Careers in Psychology

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1 1/27/15 Careers in Psychology Attaining a BA in Psychology Psychology is the 5th most common major Accounting for 439,000 students in the U.S. alone Behind business, education, and nursing/pre-med - Fogg et al., 2004; National Center for Educational Statistics,

2 Attaining a BA in Psychology Psychology is the 5 th most common major Accounting for 439,000 students in the U.S. alone Behind business, education, and nursing/pre-med In 2010, over 97,000 students graduated with a BA / BS in psychology Of those 24,250 (25%) went on to graduate school 80% going to MA / MS programs 20% going to PhD / PsyD programs - National Center for Educational Statistics, 2012 Seeking Higher Education - Landrum & Davis, 2013 Employment with a BA in Psych However, 3 out of 4 psychology majors do not go on to graduate school Top professions with a BA in psychology: 1. Management and administration 2. Sales occupations 3. Social work 4. Personnel and workforce training 5. Insurance, securities, real estate and business 6. Marketing 7. Nursing, assisting physicians 8. Accounting and financial advising - Fogg et al., 2004; National Center for Educational Statistics 2

3 Types of Grad Programs Programs tend to be Research-oriented Interested in establishing new scientific findings Includes mostly PhD programs Located at Research 1 universities State universities (e.g., UC-system) or Ivy League schools Applied Interested in real-world application/ practice Includes mostly Master s and PsyD programs Located at state or private colleges (e.g., CSU-system) Types of Grad Programs Different levels of graduate school: MA programs meant to prepare you for PhD MS/W programs in counseling PsyD programs in counseling (PhD minus research training) PhD programs in research or clinical work, within Mental health Neuroscience Social/ cognitive processes Child development Behavioral genetics Employment of PhDs in Psychology Counseling University or research Business or government Counseling (private) School Counseling Doctoral Employment Survey (Michalski, Kohout, et al, 2011) 3

4 Average scores of entering grad students: Overall GPA = 3.5 Psychology GPA = 3.6 GRE Verbal = 157 (73 rd percentile) GRE Quantitative = 157 (71 st percentile) Analytical = 4.4 (68 th percentile) - Graduate Record Examination Guide, Letters of recommendation Preferably with Tenured faculty members Faculty who do research and/or clinical work Faculty you know you outside of class Letter should include Description of your strengths Discussion of your past efforts How you work with others How you deal with obstacles and stress Previous research experience Chances of getting accepted improve if you have Worked on research with faculty or private organizations Conducted your own research (e.g., senior thesis) Published papers or otherwise presented your research (e.g., poster session, colloquium) 4

5 1/27/15 Previous clinical experience Chances of getting accepted improve if you have Volunteered or taken internship at hospital/ counseling center Received training at different psychological institutions Worked with different populations (e.g., children, teens, seniors, families) Personal Statement Most grad programs require a paper on why you chose this field and are applying to that school Tips: Tailor your letter to the specific program you re applying for Mention the faculty there by name and discuss why their work interests you Discuss, specifically, what you hope to accomplish and be realistic % of schools giving high importance rating to the following Master s Program Admissions Criteria % Rated High Important Doctoral Programs Admissions Criteria % Rated High Important Letters of rec. 73% Letters of rec. 87% GPA scores 69% Statement of purpose 83% Statement of purpose 64% GPA scores 71% Interview 47% Research experience 69% GRE scores 39% Interview 63% Research experience 31% GRE scores 53% Clinical work experience 20% Clinical work experience 15% 5

6 % of schools giving high importance rating to the following Doctoral Programs Admissions Criteria % Rated High Important Letters of rec. 87% Statement of purpose 83% GPA scores 71% Research experience 69% Interview 63% GRE scores 53% Clinical work experience 15% Big Differences with PhD Programs: More qualifications rated as highly important Research experience rated as much more important Statement of purpose and interview are more important, while GPA/ GRE scores are relatively less important Timetable As early as possible Get involved in research/ counseling Form positive, professional relationships with tenured faculty Junior year, Spring semester Begin building list of programs you are interested in Start discussing your options with faculty Consider doing a senior thesis Most students accepted into PhD programs have conducted independent research Timetable Summer before Senior year Make a list of schools you will apply to Begin organizational method for applying File-drawer or Excel file including all paperwork necessary for each program, due dates, and checklists Begin studying for GREs Begin writing personal statements Senior year, early Fall semester Take GREs no later than October Ask professors for letters of rec. 6

