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As a student, if you are looking for a career opportunity in Psychology, then this is the best guide for you.
Although first, you need to know what psychology is. Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior. It is a multifaceted discipline that includes many subfields of study areas such as human development, sports, health, clinical, social behavior, and cognitive processes.
However, if you are already in this field then you must be looking for how to be a Psychologist? What types of psychologists exist? In India, which are the best Institutes to study Psychology? How to be a licensed psychologist in India? What are the salaries of an individual Psychologist in India?
Don't worry, We tried to cover all these topics.
So let's jump right into this...
This is the foremost question that arises in the mind of young aspirants, who want to make a career in the field of psychology.
According to the American Psychological Association, A psychologist is a person who is responsible to study about normal and abnormal mental states of a person, their perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by experimenting with, and observing, interpreting, and recording how individuals relate to one another and their environments.
There are many different types of psychologists that work according to the environment they are put in or study they possess in sub-fields of psychology.
Now, let's discuss all of them one by one. But first, let's have a look at why India needs mental health workers?
Aviation psychology is a highly specialized field of psychology that is also known as aerospace psychology. It is an area of psychology where Psychologists use their knowledge to improve the mental health of pilots, aircrew, and airport employees.
They may be involved in helping reconstruct events that occur before an aviation accident. Airline companies provide counselling in times of psychological distress or great stress, while others will be involved in preparing training programs for airline personnel.
This is an area of work that has excellent income potential, surpassing average income for other subfields of psychology.
According to Saylor Academy, Biopsychology is a branch of psychology that analyzes the effect of the brain, neurotransmitters, and other aspects of our biology on our behavior, thoughts, and feelings. This field of psychology is often known by many names including biopsychology, physiological psychology, behavioral neuroscience, and psychobiology.
Biopsychologists often observe how biological processes interact with emotions, cognitions, and other mental processes. The field of biopsychology deals with many other fields including comparative psychology and evolutionary psychology.
Plus, study normal, injured, and poorly developed brain functions. They are trained to conduct laboratory and field research with humans and animals, to teach and apply biobehavioral knowledge to problems in a wide variety of settings.
Clinical Psychologists are responsible to assess patients with mental health disorders by diagnosing and treating patients with psychological distress and mental health issues. Since, they work in hospitals or private practices, or mental health clinics. And, also are proficient in a variety of treatment techniques by specialized in working manner on patients with specific mental health disorders.
They do not recommend any medicine to the patient.
Cognitive psychologists treat patients with cognitive disorders or cognitive disabilities including the patient's thinking and decision-making abilities. Not to mention, they work in Universities, Colleges, Research Centers, Rehabilitation Centers, Government Agencies, and Private Practices.
They mainly focus on how the patient's brain processes the information passed to it, how their learning takes place, and how they store or recognize and utilizes information given to them. The psychologists associated with this particular field may have expertise in language development, problem-solving skills, attention, learning disabilities, etc.
Community psychologists research health issues to educate the community and develop prevention programs for unhealthy practices. Plus, are focused on helping lead positive changes at both, individual and community levels.
As for their experience, they work in Universities, Government Agencies, Community Organizations, and Private Businesses as Professors, Consultants, Policy Advisors, Program Directors, and Researchers. Research in community psychology tends to be action-oriented. And the prime focus is on developing real-world solutions that can immediately be put into effect. These psychologists work to address social problems, promote health and wellness, and enact policies that improve people's lives.
Comparative Psychologists study the comparison between humans and animals. What makes humans behave differently from animals? How do they differ from each other? Studying the behaviors and responses of animals can provide insights into human behaviors as well. Also, Such observations have been done to improve human psychological aspects.
Thorndike's work with cats, Pavlov's work with dogs, and Skinner's work with pigeons are just some of the examples of comparative psychology in which behavioral study of animals can provide insights into human behavior.
Consumer Psychologists analyze market trends and make marketing strategies to promote business. These psychologists help companies to understand the business better that makes consumers purchase the products and services.
They research how buyers respond to various marketing emails or messages, analyze their decision-making strategies, and investigates the role of emotions in purchasing choices. These professionals help businesses develop marketing emails, identify target audiences, develop products that appeal to consumers, and learn about how a consumer reacts toward the brand & its products.
They accomplish these tasks through the use of market research surveys, experiments, real observations, and consumer focus groups.
These psychologists are responsible to provide psychotherapy to people with psychological disturbances, behavioral problems, emotional difficulties, stress, and related issues. Their ropes are quite similar to that of a clinical psychologist.
These psychologists examine how people's behavior varies according to culture and what are the different aspects of behavior that vary according to culture and the universal similarity between them.
Development psychologists studies about development process taking place in the human lifespan. It includes infancy, adolescence, adulthood and old age, etc.
These psychologists study how people learn and the educational process.
They are responsible to develop instructional strategies and teaching techniques that can vary according to a normal child or children with special needs.
They focus on improving machines, equipment, technology, and work environments. While some may focus on more basic research, this is most often a very applied field.
They explore the relationship between people and their surrounding environment. It might involve their natural as well as human-created environment.
