The general opinion of psychology yields a split decision from students and parents alike.
Most people seem to have a negative opinion psychology degrees, claiming it’s somewhat of a pseudo-science for the educationally illiterate.
Most people confuse psychiatry with psychology. This mix up leads students to believe that without a medical degree, they can’t do anything useful with a psychology degree.
In actuality, the roles are very different, and while psychiatrists are medical doctors, psychologists require no such extra qualifications, but typically hold Masters or PhD degrees.
Psychology is vital science which concerns itself with the study of human behaviour.
There are many different branches in psychology so simply claiming that it is a useless subject to study would be careless, reductive, and incorrect.
Here are 3 reasons why psychology is a valuable degree to study.
Importance of Psychological Research
The best and most prominent example of why psychological research benefits the greater public was seen during the most brutal wars.
During World War 1, soldiers fighting on the frontlines were experiencing terrible psychological episodes as a result of being exposed to the horrors of war.
This was known to them as having ‘shell shock’. The prevailing theory was that these soldiers were simply too weak minded, and as a result were removed from the war indefinately.
Almost an entire century later, the work that was originally published by the American Psychiatric Association introduced the idea of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which we believe the soldiers of WWI were suffering from.
Without this crucial research, who knows what sort of stigma or negative ideas we would have concerning soldiers who fought and possibly gave up their own lives for our freedom?
Even today groundbreaking research is continually done into fields of gender equality, gender identity, and many more common and often stigmatised problems in our society.
Being apart of the research that uncovers the true workings of the mind is something that is truly rewarding, and that no one can take back from you!
Understand human behaviour better
It isn’t a selfish thing to want to study psychology simply to understand people better.
In fact, the majority of people who study psychology only do so either to contribute to research, or to truly build upon their knowledge of why people do what they do.
Understanding why people do what they do is the basis of many psychological studies, and often leads to developing management plans in the form of therapy.
Even if you have no intentions of working as a psychologist, simply understanding human behaviour is a way to be empathetic towards someone’s experiences, and even be a better friend, colleague, sibling, or parent.
Understanding human behaviour will bring you closer to your own humanity in many ways!
Modern Job Availability
Last but not least, psychology opens you up to the possibility of endless job opportunities, granted you have the relevant higher education and experience!
Don’t listen to anyone who says psychology jobs are a dead end.
As a psychology graduate, you have numerous career path options that range from teacher to business person.
Here are a few psychology-related job roles:
- School Teacher – Doesn’t sound particularly exciting however more schools are increasingly hiring a psychologist to counsel students on emotional and behavioural problems that may have effects on their ability to learn properly. Definitely, something to consider if you don’t care for treating adult patients.
- Hospital Psychologist – Most hospitals will have several psychologists on payroll to work within a clinic and counsel patients suffering from some kind of trauma or psychological issue.
- Business Psychologist – Many large businesses will have a resident psychologist to give the company insights into their customer behaviours and hopefully drive up sales. A big contrast to the usual clinical work of a psychologist.
- Clinical Research Psychologist – These are the big guns of psychology. The majority of graduates start off wanting to be a clinical research psychologist since they do the majority of novel psych research. It seems to be the most interesting role however you will be met with competition from real psych scientists with attention to detail and meticulous precision towards their research.
- Lecturer – A minority of psych graduates will end up going back to university to become a professor. This is because to become one in the first place, you must have already undergone several years of schooling and possibly even gained a PhD. A hard gig for most to bag, but once you’re there, it can be a relaxing job role to do until retirement.
The biggest fear for students when considering whether to study psychology is if it will leave them jobless.
As we’ve covered above, psychology will never leave you jobless so long as you have done enough schooling (often masters of phd) and have gained relevant experience in the form of paid work or even unpaid internships at research facilities.
Never let anyone talk you out of studying psychology as it might be the ideal course for your own student satisfaction.
It’s incredibly in-depth and large and once you begin specialising as your studies progress, you’ll really begin to delve into the things that personally interest you!
Another course that often gets a bad rep is Sociology.
It’s not for everyone however you can continue reading to see why it might not be an entirely useless course to study!