7 Timetable Senior year, late Fall semester Finish up and send off applications Deadlines for masters programs are typically in February April Deadlines for doctorate programs are typically in December January Senior year, Spring semester Wait for acceptance letters Visit colleges, go to interviews Pick which college you will attend Higher Education in Psych PhD or PsyD? PhD programs practice the Boulder Model (scientistpractitioner model) Heavy emphasis on research All students, regardless of career goals, spend majority of their efforts conducting research studies Of course, they re still expected to practice counseling Degree hinges on originality and quality of dissertation (i.e., original research) Criticisms Most applicants are interested in practice, not research So much research training is likely not necessary to be a good clinician Higher Education in Psych PhD or PsyD? PsyD programs practice the Vail Model (practitioner model) Heavy emphasis on psychological services Students spend majority of their efforts working with clients in supervised sessions Must complete hundreds of service hours Dissertation sometimes optional and most often revolves around reporting service hours or reviewing research Criticisms Some argue practitioners should have more experience running research, given this is where most therapeutic techniques originate 7

8 Higher Education in Psych PsyD programs are relatively new First initiated at U. of Illinois in 1968 They are growing in popularity Currently, there are 174 accredited PhD programs in the U.S. 65 accredited PsyD programs in the U.S. 27% of all accredited schools - American Psychological Association, 2012 Higher Education in Psych PsyD programs are relatively new First initiated at U. of Illinois in 1968 But, they are growing in popularity Currently, there are 174 accredited PhD programs in the U.S. 65 accredited PsyD programs in the U.S. 27% of all accredited schools - American Psychological Association, 2012 They are also growing in respectability Accredited PsyD degrees now grant clinicians all the same rights/ privileges as PhD degrees in the U.S. 8

9 Higher Education in Psych Other differences PhD programs tend to have smaller class sizes (10 20 students per class) and dedicated faculty PsyD programs tend to have large class sizes (up to several hundred students) and part-time faculty Many PsyD classes are only offered online PhD programs tend to take 5 6 years to complete PsyD programs tend to take 3 4 years to complete PhD students consistently outperform PsyD students on licensure exams Likely due to smaller class sizes, more demanding class work, and more selectivity in student admissions Higher Education in Psych Average Acceptance Rates: MA PhD PsyD Clinical Psychology 38% 17% 45% Counseling 54% 29% School psychology 39% 31% Child development % Marriage/Family Therapy 70% Experimental / Teaching % Neuroscience % Forensic psychology 67% 45% Mulvey, Michalski, & Wicherski, 2010 Higher Education in Psych Average Rate of Full Financial Assistance: I.e., waiving tuition, plus a stipend (typically $12,000 - $20,000 per year) Psy. D. Programs = 5% Practice-oriented Ph.D. Program = 55% Research-oriented Ph.D. Programs = 90% - Norcross, Ellis, & Sayette,

10 1/27/15 Accrued Debt After Graduation % of graduating students with a PhD 40% 30% 20% 32.6% 10% 0% 39.0% % Under $10,000 $10,000 $40,000 $40,000 $100,000 Over $100, Doctoral Employment Survey (Michalski, Kohout, et al, 2011) Accrued Debt After Graduation % of graduating students with a PsyD 40% 46.7% 30% 29.4% (14.3% over $180K) $40,000 $100,000 Over $100,000 20% 10% 0% 1.8% 8.8% Under $10,000 $10,000 $40, Doctoral Employment Survey (Michalski, Kohout, et al, 2011) Job Outlook for Psychologists Thankfully, psychologists are more in demand now than ever before There are currently 174,000 psychology related jobs in the U.S. Projected 22% increase in jobs between Adding almost 40,000 new jobs This is above average compared to most doctoral or specialist professions - Bureau of Labor Statistics,

