People are complex. Our subjective narrative, crafted from the depths of who we are, our experiences, and our interactions with the outside world constantly shape what we do and why we do it. From all of this we craft a narrative of our lives, projecting who we are into a world that at times can seem entirely overly judgmental.
When considering a career that focuses on this aspect of life that every person has and most take for granted, the psychologist is what comes to mind. Helping people through clinical practices, exploring and adding to humanity through research, and broadening the imaginations and understandings of students, being a psychologist can be incredibly rewarding. At the same time, there are numerous problems with the field that may get in the way of you pursuing your dream. With all of this in mind, lets take a careful and comprehensive approach to the pros and cons of Psychology.
The Pros of Being A Psychologist
1. Several Different Areas Of Study Depending On Your Interests.
What kind of Psychologist do you want to become? Unlike other professions, Psychologist is broken down into the particular school of thought you decide to follow. Is motivation as seen through Self Determination Theory what interests you, or are you more of a cognitive behavioral therapist or behavioral therapist at heart? What about existentialism? Along with your underlying education, there are also multiple ways you can use this education to your advantage. DO you want to teach people? Do you want to be a clinical therapist? Do you want to do research and experimentation on how people operate? With psychology, there are an incredible number of opportunities open to you.
2. An Incredibly Rewarding Career Path.
Through Psychologist, it is possible to publish research that changes people’s minds and improves their lives. Along with getting recognition through the media, you can also help add to a debate using your extensive knowledge on the subject. On an individual level, Clinical Psychologists help individuals every day battle with their own problems, providing the means for self-discovery and actualization. And of course, there is always the benefit of teaching others about psychology and watching as they grow and prosper as a result. No matter what population you work with or role you are in, Psychology can be very rewarding.
3. Good Pay, Depending On Where You End Up.
Within education, the pay for Psychologists is decent. However, in the private sector, you can make a lot of money with the experience and skills you gain. From providing consulting services to starting your own clinical practice, people will pay a lot for your services.
4. Job Prospects All Over The World.
Ever wanted to teach at Oxford, Hamburg, or any other place in the world? Being a Psychologist and having your PHD means that you are an international employee. Depending on your status, individuals from around the world will seek you out.
The Cons of Being A Psychologist
1. Getting A Job In This Career Can Be A Challenge.
Starting out in Psychology is grueling. Fighting to make a name for yourself, you will have to make your way through the competition. More often then not, this involves publishing journal articles in related journals regarding your research. Prepare for countless hours of work, advisors taking credit for your work, an second or third author spots on publication.
2. Undergraduate and Graduate School Is A Must.
Succeeding in the field of Psychology requires a PHD. This can be a decade or more of your life spent working towards this goal and represent countless hour toiling towards something that may or may not be ultimately relevant. While many PHD programs will pay you a stipend, it is just enough to get by.
3. Chance Of Research Failing/Being Disproven.
If you are interested in being a researcher, then your reputation will depend upon the theories you believe in and your ability to scientifically prove that they are factual representations of what are going on in society. This is an incredibly challenging process that can take years to start and get right. All during this time, your research might butt heads against other researchers out there who base their careers on proving the exact opposite. Prepare to have every aspect of what you do scrutinized for error or possible bias.
4. Some Do Not Consider It A Science.
Psychology exists in the weird murky gray area between hard and soft sciences. While using statistical analysis to prove causality and correlational relations via math, much of what determines Psychology is subject to change in time. As a result, many people in harder sciences do not respect or will otherwise look down on Psychologists as a result of perceived scientific inferiority.