Many people often wonder what they can do with a degree in psychology aside from advising people to improve their living conditions. One reason for this notion is that Psychology is one profession many people ended up in by default. It means they believe the profession is exciting or not qualified to take up other career choices. Most psychologists today had no intention of following through a related career path.
Is a Psychology degree worthless?
No, a Psychology degree is not worthless because the knowledge of psychology is applicable in vast areas.
Who Is A Psychologist?
It is essential to know who precisely a psychologist is to see the value or worthiness of the degree.
A psychologist is defined as someone who studies the normal and abnormal mental states of individuals. The psychologist also explores individuals’ cognitive, perceptual, emotional, and behavior by experimenting, observing, and interpreting how they relate to their environment, situations, and others.
Types Of Psychologist Specialties
There are at least eight specialties a psychologist can specialize in, these are;
- Clinical psychologist
- Counseling psychologist
- Experimental psychologist
- Forensic Psychologist
- Human factor psychologist
- Industrial and Organizational Psychologist
- Education psychologist, and
- Social Psychologist.
Clinical psychologists are known to make up the largest psychology specialty areas. These are clinicians who also double as psychologists to study, assess, diagnose and treat mental illnesses. You can find most of these psychologists in cognitive centers, working in conjunction with experts from other medical fields to treat mental disorder patients.
There are vast areas of sub-specialties under the clinical psychology field. While some specialize in treating particular psychological disorders, you will still find psychologists who handle general issues relating to psychological problems.
For instance, some psychologists work in hospitals with patients suffering from mental disorders and neurological conditions. Other psychologists may work in mental health homes where they counsel individuals and families, especially coping with stress, substance abuse, and personal problems.
Clinical psychologists regularly perform a wide range of tasks, including interviewing patients, conducting diagnosis tests, psychotherapy, and many more.
Some specialty areas in the field of clinical psychology are; neuropsychology, health psychology, and geropsychology.
Counseling psychology is another branch of psychology that is quite popular. Counseling psychologists perform many tasks that clinical psychologists perform, but they tend to work with patients dealing with less severe forms of mental illnesses.
For this reason, counseling psychologists don’t have to work in hospitals or mental treatment homes. They primarily focus on offering treatments to patients experiencing a wide range of mental disorder symptoms.
Counseling psychologists help their clients maintain focus on facilitating personal and interpersonal functions for their wellbeing. Counseling psychologists pay special attention to social, educational, emotional, vocational, developmental, work-related, and organizational challenges on mental state.
Experimental psychologists are also referred to as research psychologists, and they specialize in researching human and animal behaviors. They are found chiefly in universities, NGOs, government and private agencies. They often conduct a wide range of researches in diverse fields, including substance abuse, motivation, neuroscience, motivation, and cognitive procedures.
Forensic Psychologists are known to handle and interpret the thin line between psychology and the law. Professional psychologists deal with issues relating to child custody disputes, insurance-related disputes, and lawsuits.
You can also find forensic psychologists in family courts offering psychotherapy services. They perform child custody evaluations, conduct investigations on child abuse reports, and conduct visitation risk assessments.
The forensic psychologists who work in civil courts are experts in civil courts may also provide psychotherapy services to victims of certain crimes. Psychologists working in the criminal courts offer an evaluation of adult and juvenile offenders.
Human factor psychologists focus on a wide range of topics and issues. Human factor psychologists’ problems include; ergonomics, human error, product and service design, workplace safety, human capability, and human-computer interaction.
Human factor psychologists investigate everything relating to human factors as they affect others. Human factors commonly involve applying principles of psychology in the design of products and creating work environments that will lead to an increase in productivity while reducing safety hazards.
This field is one of the oldest in psychology, and it began during World War 2 when experts began working together to improve safety standards in airplanes. Since the World War 2 era, human factor psychology has continued to grow, and today, it plays critical roles in every other aspect of human lives. Human factor psychology is useful in engineering, manufacturing, computing, product design, military, and government agencies.
Human factor psychologists are often invited in civil cases involving product defect issues resulting in injuries or death.
Industrial-organizational psychology is a field in psychology that deals with workplace behavior and other associated issues.
This is one of the fastest-growing fields in psychology, and it is a field that tries to work out and measure human behavior concerning their work environment or situation. These psychologists measure the satisfaction levels of employees at their workplace, and employers’ ability to select and promote employees and efforts put in place to make the workplace better for everyone.
The increase in demand for organizational psychologists has led to the rise in universities offering the program. Psychologists in this field provide a wide range of functions. These include; assisting organizations to hire the most qualified professionals, conducting tests on newly designed products, Creating training courses and tutoring newly-recruited employees, and performing research on several aspects of an organization.
Educational psychology, also known as school psychology, is a field in psychology where psychologists work within the educational system. These psychologists are known to help children deal with the emotional, academic, and social effects of going to school.
Educational psychologists aim to collaborate with parents, students, and teachers to promote a healthy learning environment. These psychologists also work with students and groups of students to deal with a wide range of problems: academic difficulties, disabilities, and behavioral issues.
These psychologists work with parents and teachers to develop techniques to help them handle classroom and home misbehaviors. They assist in training students, teachers, and parents to manage crises and substance abuse in children.
Social psychology is that aspect of psychology that aspect that focuses on the interaction between people. It helps in understanding how social interaction with other people impacts our lives. It does not only help discover how these interactions affect individuals; it also helps learn how social interactions affect a group of people.
Social psychologists often work in market research, systems design, organizational structuring and management, and the improvement of leadership, attitude, and perception. The role of a social psychologist is to make peoples’ lives better by changing the way they react to social interactions.
Why Is Psychology Degree Not Worthless?
Having a psychology degree is not worthless. This degree helps help an individual develop skills that can help others in several ways. An organizational psychologist, for instance, can apply his or her skills to help an organization formulate new innovative products based on consumer perception of such products. This means an organization will produce products that will only meet the demands and expectations of its consumers.
An educational psychology degree will help a psychologist develop skills that he or she can use to help adjust the mental state of children, parents, and teachers so that students can perform a lot better academically and the way they relate socially. With educational psychologists, parents will be less stressed in dealing with substance abuse in their children.
Human factor psychologist can use their skills to help prevent the release of faulty products into the market. When out into good use, these skills will help reduce the risks of injuries and death among consumers in the long run because manufacturers will be aware of heavy fines payable for producing substandard products.
A degree in counseling psychology can help you develop skills that can benefit your clients in many ways. Improved mental health cannot be achieved by medication and other conventional treatments alone; it requires inter-personal counseling that will change a patient’s perception of a situation.
In addition to the above categories of psychology, one can also find some other psychology fields like sports psychology which is a field that deals with helping sportsmen and sportswomen deal with emotional strains inflicted on them, especially when they lose. A sport psychologist also helps athletes manage their fame.
There is no doubt that a psychology degree is an essential qualification in modern-day society. Skills acquire through a psychology degree are very rare but very useful in making the world a better place. Psychologists are found in all fields of our human existence, and their usefulness has even become more important considering the current economic meltdown caused by Covid 19 pandemic and unstable government policies. With the proper deployment of psychology skills, our environment will become much safer, and we will become more valuable to ourselves and our societies.