According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the Department of Labor, the employment of psychologists is expected to grow 12% from 2008 to 2018. This is at a rate about as fast as the average for all occupations. Driving this growth is a greater demand for psychological services in schools, hospitals, social service agencies, mental health centers, substance abuse treatment clinics, consulting firms, and private companies.
Numerous employment options are available to a person with a Bachelor's degree in psychology. Many employers are seeking applicants who think critically, analyze issues systematically, communicate effectively, and who have strong interpersonal skills, all things that our psychology major promotes. Bachelor level employment opportunities exist both inside and outside the mental health arena. For example, we have had students with a bachelor's degree gain employment as a research assistant for a community psychologist, a worker at an after school mentoring program, a case worker at a psychiatric facility, a research coordinator at a cancer center, and a public relations officer.
Graduates work primarily in school and industrial-organizational settings, as well as in the private sector. The best job outlook is for students with a Master's in school psychology. There is a growing need in student counseling and mental health services in the schools. Graduates also work in consulting and marketing research, universities, government, or in private practice as counselors, researchers, data collectors, and analysts. In California, graduates from an accredited two-year master's program, after completing the required hours of supervised experience, are eligible to be licensed marriage and family therapists (MFT). Although the emphasis of the MFT is treatment of disordered families and relationships, the MFT may also work in the areas of alcoholism, chemical dependency issues, child abuse detection and treatment, as well as administering and evaluating psychological tests. Graduates also work in industry and government jobs in compensation, training, data analysis, and general personnel issues. Because of an increased awareness of the need for psychologists in the community, more graduates with a master's degree in psychology are finding jobs in community mental health centers. Additionally, a master's degree in psychology is valued more and more by doctoral programs in psychology.
A doctorate from a Clinical Psychology program represents the basic entry level for the provision of Clinical Psychology services. Clinical psychologists receive substantial training in personality and psychopathology, giving them a comprehensive understanding of normal and abnormal adjustment across the life span. Doctoral level psychologists also apply psychological knowledge in a number of specialty areas. A large percentage of doctoral level psychologists work as teachers and scientists in colleges and universities, expanding our knowledge of human behavior.
Julie Z. Lee, '98 - Read: Comings and Movings
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