The short answer – yes.
The long answer –
With growing awareness about the importance of emotional health, career prospects for psychologists are excellent. With the increasing incidence of stress in society and breakdown of traditional family support systems, there’s a growing demand for professional psychologists in social, medical, education, vocational, and industrial institutions, while the supply has yet not caught up to it.
Psychology is a highly rewarding and lucrative field especially that the general populace has finally recognised mental health issues as a real problem. With sufficient awareness about the importance of emotional health in the major cities of India, career prospects for counsellors and clinical psychologists are excellent. In particular the remuneration of counsellors who address the needs of corporate sector enterprises is top bracket. Private practice can also be quite lucrative. It is a great time for you if you are pursuing psychology.
Through this article we will acquaint all Psychology enthusiasts about this field as a career and scope of pursuing PhD in Psychology.
Psychology as a Career
There are three types of professionals in psychology: psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and counsellors. They play differing roles in assessing the emotional problems or social maladjustments of their subject and offering solutions to them
Psychiatrists are trained to handle physiological disorders can be corrected by carefully prescribed medication by them.
On the other hand a clinical psychologist is trained to conduct psychological tests and through therapy helps patients overcome psychological problems, probably for people with extreme mental health issues. Clinical psychologists often work in conjunction with psychiatrists for patient care and rehabilitation.
The third types of psychologists, the counsellors, help normal people to deal with temporary or transitory psychological or behavioural problems. A usually normal individual would often under severe stress require the help of a counsellor for rehabilitation and self-empowerment. Counsellors help people deal with stress inducing problems like broken hearts, exam pressure, deaths of a family member, lack of self-esteem etc.
Is doing PhD in Psychology a good option?
There is one thing that confuses a lot of psychology students. It’s whether to pursue a PhD or not. A PhD in psychology can certainly help you achieve greater heights in your psychology career, but only if you are serious about a career. Apart from that, another thing to consider about this is that, a PhD in clinical psychologist will get a license to practice psychology, but so will a social activists and Masters in Psychiatry too.
A PhD in such a case would be more of a personal preference than a practitioners’ requirement. Therefore, even though PhD is preferable, it isn’t necessary. In fields like research though, PhD becomes necessary, since the students would be drafted into existing studies or begin independent studies of their own. It should also be noted that a PhD costs a lot, both in terms of money and time.
Pursuing a PhD (in any stream) is extremely taxing, since it is almost like a full time job, and you would have to spend even more time in the labs. It can be a frustrating process, especially because you at the end of your Doctorate, you would have spent at least 8 years of your life studying.
Thus, only the individuals who are really serious about a career in Psychology should consider the option. The rewards at the end of it all though, are extremely lovely.
Job Opportunities Available
Psychologists get offered employed in various research establishments, industry, universities, selection boards, management institutes, educational and professional institutions, prisons, hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centres, child/youth guidance centres, advertising agencies, in market research and numerous other businesses. As most branches of social work which require counselling services, psychologists are much in demand.
A psychology fresher graduate/postgraduate would easily find employment at a starting package of 2 Lakh per annum. An adequately experienced professional would easily score 6 Lakh per annum to 10 Lakh per annum. Below is a list of career opportunities for psychology students.
Rehabilitation Counsellors: Counsellors are generally always employed by various NGOs, Old age homes, Rehabilitation Centers etc. Counsellor listens to the problem of the clients and suggeststhem various ways to tackle their miseries. The problems range from traumatic events in the person’s life to midlife crises or relationship problems. In old-age homes, a counsellor ensures that the residents do not feel lonely or worthless. In rehabilitation centres, they help the patients of drug or substance abuse to reduce the intake of drugs or alcohol. The average pay of a fresher is 2-3 Lakh per annum, increasing to 6 Lakh per annum for PhD graduates, although it’s not necessary.
Education Counsellor:Educational institutions also employ psychologists, where they are required as school counsellors, trainers, career counselors, etc. They help children during their young developing years, with students who have learning difficulties or some behaviour issues. Career counsellors, help students to understand and choose the right career that might help their potential shine. Education industry provides the most amount of job opportunities to psychologists. The average pay in the area for the fresher is the same as above, 2-3 Lakh per annum roughly. Although PhD is not necessary, the annual package increases up to 5-6 Lakhs per annum.
Clinical psychologist:As discussed above, Clinical Psychologists are in great demand today. They deal with patients who require clinical attention, and they generally don’t deal with the day-to-day problems. They apply various therapies, and work parallel to a psychiatrist. Generally, people get confused between a clinical psychologist and a Psychiatrist. Psychiatrists can prescribe medicines to their patients, whereas clinical psychologists can only offer therapy sessions to the clients. Hence, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists usually work together as a team. They receive an income of4-5 Lakh per annum on an average. PhD isn’t necessary, and there is nothing that suggests a significant monetary gain.
Organizational Psychologist:Organizational psychology is also a great career direction for psychology students. Organizational psychologists work for MNCs and organizations, Human Resource development and HR department. Their job is to handle the problems of the employees as well as help the employees to work together effectively as a team. The average pay of a fresher is 3-6 per annum. A PhD will bring you bigger and better opportunities, since companies are always on the lookout for more and more trained professionals.
Researchers in Psychology:Research is also a great option, especially if you have a passion for research, as both qualitative and quantitative researches provide promising areas for career growth. Researchers are paid approximately 2.5 lakh per annum onwards. The amount increases proportionally with time, and you get the added benefit of being able to pursue PhD, in the area that interests you. PhD is almost necessary for this, and research grants range from 2 Lakhs up to 12 Lakhs.
Industrial and experimental psychology: Postgraduate courses are offered at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Students at these Institutes also have access to research facilities and labs.
Amity Institute of Psychology and Allied Sciences offers diploma, graduate and post graduate programmes in several branches of psychology.
In today’s day and age, the stigma surrounding people seeking mental help has all but disappeared. No longer are people unaware about the dangers of mental health issues, which certainly has helped psychology rise from an alternative career choice to a first pick. It has become a highly pursued career option. It, therefore, would be extremely advisable for you to pursue a PhD in the area, to help you gain a slight edge in comparison to your competition. I hope this article has helped you, if you were looking for information about career in psychology. All the best!