They examine what impacts humans have on the environment and vice versa.
These psychologists focus on human psychology and law enforcement. They act as forensic examiners to solve criminal cases and civil disputes performing child custody evaluations, and offering psychotherapy services to crime victims.
Plus, they typically perform duties such as assessing juvenile and adult offenders for risk of recidivism, evaluating competency to stand trial, working with child witnesses, and offering professional testimony in court.
These psychologists work on how psychology, biology, social groups, and behavior influence wellness, illness, and overall health.
And, they work with patients to maximize well-being and improve both mental and physical health. However, some health psychologists also perform clinical work where they observe and treat people who are seeking assistance with health issues.
Plus, they perform duties such as assessing juvenile, and adult offenders for risk of recidivism, evaluating competency to stand trial, working with child witnesses, and offering professional testimony in court.
They study the workplace behaviors of people and help industries to select the right candidate for them. Also, they develop training programs for existing employees to increase knowledge, minimize injury, and maximize efficiency.
Plus, they also assess the complete organizational hierarchy and help to find new ways for cost-cutting, improves efficiency, satisfaction level, and retention of employees.
They often work in the Military. And, are often involved in helping soldiers with emotional distress and mental illness.
Also, the research on different aspects of military life and helps soldiers to live a better civilian life.
These psychologists work on different aspects of the personality of individuals and examine how different traits of individuals affect their personality, life, and behavior.
These psychologists help children in school-going age to cope up with academic, social, emotional stress, and behavioral problems that can happen with the increasing load of studies in the growing age.
Children who are struggling with issues, like behavioral, emotional, or academic, can take help from a school psychologist to come up with an effective plan to deal with them.
Next, we will see how one can become a psychologist in India.
(Recommended read: Questions To Ask A Psychologist On Mental Health Disorders)
There are many factors that you should keep in mind.
Subjects you have to choose during your 12th: If you want to be a Psychologist, you can opt for any stream in your 12th class.
Many schools have started including Psychology in their course curriculum so that the candidates who are keen to make a profession in the respective field can have a basic knowledge from there. In India, If you’re a high school student, then go to the principal's office and ask about the subjects available in the curriculum. We recommend changing schools in the 11th and 12th classes.
Before joining, Just make sure that College or University has a good NAAC grade as well as that school is UGC recognized in which you are thinking of taking admission. A graduate degree will help you to build a strong base in psychology.
You will study all the required and mandatory subjects of psychology, which will help you gain knowledge on relevant topics.
Certain subjects that are taught are General Psychology, Clinical psychology, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Organizational Behavior, etc. Generally, the subjects are more theoretical, but they will also include statistics.
If you choose to make psychology a profession then you will need to have an in-depth knowledge of the subject. During the three years of your graduation, you will be deeply exposed to the basic elements of Psychology.
Workshops are conducted every year on different topics on psychology to analyze the practical application of your knowledge. The organization of workshops can vary from college to college.
Generally, after graduation, the job opportunities are not plenty but you need to explore more to get the desired opportunities.
After passing your graduation, you can go to pursue post-graduation in psychology. Keep in mind, that admission to the various colleges will be through entrance exams or your marks or grades in the graduation.
Different universities have different criteria for admission to postgraduate. If you are from a different background in your graduation, you can still apply for the post-graduation in psychology.
But the admission will be only through the entrance exams.
At the post-graduation level, you can choose your area of specialization to pursue study in psychology. It can be criminal psychology, child psychology, clinical psychology, industrial psychology, or any one of the above stated 19 specializations. Due to the high level of competition, just a graduation degree is not enough.
It will help you build your skills in your area of interest and the specialization you choose. And, at post-graduation, students will get an opportunity to explore more knowledge and dissertation with practical works in their area of interest.
The dissertation is an in-depth study on a particular topic, and the student will conduct the research under the supervision of an expert from their college and they will submit their observation along with a case study or thesis.
Also, the student is required to complete an internship for approximately 2-3 months. An Internship in psychology is a very crucial period for a psychologist’s life.
It is a phase of your education where you work and learn under the supervision of an expert in a particular field.
It is very important to practically apply all theories and knowledge, which will help you understand the concepts and where you lack. This will help you to rectify your shortcomings in the future.
Various universities also conduct educational trips, which further help you to apply your skills realistically. There you will study live cases and will assist experts in solving cases with depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder or anxiety, etc.
You can have the complete list of the Colleges and Institutions for M.A. in Psychology here
Psychology is a very diverse field, one that is expected to see tremendous growth in the coming years. Since psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior, it has numerous applications in all aspects of life — work, family, relationships, sports, industries, and organizational spaces.
You can easily opt to become a psychologist with any specialization such as Criminal psychologist, Organisational psychologist, Educational psychologist, Military psychologist, etc.
Every specialization of psychology has its own knowledge and application areas of the knowledge acquired. The candidate needs to be more focused on what position in psychology he/she wants to acquire in their career.
Accordingly, they can opt to have a graduation or post-graduation along with M.Phil (if they want to go in research particularly). And thus, the candidate can get a desired payout scale and position that a fresher can expect as a psychologist.
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