Career in Psychology [The Only 2020 Study Guide You Need]


Disclaimer: If you think a career in psychology is all about becoming a psychologist who helps people by saying deep philosophical “#instaquote worthy” stuff, you are about to get surprised. 

Imagine being able to get into the minds of people and to help them decipher their behavioural patterns! Imagine being able to know the exact reason behind variation in the body language of a person! Does it excite you? Let us draw the map for you to acquire the knowledge and skills required to make this possible.   

What exactly is Psychology?

Psychology is the art and science of the human mind and the functions of the human mind, especially those affecting behaviour in a given circumstance. Psychology is the study of conscious and unconscious elements of the human mind such as thoughts and feelings. Psychology aims to understand the behaviours of individuals and groups through general principals and research specific cases. In all, Psychology is concerned with the complex ways and patterns in which people think, feel, behave, communicate and perceive the world. 

Sounds interesting but you are thinking will a career in psychology complement your personal goals. Right? Are you wondering if a job in this field will make you happy on a daily basis?

Hold On. Let’s dig a little deeper into the pool of career in psychology and see if its a right fit for you.

Career in Psychology

A career in psychology gives one an opportunity to change people’s lives by helping them self-discover and understand themselves better and by improving their mental condition. Apart from helping people, it also allows one to add to humanity through research work and help broaden the understanding of students by teaching this field of study. 

Pros of a Career in Psychology

  1. Bright job outlook: With a large population of the world fighting wars with their own minds, the need for psychology experts is on a rise. Nowadays, be it a school or a hospital- every organization employs psychologists, counselors and other professionals in this field.
  2. High earning potential: As you keep gaining experience, the value pf your skills keeps on increasing, making a career in psychology a highly promising career with high earning potential.
  3. The satisfaction of helping others: Psychology is one of the few fields that provides one the opportunity to directly help the consumers. No matter how much you earn, as a career in psychology, you earn only by helping others feel better. What can be more satisfying than this? 
  4. Multiple areas of specialization: Based on your interests and preferences, you can choose from amongst a wide range of specialization choices that come with a career in psychology.   

Cons of a Career in Psychology

  1. Extensive Education and Training: When you choose to mold a career in psychology, you are signing up for directly interacting with people who are seeking help. This calls for high responsibility which needs to be backed up by extensive education and training.
  2. It can get stressful and draining: Well, let’s face it- while helping people fight their internal wars and making them feel better is an amazing idea, constantly being involved in it can sometimes get stressful and draining.

Top Universities to study Psychology:

Ranked as one world’s top universities, Stanford University was established in 1891. It consists of 40 undergraduate and postgraduate academic departments and 4 professional schools. The Department of Psychology at Stanford University is dedicated to training scientists who will work to advance theory and to create knowledge that helps us address real-world problems.

  • University College London

A public research university located in London, United Kingdom, University College London (UCL) is a constituent college of the federal University of London. Psychology at University College London involves the largest number of researchers in the UK, research across various aspects of the field, teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and leadership in the development of psychology as a profession.

An Ivy League research university, Princeton University is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. The graduate program at Princeton University offers specialization in diverse areas, including cognitive neuroscience, perception and cognition, developmental psychology, behavioral economics, language, learning and memory, the psychology of inequality,  social psychology, systems neuroscience and social neuroscience. Interdisciplinary programs leading to joint degrees in psychology and neuroscience or psychology and social policy are also offered.

Founded in 1890, the University of Chicago is composed of an undergraduate college, various graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees organized into five academic research divisions and seven professional schools. Since its founding in 1893, the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago has been known for scientific research and scholarship that cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Today, this broad and integrative vision of psychological science is reflected in the diversity of laboratories and collaborations within the Department, as well as research initiatives that connect psychology to other areas of the University and beyond.

  • University of Pennsylvania

Another private Ivy League research university, University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1740. The university has four undergraduate schools which provide a combined 99 undergraduate majors[ in the engineering, humanities, business, and natural sciences, as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. The Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania is the oldest continuously functioning psychology department in North America.

  • Duke University

Founded in 1838, Duke University is a private research university in North Carolina. Admission to Duke is defined by U.S. News & World Report as “most selective.” Duke’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience has five graduate training areas: Clinical Psychology, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology and Systems, and Integrative Neuroscience.

We know this university needs no introduction and you already know it is United States’ oldest institution of higher learning and has produced eminent leaders including Barack Obama, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and many more. The field of Psychology first emerged at Harvard in the late 1800s under the scholarship of William James, and ever since then, Harvard has been at the forefront of the field. The Graduate Program in Psychology currently has around 65 graduate students who are trained in four major research programs:  Developmental Psychology; Cognition, Brain, & Behavior; Clinical Science and Social Psychology.

