Often people think that becoming a psychologist is the only viable option for someone who has gained a degree in psychology. While the most conventional job set-up for any psychology candidate would be working as a mental health professional, there are many opportunities outside of therapy and counseling that are unplumbed by the general folk.
Maybe you are someone who loves psychology but does not really wish to pursue the clinical practice or you are someone looking to switch from the mental health field. Either way, if you feel it is not right for you, be assured that plenty of opportunities are waiting for you to explore. In the absence of a clear liking of this side of psychology, you may want to consider career options that are not directly linked to the area of mental health. Let us try and understand the options available for those who are looking to do beyond what the subject calls for, unconventionally combining various fields.
Applied Psychologists: Real-life solutions givers
Applied psychology is the field that uses the knowledge of the subject to solve real-life problems. The ultimate goal of this field of psychology is to promote human welfare by contributing valuable information and extending solutions to society. In case you want to enter the field of applied psychology consider keeping in mind your interests, skills, and education choices. People employed in this field are spread across a wide range of work settings including educational institutions, government offices, law enforcement agencies, and private businesses. A few of the in-demand applied psychology career options are given below:
Industrial/Organizational psychology is a field fully dedicated to exploring the psychological aspects that play a huge role in any workplace setting. Those who are working in this field are mainly dealing with institutional development, employee selection, and evaluation. Apart from this, they also help with developing products, increasing worker productivity, and providing employees with appropriate training.
Psychology, law, and criminal justice:
The field of law and psychology combines into a significant field called forensic psychology. Forensic psychologists perform duties ranging from assessing competency to stand trial to assisting the court with evaluations, making sentencing recommendations, and consulting with members of law enforcement agencies. Therefore, people with a background in psychology also choose to work in a legal setup in order to assess and evaluate people who come in contact with the criminal justice system. Also, there are a lot of roles within the field of law and criminal justice for a psychology student. They may work as parole or probation officer, behavioral analyst, victims’ rights advocates addiction counselors, and much more.
Sports Psychology: This field focuses on providing mental health assistance to professionals in the field of sports and athletics. A sports psychologist works alongside celebrities and professionals to improve performance. The goal here is to investigate the various psychological factors that affect physical activity and thereby the performance of sports personalities. However, this field also includes exercise and athletic performances. The purpose of having a sports psychologist is to either improve focus, work on motivation, or inculcate teamwork and comradery.
Experimental Psychologists: passionate explorers
Many clinical practitioners like to work in the research field of psychology to help explore various aspects of human behaviour. If you have a passion for solving problems and exploring theoretical questions, then experimental psychology would be a great career option for you. By textbook definition, an experimental psychologist uses scientific methods to collect data and perform research. You may find such professionals in various settings including research centers, universities, government agencies, and private businesses. Everything that these research psychologists do gets added to the pool of scientific knowledge that exists in psychology. The specialization will depend on what excites you most about research psychology, it could be the aging process, child development, social behaviour, or cognitive psychology.
Non-Clinical Career Options
Non-clinical psychology fields include areas of study such as health psychology, neuropsychology, engineering psychology, consumer psychology, cognitive psychology, biopsychology, aviation psychology, and comparative psychology. Many times people do not wish to work in a typical clinical setup or realise it the same after having some clinical practice because they are either responding to their interests or just exploring the available opportunities.
Careers outside of psychology yet accessible
Psychology as a subject has a lot of value to add and the skills that you learn as a psychology student are versatile enough to be used in a career outside of the field of mental health. Search jobs often abide by the principles of psychology and the knowledge of human behaviour but are also used in alternative settings with a different agenda in mind. Jobs like marketing, sales, communications, human resources, politics, public policy, teaching, career counseling, and user design specialist, are just some of the examples of alternate fields for a psychology student.
If you are one of those few people who have enjoyed statistics in psychology, then the field of psychometrics is also open to you. Psychometricians focus on studying and developing various psychological assessments. They develop tests to measure intelligence, personality aptitude, etc through formulating surveys and questionnaires.
A word from the wise: Think beyond the box!
As opposed to working directly with clients in mental health, a non-clinical psychology job is something beyond the box of psychology yet has immense contribution to the field. Maybe your skill set is best suited for a career in research, business, education, or even government settings. Psychology is a vast field and provides diverse experiences to its aspirants. Make the right choice and go for the path that best suits you instead of going after something everyone else is.
Despite what you might choose to make sure to keep tabs on ways in which you can be successful in a non-clinical psychology setup. At every relevant stage, you will have to make the right subject choice and curriculum for you to land up in the field of your choice.
Now that we know the numerous unconventional opportunities waiting for you, it is time to follow your passion for psychology even if you are currently not in the field. There are plenty of ways to make a career in psychology. To know more reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.