Are you fascinated by what makes human beings human? How are we able to think and feel and express ourselves in a way that is unlike any other animal?
Do you wonder why we dream at night, and what the significance of these dreams might be?
Have you ever thought about how we are able to conceptualize thoughts and express them verbally?
If you find your mind constantly being spiraled around these thoughts, then choosing Psychology as a career might just be for you.
A common misconception about Psychology is that it is about ‘reading minds’, that psychologists can know what another person is thinking or feeling.
However cool it may sound, psychology isn’t some mind trick. It is much more complex than that…
So, what is psychology?
Simply put, psychology deals with how people think, feel, and behave in various contexts. Moreover, psychology is the study of human health and behavior affected by their mind.
Fun fact: Originally, psychology was knowledge of the human soul!
As a science, psychology aims to describe how and why people think, feel, and act in the way they do with regards to certain contexts.
The subject involves a broad base and use of neurological, biological, social, cognitive, and cultural perspectives to establish an understanding of human behavior and thoughts.
Why should you study psychology?
From career prospects to personal interest, one can have many reasons to choose psychology as a career. It all boils down to whether or not you are passionate to study psychology and make it a career.
Psychology is a fascinating area of study. Learning psychology will help you understand how the human brain works. Moreover, about human behavior, mental processes, and how we think, act, and feel.
You probably already know how interesting psychology as a subject can be.
Studying psychology will help you break the stereotypes about mental illness.
For example, you will understand the differences between what is a syndrome, a disorder, and a disease. You will get to know that medicines only treat in certain cases rather than curing a disease.
Furthermore, you will understand when someone is actually going through depression and when one’s simply having a down day.
If you choose to study psychology, get ready to ask yourself many fascinating questions. You might even find your mind getting completely zoned into finding their answers.
As Aristotle believed, “the highest purpose of humans is to reason with everything”
So if you choose psychology as a career, expect yourself to be reasoning with every thought you get. Or perhaps ask yourself why did that person react the way he/she did?
Psychology as a career
The subject of mind is generally included in counseling courses, physiotherapy therapeutic, and other medical courses. Psychology courses involve understanding and studying the human brain, consciousness, development, behavior and personality, and related topics.
Required Skills for a Career in Psychology
- Verbal and written communication. This includes report writing as well as presentation.
- Information technology
- Handling of data and statistics
- Analytical research
- Ability to work in teams
In the first step to become a Psychologist, you will need to cover up the entire degree level, i.e. Bachelor in Psychology, post-graduation degree, and then a Ph.D. degree. The psychology programs extended to a 4-year undergraduate degree in addition to a 4 to 6 years doctorate degree.
Psychology courses in India are offered at various levels i.e.
- Diploma courses in Psychology,
- Certificate courses in Psychology,
- Bachelor’s degree courses in Psychology as well as Postgraduate courses in Psychology.
Moreover, there are many research-level courses in Psychology and part-time or online courses in Psychology.
Those who have successfully completed their training in psychology can make their mark and pursue psychology as a career in many of the branches of psychology.
Few are mentioned below-
Clinical psychologists assess and treat people showing symptoms of psychological problems.
Sometimes, they also act as therapists. This is in the case of a patient suffering from chronic psychiatric disorders or experiencing a normal psychological crisis (for eg. grief)
The field focuses on the diagnosis, understanding, and treatment of mental disorders. Typically, clinical psychologists help people overcome the difficulties they face in their daily lives.
Counseling psychologists and clinical psychologists have a lot in common. However, the latter focuses on those suffering from severe psychological disorders. And the farther focuses on those with adjustment problems.
Counselors can work from therapy centers, career centers, schools, NGOs, organizations, and even set up their own private set-up
In simple terms, health psychologists are those who focus on maintaining good physical health based on psychological contributions.
They may design as well as to conduct programs to help individuals stop smoking, lose weight, shed alcoholism, manage stress, and stay physically fit.
I/O psychologists are mainly concerned with employees’ relationships with the work environment and people they work with. They may also help develop new ways to increase workplace productivity and even personnel selection.
Sports psychologists are concerned with the psychological factors that improve the athletic performance of athletes.
Additionally, they also look at the effects of exercise and physical activity on psychological adjustment and health. You will typically find sports psychologists in academic settings or as a part of a sports team.
Scope for Psychology in India
You may think that a country like India is yet to be in need of mental health experts. However, studies show that the demand for trained psychologists is gradually increasing in India.
In larger cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore, the average salary of a psychologist is pretty good. As a result, making psychology a lucrative career choice.
In India, branches of psychology that are well-known include
- Educational (school)
- Forensic Psychology
Psychology as a career in India is gaining its importance, and its demand is on the rise.
Furthermore, in just a few years, employment in psychology is expected to rise in every corner of the city.
Most of the jobs in psychology are open in the clinic as well as in school psychology.
Due to more demand in health care centers, hospitals, mental health centers, social health services, and schools the growth of employment in the psychology sector is on a rise.
Moreover, the increase in the aging population, mental problems, physical problems are resulting in an increase in the need for psychologists.
The salary of a psychologist depends on many factors like his/her qualification, area of specialization, as well as professional experience.
Professional psychologists with M.Phil and Ph.D. degrees earn quite handsomely. Those engaged in private practice also have more scope for earnings.
Your starting salary can vary anywhere between INR 1.79 LPA to INR 6.23 LPA. Moreover, as one establishes himself in the field and specializes in any of its branches, he can expect to earn more.
Top Colleges in India to study Psychology
As mentioned earlier, to make psychology as a career, one needs many educational qualifications. Here are some of the top colleges in India to study psychology:
- Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi
- Jesus and Mary College, Delhi
- St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai
- Presidency College, Chennai
- Christ University, Bangalore
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
- Sophia College for Women, Mumbai
- Kamala Nehru College for Women, Delhi
- Mithibai College of Arts, Mumbai
- Fergusson College, Pune