  • London School of Economics and Political Science

Founded in 1895, the London School of Economics, officially The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom. Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science is a growing community of researchers, intellectuals, and students who investigate the human mind and behavior in a societal context. The department conducts cutting-edge psychological and behavioral research that is both based in and applied to the real world.

Career Paths

Studying psychology gives you the chance to have one foot on the land of science and the other on the land of mind, giving you a wide range of opportunities to choose from. A career in psychology opens the doors for becoming a psychologist, therapist, counselor, and a social worker.

  1. Career in Psychology– Become a Psychologist

A psychologist is someone who studies the human mind and human emotions and behavior, and how different situations have an effect on people.

Different types of Psychologists are:

  • Airforce Psychologist
  • Applied Psychologist
  • Army Psychologist
  • Biogerontologist
  • Child Psychologist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Cognitive Neuroscientist
  • Cognitive Psychologist
  • Community Psychologist
  • Comparative Psychologist
  • Consumer Psychologist
  • Counseling Psychologist
  • Criminal Psychologist
  • Cultural Psychologist
  • Developmental Psychologist
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Engineering Psychologist
  • Environmental Psychologist
  • Experimental Psychologist
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Geriatric Psychologist
  • Gerontologist
  • Geropsychologist
  • Health Psychologist
  • Media Psychologist
  • Military Psychologist
  • Navy Psychologist
  • Neurologist
  • Neuropathologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Organizational-Industrial Psychologist
  • Personnel Psychologist
  • Physiatrist
  • Police Psychologist
  • Positive Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychological Anthropologist
  • Psychometrician
  • Rehabilitation Psychologist
  • School Psychologist
  • Social Gerontologist
  • Social Psychologist
  • Spiritual Psychologist
  • Sports Psychologist
  • Transpersonal Psychologist

2. Career in Psychology– Become a Therapist

A therapist is someone whose job is to treat a particular type of mental or physical illness or disability, usually with a particular type of therapy.

Different types of Therapists:

  • Art Therapist
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapist
  • Dance / Movement Therapist
  • Exercise Therapist
  • Existential Therapist
  • Life Coach
  • Marriage Family Therapist
  • Musical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Psychiatric Nurse
  • Psychotherapist
  • Sex Therapist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Transpersonal Therapist

3. Career in Psychology– Become a Counselor

A counselor is a person trained to give guidance on personal or psychological problems.

Types of Counsellors:

  • Army Mental Health Specialist
  • Career Counselor
  • Child Abuse Counselor
  • Child/Pediatric Counselor
  • Community Mental Health Counselor
  • Couples Counselor
  • Crisis Intervention Specialist
  • Depression Counselor
  • Domestic Violence Counselor
  • Geriatric Counselor
  • Grief Counselor
  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Marriage & Family Counselor
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Multi-Cultural Counselor
  • Pastoral Counselor
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • School Counselor
  • Spiritual Counselor
  • Substance Counselor
  • Suicide Intervention Counselor
  • Transformational Counselor
  • Veterans Counselor
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

4. Career in Psychology– Become a Social Worker

A social worker is a person in the profession of helping individuals, families, groups, and communities to enhance their individual and collective well-being.

Types of social workers:

  • Addiction Social Worker
  • Child/Pediatric Social Worker
  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Community Social Worker
  • Corrections Social Worker
  • Disability Policy Worker
  • Family Social Worker
  • Geriatric Social Worker
  • Hospice & Palliative Social Worker
  • Mental Health Social Worker
  • Military Social Worker
  • Parole Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Psychiatric Social Worker
  • Public Health Social Worker
  • School Social Worker
  • Substance Abuse Social Worker
  • Victim Advocate

Must-Read Books to Start a Career in Psychology:

  • Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace In a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
  • The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Heidt
  • Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
  • Outliers: The Story Of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
  • Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • Flow: The Psychology Of Happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman
  • Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art Of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

Free Online Courses to Go an Extra Mile in Your Career in Psychology:

Free Blogs to Kickstart Your Career in Psychology:

What can you do today?

If you are reading this, it is possible that you are overwhelmed with information and brimming with zest to shape your career in psychology. We would suggest that its the right time for you to check out Leverage Edu and take the first step towards your awesome career.

  1. This post gives detailed information on Psychology and its career prospects. Thev author has also mentioned different specialisations in hte field of psychology and a list of international universities that offer psychology.

    1. Hey, thanks for your wonderful words. A career in psychology is filled with promising opportunities, especially in the contemporary world where mental health awareness is a prevalent issue. One can make a career in Psychology by doing the right course, here are some of our blogs that might help you in finding a perfect one for you –,,

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