Psychology students can specialize in fields like neuropsychology and child
clinical psychology. Or they can use their education as preparation for studies
in fields not directly related to psychology, such as commerce or law.
Students should realize there is more to psychology than the desire
to help others. "There are scientifically oriented courses, including
quantitative aspects [statistics], biological aspects [behavior courses],
and cognitive-behavioral aspects in a psychology major," says Lewis Barker.
He is a psychology professor at Baylor University in Texas.
Diane Moyer, a psychology professor at Cedar Crest College in Pennsylvania,
agrees that a good foundation in math and science is helpful.
You'll also need excellent writing and speaking skills, notes Kathy
Belicki, a professor of psychology. "The student who does not have a close-to-publishable
writing style is at a distinct disadvantage. Verbal expression skills are
also important since psychologists spend much of their time writing and speaking."
Most students begin with an introductory course that offers an overview
of the key concepts and specialties of psychology. In the second year, students
learn more about research methods and statistics. After that, it's
up to students to choose classes in a specialty, such as child psychology.
Some students enter the field of industrial psychology, applying research
to increase worker productivity. Others go on to medical school and study
psychiatry. Still other students enter the field of forensic psychology and
focus on law.
The American Psychological Association (APA) is the nationally recognized
accrediting body for professional education and training in psychology. It
publishes lists of accredited doctoral programs, but doesn't rate programs
at the undergraduate level.
There are things you can do now to get a feel for the field. "Volunteering
in hospital settings or summer jobs in laboratories would be useful,"
says Barker. "Or working as volunteers with young people or the aged may help
to develop interests in counseling."
A well-rounded course load with classes in math and science will
be helpful. Also, classes that help develop your writing skills will be beneficial
for the lab reports and research papers you'll be preparing.
Tuition and books are the main costs, but some courses charge lab fees.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Psychologists
American Psychological Association Student Site
This site is sure to keep you informed
Try to bend your mind around all the information here
Resources, books, brochures, tips and more are only clicks away