Should I Get A Master’s Degree In Psychology?
A master’s degree in psychology is necessary if you are serious about becoming a practicing psychologist. Many individuals who only have a bachelor’s degree in psychology end up not actually working in the field of psychology but in other areas like sales or education. Besides, a master’s degree in psychology is often an essential preparation if you eventually want to become a clinical psychologist. Let’s dissect the issue further.
A master’s degree in psychology will enable you to work as an industrial-organizational psychologist. In this case, you will most likely be working closely with the human resource department of companies or organizations in seeing to it that employees are happy and content in the workplace. When workers are satisfied, the organization is more likely to achieve its goals. As an industrial-organizational psychologist, you will also come up with hiring and training programs that are both effective and beneficial for the company. The field of industrial-organizational psychology is one of the best areas to go to for those with a master’s degree. While there are opportunities in other fields—as you will see below—take note that you are likely to encounter more competition from graduates who hold more advanced degrees.
If you don’t want to work in a corporate setting but prefer to go into research instead, you may still do so with a master’s in psychology. Although you will need a doctoral degree to be able to conduct independent research, you can still work as a research assistant to a psychologist who already holds a doctoral degree and is undertaking his own research. If you also have plans of eventually getting your doctoral degree, the exposure will also serve as a solid preparation for doing your own research later on.
If you’re thinking of getting a job with the federal or local government, a master’s degree will also open this door for you. Some of the career options for you in this sphere include rehabilitation counselor, social service manager, employment counselor, human resource analyst and parole officer, among others.
A master’s degree in psychology will also equip you to teach in colleges and universities, although you have to be ready to face intense competition from other applicants who already hold doctoral degrees. If you really want to work in the academe but can’t find teaching positions, you can still look at options in related areas like career counseling or academic advising.
If you are not really sure whether you want to become a clinical psychologist—a career which requires a doctoral degree— you can opt to get a master’s degree first and find work in the area of mental health. You can hold a position as a psychiatric technician, family services worker or child protection worker in different agencies and organizations. These jobs will give you the opportunity to help people and have a feel for what a career as a clinical psychologist is like. If you like it, then you can always go back to school to earn your doctorate. But if it’s not your cup of tea, you can look for work in other areas mentioned above.