How Being a Psychologist Can Benefit You

Six less obvious benefits of studying psychology – SACAP

How Being a Psychologist Can Benefit You

Did you know that studying psychology can help you gain valuable research and analytical skills, be a better communicator, and resolve conflict effectively?

Key takeaways

  • Studying psychology equips students to use their knowledge of human behaviour in their daily lives.
  • Developing excellent research and analytical skills, the ability to be a better communicator and to master the art of conflict resolution are just some of the additional benefits of studying psychology.
  • A degree in psychology not only opens the door to the possibility of becoming a psychologist, but it also lays the groundwork for a number of other career options.

If you enjoy going to your psychology courses, discussing psychological topics, or spend your spare time reading psychology websites, then there is a good chance that earning a psychology degree is the right option for you.

Apart from a keen interest in the subject, there are a lot of additional things you’ll learn from studying psychology. Here are six that may not have even crossed your mind…

1. You’ll learn more about yourself and others

Have you found yourself questioning why people behave in certain ways? Do you want to learn more about your own mind, emotions, and actions? Studying psychology is an excellent way to gain a greater understanding of yourself and others. In addition, a solid understanding of human nature will serve you well in a number of job settings, including social services, advertising, marketing, education, healthcare, and politics.

2. You’ll gain valuable research and analytical skills

Part of being an ethical practitioner means ensuring that the knowledge that you apply is solidly supported by research. It is not all diagnosis and symptoms; psych students spend a lot of time mastering research methods and statistics so that they can both understand and contribute to the body of knowledge of helping others.

Even if you’d rather focus on Freud or Jung, learning how to successfully gather, organise, analyse, and interpret data is an invaluable skill needed in a number of careers.

For example, educators, administrators, scientists, marketers and advertisers often perform such tasks in order to make decisions, evaluate progress, and complete projects.

3. You’ll become a better communicator

Good communication skills are critical. Many think that communication is just about speaking and writing, but research indicates that non-verbal cues play a huge role in our interpersonal connections.

In many ways, psychology teaches you how to build healthy relationships by communicating thoughtfully, purposefully and clearly. When you communicate this, both you and the person to whom you speak will feel secure and happy because you both know that you have been understood and are on the same page.

Tone of voice, good eye contact and listening skills are just a few key communication points you’ll touch on when studying psych.  

4. You’ll learn how to resolve conflict

No relationship, be it professional or personal, is totally free of conflict. Psychology will assist you in identifying the reasons behind the behavior, the motivation for the conflict, thus enabling you to be better prepared in finding a resolution.

As a psychology student, you are often challenged to understand phenomena from a range of different perspectives, which is a useful skill when listening to the thoughts and opinions of others.

Fully investing yourself in a process of finding a common understanding between yourself and others encourages resolution rather than adding fuel to the fire.

5. You’ll be well prepped for countless careers

Do you want to be a writer, a teacher or an employment counsellor? Psychology not only offers you the opportunity to become a psychologist, but also lays the foundation for many other career options.

In fact, students who earn an undergraduate degree in psychology but don’t do a master’s or doctoral degree usually find alternative (and very rewarding) ways to put their psychology knowledge to work. Graduates with BPsych degrees are equipped with the skills needed in various work roles.

A good understanding of human behavior and thought processes is the key to a number of fulfilling job opportunities.

6. You could even gain a better social life

It is not all about studying and career options however, the use of psychology in your daily life is extremely important on an interpersonal level.

The understanding of social cues and human interaction is vital in all aspects of life from finding a job to asking someone on a date.

Studying psych will equip you to communicate effectively with others and teach you how to decipher their underlying feelings, motivations and emotions. This is important not only for your own overall mental health, but also for generating empathy for others.

Find out more about studying psychology, the course options available to you, and the career paths open to you. SACAP offers a range of psychology courses, some of which can be studied part-time. There are also distance-learning options available. To find out more, enquire now.


