pigpen, I've definatley thought about the counseling route. Espcially after I would get out of college with the degree and to work while getting the PHD.

    Thor, I've also considered going to school for marketing. If pysch is just as hard to break into as you are all saying, maybe I'll take that route instead.

    Keep the post coming.
  11. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Also, since we're all muso's here, I was wondering, has anybody done music therapy?