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

Walden University
MS in General Psychology
MS in Health Psychology
MS in Social Psychology
Walden University - Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Walden offers several programs in psychology including one of the few online MS in Clinical Psychology degrees as well as a general program. Students can choose between the counseling and general specializations.
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Sacred Heart University
MS in Applied Psychology
MSAP in Community Psychology
MSAP in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Sacred Heart University - "The Master of Science in Applied Psychology offered by Sacred Heart University is a uniquely versatile credential, offering two specializations as well as a general track. Sacred Heart has been consistently ranked among the top masters colleges in the country. Built on a research-driven core, our MSAP is taught in small, highly interactive online classes by an award-winning faculty."
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Grand Canyon University
MS in General Psychology
MS in Health Psychology
Grand Canyon University - "Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in General Psychology is a program designed for individuals who desire promotion and/or continued academic exposure in the field of psychology. The program focuses on the development of critical thinking and leadership qualities."
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Purdue University
MS: Psych - Applied Behavioral Analysis
MS in Psychology
MSPY in General Psychology
MSPY in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
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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Chicago School of Professional Psychology
MA in Psychology
MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology
MS in Applied Behavior Analysis
Chicago School of Professional Psychology - "The M.A. in Psychology, Child and Adolescent Concentration online program focuses on factors that affect child development and behavior. Graduates of the program will be prepared to enter careers in a number of fields. Students who enroll in the program that does not interfere with other commitments."
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Northcentral University
MA in Psychology
MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
MA in Psychology: Gender Diversity Studies
MS in Health 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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Liberty University
MS in Criminal Justice: Forensic Psychology
MA in Counseling - Crisis Response and Trauma
MA in Counseling - Executive Leadership
MA in Counseling - Life Coaching
Liberty University - "An M.A. in Human Services — Crisis Response and Trauma will: Equip you to help meet the needs of individuals, groups, and organizations who are mitigating the effects of post-traumatic stress, critical incident stress, and personal crises. Provide you with an understanding of how crises impact a person’s ability to function in everyday life, and its effects on their relationships."
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Southern New Hampshire University
MS in Psychology
MS in Child & Developmental Psychology
MS in Industrial & Organizational Psychology
Southern New Hampshire University - "The rapidly changing professional landscape of the 21st century has led to a growing demand for individuals with a formal psychology background. Industries such as business, marketing, education, health services, criminal justice, sports management, and information technology are increasingly seeking out individuals with these credentials to help improve performance, motivation, and general well-being within organizations."
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