11 Job Outlook for Psychologists Unfortunately, there are far more psychology majors than there are jobs available There are 174,000 psychology related jobs available, but 100,000 psychology majors graduating every year! Psychology currently has one of the highest unemployment rates of all majors Clinical psychology: 19.5% unemployment Educational psychology: 10.9% Industrial/organizational psychology: 10.4% Miscellaneous psychology: 10.4% All are higher than average college grad unemployment rate of 8.9% Compared to 23% for people with only HS degree - Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2011 Job Outlook for Graduates Average Starting Salaries: In academia Assistant professor: $59,155 Lecturer: $42,212 Researcher: $60,767 Administration: $72,767 In clinical settings Clinician: $60,046 Counselor: $56,533 School Psychologist: $63,391 In business Administration/ HR: $67,804 Average salary overall = $60,334 Average salary for most doctorates = $99,697 Average salary for most masters = $70,856 Average salary for most bachelors = $58,613 - Michalski, Kohout, Wicherski, & Hart, 2011; U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 Starting salaries/debt of clinicians Median Debt ($20,000) Average Salary Median Debt ($120,000) Median Debt ($50,000) MA/MS PsyD PhD -U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,

12 Is going to grad school worth it? If you want to get a graduate degree to make more money, do not get a PhD But I thought people make more money if they have a higher degree? Higher degrees make good economic sense in most fields Average salary across different fields in 2010: BA-workers = $58,613 per year MA-workers = $70,856 per year PhD-workers = $99,697 per year - U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 Is going to grad school worth it? However, higher degrees do not earn a higher income in psychology This is because at different degree levels, people work in different industries People with BA typically enter management/ HR Average pay for managers/hr = $78,000 People with an MA/ MS typically enter counseling Average pay for counselors = $66,000 People with a PhD typically enter academia Average pay for teacher/ researcher = $65,000 Is going to grad school worth it? Higher degrees do not mean a cushier job Private industries (doesn t require MA/PhD) 40 hour work week Median salary: $60,000 - $120,000 per year Upper end: $58 per hour Lower end: $29 per hour Clinicians/researchers/faculty (requires MA/PhD) hour work week Median salary: $50,000 - $100,000 per year Upper end: $32 Only $3 above the lower end of private industry jobs Lower end: $12 You can make more working at Costco or Starbucks! 12

13 Retirement Higher degrees do not earn a better retirement The more years you spend unemployed (e.g., in school), the less you ll save for retirement Retirement works on compound interest, so early savings is the most important (has longest to grow) The first 5 years of earnings typically represent 20 30% of your total retirement savings Also, if you work at a university or in private practice, you do not pay into social security Meaning that you will not receive social security benefits when you retire Comparing Retirements HR personnel: Average salary per year = $78,000 Starts career at age 22 * From calculators provided by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and CNN Money Retirement Calculator Automatically enrolled in 401(k) Contributes 10% of salary and company matches Retires at age 65 Retirement savings = $1.76 million Plus $23,000 in social security per month Estimated for 2050 Retirement salary per year = $111,150 In 2050, this will be equivalent to $40,000-50,000 Comparing Retirements Professor/ researcher/ private practice Average salary per year = $65,000 Doesn t account for student loan debt Starts career at age 30 Chooses to enroll in 403(b) Contributes 10% of salary (no matching) Retires at age 65 Retirement income = $1.02 million Not awarded social security Retirement salary per year = $50,900 In 2050, this will be equivalent to $17,000 - $25,000 13

14 Is going to grad school worth it? Good reasons to go to grad school If you love research or treating mental illness You don t just love the idea of it, but you love the dayto-day experience of actually doing it If you are a very hard worker If you re the type of person who enjoys working hours per week If you enjoy work that is often stressful and very challenging Many successful psychologists, especially clinicians, describe themselves as stress junkies Why wait? Because it s smart! If you re not sure about going to grad school, take some time off from school to decide Get on-the-job experience to see if it s what you re really passionate about Further develop your own interests in research or clinical work Can be a great way to build up your resume! Wait for your friends to go to grad school and see what they get out of it When possible, learn from others mistakes 14

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