Getting a Ph.D. in Psychology

5 Great Reasons For Pursuing A PhD in Psychology

Getting a Ph.D. in Psychology

It doesn’t matter whether you are a recent college graduate or a professional who has been in their career for years — planning ahead for your future is extremely important to take your life in the direction you’d .

In a number of situations, the biggest thing holding us back from reaching our dreams and goals is the level of education that we’ve obtained. Although the psychology field is growing rapidly, having less than a PhD in psychology can drastically limit the number of career options that you have available.

Securing your future through obtaining your doctorate degree is a great idea in most cases and can open up a whole new world of opportunities.

Here are five great reasons that you should consider pursuing a PhD in psychology:

1. You Want To Become A Research Psychologist

For many people, one of the biggest reasons that they earn their PhD in psychology is to become a research psychologist.

While images of a scientist in white lab coats slaving away all day behind closed doors may pop into the mind when thinking of the career, this is often far from the case. Research psychologists’ main goal is to learn all that they can and discover more about ourselves and the human mind.

Projects for a research psychologist can vary greatly from field to field, such as finding new treatments for mental health issues or discovering more effective methods of teaching.

If you’re looking to become famous, this may not be the career for you, but getting your research and studies published in scientific journals across the field is a distinct possibility.

Many research psychologist positions are at universities and centers of higher learning, but that does not mean that there are not a number of opportunities across the private sector as well. Many times, large companies hire research psychologists to help develop training programs and improve processes.

2. You Would To Teach One Day

Let’s face it – in today’s world, simply obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology will not get you very far.

Sure, there are a number of different counseling positions available to those with a four-year degree, but getting a PhD in psychology will open up a myriad of different career opportunities for you.

One career path which you almost always need a PhD to enter into is teaching at a higher level. Being charged with teaching children through the high school age is possible with less of a degree, but in order to truly enter the world of academia, earning your doctorate is a necessity.

Teaching at a university level not only gives you the opportunity to greatly expand the minds and knowledge of your students, but also provides you with the opportunity to perform research and studies and acquire both government and private grants.

Because of the competition between intelligent and qualified graduates, advancing your career in a psychology field with just a master’s degree is more difficult than ever.

If you have already put in the time and effort needed to get this far, another couple of years of schooling is commonly a smart choice.

In fact, a number of the most respected psychology programs in the country require their applicants to have already obtained their master’s degree prior to even being considered for entry.

Although more opportunities are open professionally for those who have completed a master’s program than lesser achievements, many of the more desirable jobs in the psychology field will be holding out for applicants with even more education in order to fill those positions with “the best of the best”.

4. You Have A Determination To Complete The Program

There is no doubt about it – getting a PhD in psychology is not an easy process. With more students going for an advanced degree than ever before, many people are beginning to think that it is a feat that anyone can complete – that is far from the truth.

Getting your PhD is going to be difficult, involve years of research and studying, and more than anything else, will take personal dedication and determination on your part. If you’re looking for a laid-back, easy to complete degree, this is not it.

If you have the determination and drive to finish what you start and commit the countless hours to your education that you’ll need, then getting your PhD in psychology is a wise step.

If you are lazy, un-motivated, or just looking for a way to bump up your salary a little bit, then this may not be the educational path for you to follow. Less than half of the students who begin their PhD programs end up graduating, with those less dedicated being systematically weeded out along the way.

Helping others is an integral part of psychology. Your goal is to learn as much as you can about the human mind and how we interact with ourselves and each other.

Your focus may be developing educational programs to help people learn better or conducting research to develop treatment methods for mental illnesses and problems. No matter what field you venture into, helping others and society should be your main goal.

Many jobs in the psychology field aren’t the highest paying careers out there, so therefore many of the people in those positions are there for one reason – to do good and improve the lives of others.

If you’re solely considering obtaining a PhD in psychology for the money or prestige, then there may be better choices for you peruse that involve less of a personal sacrifice and commitment.

The psychology field is huge, and there are countless different career paths that it encompasses, even for people with just a bachelor’s or master’s degree. If you want to take your life and career further though, pursuing a PhD in psychology is needed for the most desired jobs.

Whether you want to conduct scientific research developing substance abuse treatment plans, or just want to expand the minds of others through teaching at a collegiate level, a personal dedication to completing a PhD program in psychology is the most important step you can take to reaching your goals.

