Whether your interest is in understanding the human mind and how it functions or helping people with their mental health concerns, a career in psychology may perfectly fit you. Psychology is a broad field that offers many career paths, including counselling, cognitive, clinical, psychiatric, and forensic psychologists. This article shares tips to help you excel in psychology and become a professional psychologist.
Enrol in a course
If you are wondering how to become a registered psychologist, the first step is to join an accredited graduate school and take a course in psychology. Luckily, technology has made it easy to study online from anywhere. If you prefer a career path focusing on mental health, you can choose courses like child psychopathology and abnormal or personality psychology.
However, if your interest is in law, you can take forensic psychology alongside other law-related courses like criminology and political science. Psychologists rely on extensive education and training to help them understand the anatomy of the human mind and the use of psychological treatments to cure mental illnesses.
Make use of the internet
Spend some of your time on the internet looking for career-related information. You can sift through online career sites to learn about the various psychology courses on demand. Visit government sites, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to obtain information on different career paths. Some websites can also help you prepare for your entrance exams, like the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and Law School Admission Test (LSAT). You can also use social media in your career search or connect with advanced professionals in the field and learn from them.
Develop vital skills
Over and above the general knowledge and education in your career path, you should possess all the vital skills for the job. It would be best to sharpen your oral communication, writing, and computer skills. You must also be an active listener and develop strong observation skills to identify non-verbal cues. You can also train yourself to remain calm in stressful situations. Remember, you may have to deal with patients in crises or discuss traumatic subjects, and being calm will enable you to help the patients overcome stigma and access mental health care.
Keep up with continuing education
Attaining a university degree is not enough to learn everything. Most employers and states in the US require their counsellors and psychologists to undertake continuing education for specified hours every year. In addition, psychologists are expected to stay on top of the training and regulation updates, as directed by the board of overseers.
Take part in psychology research
Participating in research opportunities gives you a chance to learn more and discover those career paths in psychology that excite you the most. Most psychology programs allow undergraduate students to volunteer in experiments or act as research assistants to earn a few points toward their degree. You can start by equipping yourself with information on psychology research methods, simple experiments, and scientific methods.
Even though it might take you several years of dedication and hard work to become a certified psychologist, the end results are rewarding. Do proper research to identify those accredited psychology programmes that will give you a solid educational foundation to succeed.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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