Psychologist Job Description, Career as a Psychologist, Salary, Employment

How Being a Psychologist Can Benefit You

Education and Training: Master's degree or doctorate

Salary: Median—$54,950 per year

Employment Outlook: Good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Psychologists are scientists who study behavior. Their work usually involves teaching, research, or social service in schools, clinics, government agencies, and private industry. About forty percent are in private practice.

To learn about behavior, they may conduct tests and laboratory experiments, record case histories, or take surveys.

Using their research, they develop theories to explain the reactions of people to their environment. They also use their knowledge to help emotionally or mentally disturbed people adjust to life.

Some psychologists work with medical and surgical patients who must cope with illness and injury.

Psychology is a broad field with several areas of specialization. In experimental psychology, for example, psychologists carry out research projects to develop theories about learning, motivation, and other aspects of behavior.

Developmental psychologists study the growth and change that takes place throughout life. They may concentrate on one particular stage of development, such as adolescence or old age.

Other specialties include educational psychology, comparative psychology, social psychology, and psychometrics.

Just as there are many areas of specialization, there are also many kinds of psychologists. The largest group is made up of clinical psychologists, who often provide individual, family, or group psychotherapy for people with emotional problems. Clinical psychologists help emotionally or mentally unstable people understand and cope with their problems.

They constitute the largest area of specialization within the field of psychology. (© Martha Tabor/Working Images Photographs. Reproduced by permission.)They may implement behavior modification programs. School psychologists work with teachers and parents to create supportive learning environments for all types of students.

They often give tests to identify gifted, handicapped, and emotionally disturbed students. Industrial and organizational psychologists study problems of motivation and morale in offices and factories. They may advise companies on personnel, management, or marketing methods.

Other kinds of psychologists include engineering psychologists, counseling psychologists, and environmental psychologists.

Education and Training Requirements

Competition for graduate programs in psychology is stiff. All applicants must have bachelor's degrees in psychology or related fields. Those who want to work as school psychologists must earn specialist degrees, which require three years of graduate study and a one-year internship.

Master's degrees may be sufficient in some areas. Clinical or counseling psychologists in private practice and those in teaching and research positions usually need doctorates, which require from five to seven years of graduate study. Clinical and counseling psychologists must spend at least a year in internships.

Un psychiatrists, psychologists are not physicians.

All states require that psychologists be certified or licensed to start private practices. Candidates for licenses usually need doctorates plus two years of experience.

The American Board of Professional Psychology recognizes professional achievement by awarding specialty certification in areas such as clinical, counseling, school, and industrial and organizational psychology.

Candidates for certification must have doctorates, five years of experience, and professional endorsements.

Getting the Job

Job seekers can apply directly to agencies or get help from school placement offices. Professional associations can provide information about opening private practices. Professional journals, newspaper classified ads, and job banks on the Internet list openings for psychologists.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Advancement depends on many factors, including education, experience, and other personal qualities. Psychologists can expand their private practices or move into high-level jobs in research, teaching, counseling, or administration. Some psychologists advance by serving as consultants to government or industry or by writing about their special fields.

The employment of psychologists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014.

Job opportunities should increase slightly in health maintenance and preferred provider organizations, in nursing homes, and in alcohol and drug abuse programs.

More opportunities will arise in businesses, nonprofit organizations, and research firms, especially for psychologists who work as consultants. Companies will employ psychologists to design and analyze surveys and to help employees with personal problems.

Working Conditions

Working conditions vary widely. Psychologists in private practice usually have comfortable offices. Most work forty hours per week. However, their schedules vary according to the type of work and may include some evening and Saturday hours.

They spend additional time studying the latest developments in the field. Psychologists must be emotionally stable, intelligent, and able to communicate with a wide variety of people. Those involved in research must be suited for detailed work.

Earnings and Benefits

Salaries vary with education, experience, and type of work. In 2004 the median earnings of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists were $54,950 per year.

Benefits for salaried psychologists usually include paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and retirement plans. Psychologists in private practice must provide their own benefits.


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