How to Prepare for a Career in Clinical Psychology

Careers in PsychologyWorking in clinical psychology can be a rewarding career experience, both financially and personally. It is a career that offers many paths: working with children, working in schools, working in academia, working in rehabs, working in crisis units, as well as many other opportunities.

It is also a job field that is growing faster than average. Jobs in this field are expected to increase over 22% in the next 10 years, which is great news for those who have studied to be psychologists and are job hunting now or will be in the near future.

Once you’ve decided that a job in clinical psychology is for you, there are several things you can do to prepare yourself for the field, beginning with the very first step – education.

Understand the Choices

A career in clinical psychology starts with a degree. While this might sound simple enough – you earn a degree in clinical psychology and go to use that in the field – there are a number of decisions to make before you even bet that far. For instance, you should consider all of the options that come with a degree.

Within many clinical psychology degrees there are certain concentrations that work to a student’s advantage when working to get a job. There’s counseling, child psychology, crisis management and response, and health and behavioral psychology, as well as master’s degrees in psychology that prepare students for a Ph.D. and a life in academia, possibly working to help educate other future psychologists. Knowing the program that best fits your personality as well as your interests can lead you towards the right eventual career path.

Make the Connections

When trying to work in the field of psychology, there are a number of great networking connections to be made. The first are with professors and instructors. These are the people who can vouch for your strengths to others in the industry and work as references for interviews. They also usually have contacts and friends in the field who are often aware of jobs, hiring, or working expanding organizations.

It’s also good to stay in touch with others from psychology classes who are also looking for jobs. These conversations can lead to different ideas or organizations; if the relationships are close and these classmates observed you during your time in schools, they can also help you make job decisions, reminding you of your interests and assets, possibly helping you make a decision between one or more job offers.

Stay Current

The more knowledgeable you are, the more hirable you are. There are plenty of professional journals, magazines, databases, and other resources that provide current research and training information. Reading the most up to date information after graduation can not only keep the pertinent information at the forefront of your mind – useful in any job situation – but it also gives confidence during an interview. Additionally, journals might have useful leads for jobs or spark ideas for what project to look into next.

Remember Why

Working in as a clinical psychologist is certainly a job that carries a lot of responsibility, but also provides a lot of satisfaction. It can be a demanding job, and any internship or practicum will likely teach that early only on. Still, it’s an important job, and these medical workers are needed within their communities. While each position carries any number of duties – patient interactions, research, publication, diffusing high stress situations, mediation – there is always the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of people.

Earn Your Clinical Psychology Degree

Purdue University
MS: Psych - Applied Behavioral Analysis
Purdue University - Purdue University is one of the largest schools in the US, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Purdue has over 170 programs that can be taken online including an MS in General Psychology or an MS in Psychology in Applied Behavioral Analysis.
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Northcentral University
MA: Psychology
Northcentral University - Northcentral University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. NCU has online programs for an MA in Health Psychology and an MA in General Psychology. These programs are well-suited for working professionals who must balance personal lives with their education.
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