Having a degree in Psychology opens the door to hundreds or thousands of career paths. Psychologists generally evaluate and study the behavior, cognition, and effect of others. The way this study is applied on a professional level is highly dependent on the level of higher education you want to pursue. Some psychologists offer mental health and/or consultation services, while others teach or do research. For those who want to pursue psychology in a clinical setup, know that there are two graduate level options: PhD and PsyD.
Traditionally speaking, PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is considered the highest level of education any one could earn in his/her chosen field. Those who wished to practice clinical psychology and psychotherapy usually took this path. However, PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) has been gaining more and more popularity over the years. If you want to pursue a career as a therapist or in clinical work, you might want to read on the top five reasons why it’s better to pursue a PsyD rather than a PhD in Psychology.
WHY PsyD IS BETTER THAN A PhD
- FOCUSES ON APPLICATION
They PsyD focus more on the practical application of theoretical structures and therapeutic methods. Although a PsyD program still requires a dissertation employing related psychological literature, being able to come up with unique, practical research on psychology will not be at the forefront of the degree holder’s work. Rather, a Doctor of Psychology degree will focus on clinical skills and train you to be a better and effective practitioner.
- GIVES YOU EARLY CLINICAL EXPOSURE
Because a PsyD degree focuses more on clinical practice over research, programs that incorporate clinical exposure begin earlier on. A huge number of Doctor of Psychology programs also offer opportunities to narrow down your focus by choosing mostly within the clinical practice. Such programs give degree holders a wealth of knowledge and exposure to advanced therapeutic techniques, and also various types of supervised activities.
- SHORTER PERIOD TO COMPLETE THE PROGRAM
Normally, it takes at least five to seven years to complete a PhD degree. On the other hand, a PsyD degree will only take you four to six years to complete. If “practice” is your main goal, then it makes perfect sense for you to opt for a Doctor of Psychology degree. Doing so will place you in a clinical setting a lot faster compared to PhD.
- IT’S GAINING POPULARITY
In the past, many people believed that having a PhD was better than having a PsyD. However, getting a Doctor of Psychology degree is gaining a lot of popularity these days. People have caught on that the differences between both degree options have nothing to do with which is more superior but more on which one suits the personal goals of the degree holder himself.
- MAY BE COMBINED WITH OTHER PROFESSIONAL DEGREES
Just like other doctorate degrees, you can combine PsyD with other professional degrees, allowing you to combine two different fields of interest or help you prepare better in accomplishing your professional goals. Besides offering programs that focus on Doctor of Psychology degree, there are many dual degree programs including PsyD/MEd, PsyD/MBA, and PsyD/MA.
Getting a PhD and a PsyD requires you to invest a lot of time and money. They are prestigious degrees that can land you high-profile jobs in the future after all. However, your choice of degree depends largely on what you want to accomplish with it. If you want to practice psychotherapy and have no plans to conduct your own academic research, then a Doctor of Psychology degree may be the best for you. Regardless of what path and degree you choose, it is important to research the programs you’re interested in based on cost, dual degree opportunities, accreditation, and concentration. Check also the types of activities offered by the programs. Check out the programs that are the best fit for your needs.
BEST CAREERS FOR A PSYD DEGREE
A PsyD degree can lead you to many career paths with highly lucrative income. One of the most famous persons to create a lucrative career path from doctoral psychology degree would be Dr. Phil McGraw from the Dr. Phil Show. He created a personality out of his psychology practice and makes around $80 million a year. This doesn’t happen often, and Dr. Phil’s success should not be considered a role model or road map to that kind of income. But, he definitely created a career path that is considered “lucrative” at least.
There are other lucrative career paths that anyone with a doctoral psychology degree can take. Check them out below:
- ENGINEERING PSYCHOLOGIST
This career involves studying how men and machine interact in our day-to-day lives. Engineering psychologists normally work in the private sector, and work on maximizing efficiency and profitability for companies, while taking care of safety issues.
In some cases, they work on finding ways to make everyday products we use in our daily life much more easier to operate. These products can be improved using simpler procedures and instructions.
- INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGIST
The main goal of this profession is quite similar to that of an engineering psychologist, except for the fact that evaluations are done on products and procedures in the workplace. The main objective is to create an operational framework that is as smooth, clean and simple as possible. Any unnecessary steps or duplication in the production process should be improved or removed.
Anything that obstructs the flow of the products then gets evaluated and broken down into specific categories, and studied more closely for changes that can be implemented to improve efficiency and eliminate risks to safety.
- PRIVATE PRACTICE PSYCHOLOGIST
Private practice psychologists are considered the highest paid among the professional psychologists. They spend years establishing the practice of seeing their patients in an evaluative setting. Once they establish their clientele and generate enough business, they can rake in a lot of money.
This career path involves the study of the various functioning parts of the brain. Neuropsychologists study and research information to come up with better and more effective treatments for their patients.
Becoming more knowledgeable and acquiring more information on these types of processes can lead to the creation of areas of specialization for future research projects.
- ADMINISTRATIVE HOSPITAL PSYCHOLOGIST
This job involves a lot of experience. Those who get to rise to this position are the ones who were able to work their way up through the organization and has worked as an administrator for other practicing psychologists. In other words, their work is mostly on managing other psychologists. They rarely see patients.
- CORRECTIONAL FACILITY PSYCHOLOGIST
This job involves managing the treatment of inmates (prisoners) at a correctional facility or institution. They train, motivate, treat behavioral disorders, and treat mental problems.
Correctional facility psychologists enjoy a slightly higher income compared to others because of the location of their work as well as the type of patients they have to deal with.
- FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST
This job and field brings together the science of psychology with the fast-paced world of crimes. Forensic psychologists are involved with assessing and treating criminals, and assisting the police with various aspects of criminal investigations. They can also work in the courts for civil and criminal issues.
Forensic psychology deals with people and situations that would be considered uncomfortable for some people, which is why this job pays well.
- MILITARY PSYCHOLOGIST
The men and women who serve the military are often emotionally and physically traumatized. Besides trauma from the war, they may also be suffering from other issues before enlisting in the military.
If you’re interested in working as a Military Psychologist, you can find specializations in PTSD and trauma quite useful when it comes to dealing with a number of topics that emerge repeatedly with such patients.
- CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGISTS
Clinical psychology is considered one of the most popular divisions of psychology. It’s mainly focused on the assessment of behavioral issues and developing treatment plans that can be used for problems involving mental illness and trauma.
There is a high level of stress involved with this kind of job, considering clinical psychologists need to build close relationships with their clients.
- COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGIST
Counseling psychology involves being constantly focused on increasing the positive functions of your life. The best way to accomplish this is through finding ways to deal with stress and resolving issues.
Counseling psychologists use related studies and research to diagnose their patients. In some cases where patients are dealing with specific problems, they might be required to provide continuous care. For the most part, however, treatment is in accordance with them living their life normally and independently.
- SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST
School psychologists monitor children’s performance and observe for instances or signs that they need help with their development. They assess whether a child is in need of special education services. They also assess whether a kid is having problems at home, or social problems with other kids at school.
These are just a few of the things that a school psychologists does to improve children’s development and progress towards next-level education