Источник: http://www.teachingeducpsych.org/psychology-phd.html

Doctoral degrees in psychology: How are they different, or not so different?

Getting a Ph.D. in Psychology

Clarifying key distinctions between the PhD and PsyD degrees. By Daniel S. Michalski, PhD, and Garth Fowler, PhD

Doctoral degrees in psychology offer individuals preparation to conduct scientific research, professional practice or both.

Most individuals receive either the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree. Although each of these degrees is designed to engage students in deep knowledge and skills within a subfield of psychology, there are substantial differences in the type of training and career plans of individuals with these degrees.

Finding the best-fitting program for an individual student begins with understanding these differences.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD is the most common degree conferred in psychology and is generally offered at either private or public research universities.1 PhD degrees are intended for students interested in generating new knowledge through scientific research (i.e.

, setting up experiments, collecting data, applying statistical and analytical techniques) and/or gaining teaching experience.

PhD graduate students receive substantial training in research methods and statistics in order to independently produce new scientific knowledge and are often required to produce a dissertation to demonstrate research competency.

Students enrolling in PhD programs may also be interested in pursuing professional careers in applied work — such as health services, counseling in school settings and consulting in businesses and organizations in addition to research and academic work.

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

The PsyD degree came into existence in the 1970s as an alternative to the PhD for those more interested in providing psychological services than conducting disciplinary research. The PsyD degree is generally offered in professional schools of psychology — either affiliated with research or teaching universities or housed in a free-standing graduate school.

2 The focus of PsyD programs is to train students to engage in careers that apply scientific knowledge of psychology and deliver empirically based service to individuals, groups and organizations.

Most programs require students to write a thesis or dissertation, and students may use quantitative or qualitative methodologies to demonstrate how psychological research is applied to human behavior.

Both PsyD and PhD programs can prepare students to be licensed psychologists, and training in these types of programs prepares graduates to take state licensing exams (licenses are awarded by individual states, not graduate programs).

3 Many states require graduates to have attended accredited graduate programs to ensure that all students have minimum training and competency necessary for treating patients and serving clients.

APA accredits doctoral programs in clinical, counseling and school psychology, and you can find a list of these programs on the APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation website.

When you’re gathering information about particular programs, it is important you understand what training and education the program provides so you are aware of what skills and abilities you will acquire and how those prepare you for a career after you get your doctorate.

There is no “best” doctoral degree in psychology: There are, however, “best-fits” for your academic and professional goals. Please visit the Office of Graduate and Postgraduate Education and Training website for more resources on graduate study in psychology.

The APA Office of Program Consultation also provides further details on the distinctions between PhD and PsyD degrees in its Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychology (PDF, 222KB).

About the Authors

Garth A. Fowler, PhD, is an associate executive director for education and the director of the Office for Graduate and Postgraduate Education and Training at APA. Garth joined APA in May 2012, after nearly seven years as the assistant chair of the Department of Neurobiology at Northwestern University.

Fowler leads the Education Directorate’s efforts to develop resources, guidelines and policies that promote and enhance disciplinary education and training in psychology at the graduate and postdoctoral levels.

Throughout his career, Fowler has been active in education, training and career development for young scientists. He served on the National Postdoctoral Association’s board of directors from 2009-12 and is a member of its finance committee.

He has been an invited speaker or keynote presenter at more than 100 career development events and has served as a panelist for two National Academies of Science Committees, the State of the Postdoctoral Experience and the Committee on Research Universities.

From 2005-07, he was the director of the science careers outreach program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where he developed workshops, presentations and seminars and wrote articles to help early career scientists promote and pursue their chosen career paths.

He has served as a consultant for universities and research institutions on developing training grants for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and developing learning outcomes and assessing career outcomes.

Daniel S. Michalski, PhD, currently serves as the associate director for graduate and postgraduate education and training at APA. In this capacity, he manages the PSYCAS, the centralized application service for graduate study in psychology.

Throughout his tenure at APA, Michalski has disseminated information on psychology education, specialized accreditation and workforce issues through articles, reports, presentations at conferences, invited panel sessions and continuing education sessions.

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Источник: https://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/psn/2016/01/doctoral-degrees

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