A psychology degree opens the door to countless career opportunities for you. Psychologists are known for evaluating and studying behavior, cognition and affect of others. How psychologists apply the study of human behavior on a professional level depends on the kind of higher education one decides to follow. Some psychologists focus more on providing mental health and/or consultation services, while some focus more on conducting research or teaching. If you’re interested in pursuing a degree in psychology in a clinical capacity, you have to graduate level options: PhD and PsyD.
A doctor of Philosophy degree or PhD used to be the highest level of education one could earn in the field of Psychology. Individuals who want to practice psychotherapy and clinical psychology usually took this route. But, PsyD has become increasingly popular over the years.
If you are planning to pursue a career as a therapist or do clinical work, you might find this article helpful in providing you all the information you need on PsyD as well as the possible career options you could take pursue after a getting a degree from it.
What is a PsyD Degree?
The Doctor of Psychology or PsyD is a professional doctorate degree to help prepare graduates for work or careers in the field of professional psychology.
The PsyD degree is an alternative degree that’s focused on the applied and clinical aspects of psychology. Its study involves preparing students for future professional practice. The coursework is aimed at teaching students how to apply established standards of practice and evidence-based services. In addition, students taking this course also complete a doctoral project and dissertation centered on a specific, applied clinical problem.
The Difference Between a PsD and a PhD
Once someone graduates from a PsyD program, he or she is automatically qualified to take the state and national licensing examinations that will enable him or her to go into the clinical practice.
Although PhD graduates also qualify for clinical practice, their program puts more focus on research. The PhD program is often called the “scientist-practitioner” approach because it trains graduates into the filed of academics and researchers rather than just being clinicians.
One important thing to remember, however, is that getting a PsyD degree will not qualify you to be a psychiatrist. To be a psychiatrist, you need a medical degree, which would need even more training. The most obvious difference between the degree programs is that as a clinical psychologist, you’ll be able to analyze, diagnose and provide counsel to your patients. You’ll also be able to provide psychotherapy. However, you won’t be allowed to prescribe medication as only qualified psychiatrists can do that.
If you get accepted into a PsyD program, be prepared to invest years of study ahead of you. The degree program can be very intensive and would take around six to seven years to complete. But it doesn’t end there. After graduating, you would be required to complete a mandatory year of post-doctorate clinical work. Think of it as something similar to the residency medical students are required to complete.
What Are the Prerequisites for a PysD degree?
In order to get into a PsyD program, you need a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Some schools might require a master’s degree, but others don’t. Some schools might accept you even if you don’t have a graduate degree but have acquired a wide range of experience in the field. Most will require you to present a resume, regardless of the reasons.
What can you do with a PsyD degree?
Part of what motivates students to pursue a graduate degree in psychology (or any field, really) is the prospect of landing their dream jobs. A PsyD degree prepares one for a huge variety of careers that focus mostly on delving into the human mind. A degree in this field will provide you with all the background and information you need to perform research, treatment, test and reports, and will lead you to a better and more-defined career path.
So, what can you do with a PsyD degree? Where will your psychology degree lead you? If you’re a student and want to know what possible job opportunities you can land, or if you’re an upcoming student checking out online schools to earn a Doctor of Psychology, check out the three major potential career opportunities you can obtain from your doctoral degree.
While most PsyD programs will not lead to licensure and will not prepare you to become a licensed psychology professional, you can use the degree as a sort of stepping stone or foundation to pursue that career. Use all the knowledge and skills you accumulate to succeed that avenue. Make sure you review the licensing requirements within your state (or the state you want to practice), so you get a better picture of what lies ahead.
A PsyD degree will train you in careers where you can apply scientific knowledge and psychology and deliver firsthand, fact-based service to everyone –individuals, groups, and companies! Nearly every field in our world today needs psychologists, and you can start focusing on your prospective career while still in school by choosing an occupation that matches your degree.
By narrowing down your interest to a specific area or filed while in school, you’ll be able to build a personal database of potential careers you can pursue after graduation.
Human Resources (HR) Specialist
Like psychologists, human resources or HR specialists/professionals are quite in demand these days. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of human resource specialist positions will increase by roughly 7% through 2026. Human resource workers handle extremely complicated employment laws and handle healthcare coverage options.
You can get a leg up on your HR competition with the help of your PsyD degree. Psychology students are known for doing two things extremely well: listening and analyzing. As a psychology degree student, your research and analytical skills will prove useful as an HR specialist when you’re doing hiring searches, creating onboarding programs, or reshaping your company’s recruiting strategies.
A PsD degree arms you with a better understanding of the human mind. This is considered a highly valuable skill in modern business. It is a skill that can be passed on from psychology graduates to organizational leaders. How? For example, companies worldwide hire psychologists to help business leaders develop effective communication and resolution skills. Psychologists also help them develop effective communication and problem solving skills, learn effective management practices, to help their businesses flourish. In the business world, having skills and knowledge earned from a PsyD degree can give any graduate an advantage over their competition.
Post-Secondary Faculty Member
Pursuing a career in the academia or field of education is not unusual for any student. After all, a person who has spent most of his life in the presence of teachers and other students surely know a lot about learning, right?
For PsyD graduates who dream of giving back to future generations, you’ll be happy to know there are universities that accept post-secondary careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of post-secondary teachers is increasing at a much faster rate than average. This is good news for those who plan to pursue careers in colleges, universities, and graduate schools.
People’s idea of those who pursue careers in the field of psychology are of doctors hunched in leather chairs listening to patients share their problems and anxieties. But, the truth is, this is not the only career option for you. There are plenty of other career choices you can take after earning your psychology degree.
To completely understand the real value of your PsyD degree and what it can do for you as a potential hire, do your research and get a head start on this wonderful
To Cap it Off…
Before you decide whether a PsyD is the right degree for you, it is necessary to spend a bit of time considering other options available to you. A Doctor of Psychology degree can be an exciting and excellent choice for those who want to focus more of their energy on practicing psychology. Otherwise, if you’re more interested in conducting research, then the best choice is a PhD degree.
In pursuit of innovation, professional areas in the field of psychology have grown more and more diversified over the years. You can easily get lucrative employment opportunities after getting a master’s degree but a doctorate or PsyD narrows your path to a specific field and open your doors to bigger and better average yearly earnings.
If you are not sure if you’re willing to spend time and money on a doctorate degree, but know that you want to work in the mental health field, you might find other career paths such as social work, school psychology, counseling, health sciences, education, and other academic options.
While earning a clinical degree in psychology can be costly, you will eventually be equipped with skills that can provide many opportunities for successful, meaningful and financially rewarding careers.