Here is one more thing the pandemic has done–accelerated the mental health crisis. Across generations and nationalities, there’s been a noticeable increase in feelings of anxiety, loneliness and fear. As we grapple with the new world order and remote everything, explorations into human thought and behaviour have never been more important.
Let’s look at what goes into studying psychology, interdisciplinary options, top universities and possible career choices
A study in psychology, it is commonly believed, gives magical powers to read minds. Not quite. What it does give you is an insight into people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It entails scientific processes to understand the why of human behaviour and use the answers to solve practical problems. And considering the sheer variety of human experiences, one thing can be guaranteed––you will never be bored.
In simple terms, the discipline focuses on human behaviour and the human mind. So that includes delving into basic biology of the brain, cognition and other societal structures that affect human behaviour. As a psychologist, depending on your expertise, you will be in a position to help people deal with a range of issues beyond the physical body.
The scope of it larger than you can imagine. Independent counselling and one-one-one sessions is just one of the options. Corporations require experts to build their human capital and subsequently, their company culture. The pandemic has thrown spotlight on just how important a company’s human capital is. In addition to hiring and firing, there is a need to retain, nurture and help in the growth of all individuals who make up an organisation in order to sustain the company. This is where knowledge of psychology would play a humongous role.
From an employment point of view, there isn’t going to be a dearth anytime soon. But that alone cannot be your deciding factor. If human beings fascinate you, then psychology is a study option you can consider. It will give you an insight into your own behaviour, help you understand yourself and others better and make you more empathetic. More importantly, in this field, you will be touching people’s lives and helping others directly in times of need.
Organizations have been using facets of psychology to determine HR policies. However, the scalability of this set up has always been an issue. Inherent biases are incredibly difficult to overcome. Therefore, more people are turning towards tech, AI in particular, to speed up processes, collect data more efficiently, screen candidates, overcome prejudices, gamify workspaces and so on.
Considering how competitive the market is and the need to stand out, we have always made a case for interdisciplinary studies, like STEAM over STEM for instance. The one liberal Arts/ social studies component to your Science, Tech, Engineering and Math majors can increase your opportunities manifold. Following the same argument, there is a need for experts who can navigate the world of psychology and AI. If this sounds like your cup of tea, you would be in a position to help individuals and corporations at the same time
These are the top ten universities according to the QS 2021 ranking list.
While it is true that the top-ten are located in the USA and UK, we would also tell you to look for courses that fit your need. Exciting opportunities to explore psychology exist across the globe. Do reach out to us if you want more information regarding the same
So, you study psychology. What next? As mentioned earlier, opportunities abound and the demand is only going up for field experts in the foreseeable future. But before we look at career options, let us clarify one thing first.
There’s a world of difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist. As a psychologist, you help your clients with their issues, work with people from different backgrounds, analyse behaviours and so on. A psychiatrist can diagnose mental illnesses, prescribe medicines and treat patients. Psychiatry is a specialisation that you do after a medical degree.
Working under the assumption that you do not have a medical degree, let us look at career options in psychology.
Typically, you are looking at one of the three areas:
- Healthcare and Social Work
Depending on your specialisation and area of interest, you can work towards becoming a counselling psychologist, a social worker, work with the law, help children and families, teach, assist educational institutions and so on. Some of these roles need to be licensed depending on your practice. So, during the course of your study, it might be a good idea to research how to get licensed, according to the rules of your state/ country
If the goal is to enter the corporate world, then you can consider careers in HR and marketing. You have courses on consumer behaviour, customer psychology and the market that can make you invaluable to a company that is fighting to carve its niche in the market. Administration and management roles are also options available.
The world has been in a state of complete chaos, more so after the pandemic. Studying psychology can help you navigate it better and, in that process, help others deal with curveballs life throws their way. Plus, you can certainly make a career out of it. The importance of the field is being recognised and its need dearly felt. It certainly is the right time to consider this as a career choice.