Psychology is the study of the mind, and how it dictates and influences the behaviors of human beings. It is about understanding what makes people act in a certain way, the thought processes and emotions that motivate them, and the resultant physiological effect of those actions.
Although a comparatively new science, psychology owes its origins to the Ancient Greeks, and legendary thinkers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Today it has become a multi-dimensional discipline, encompassing various branches of study, including human development, health, clinical, cognitive processes, social behaviors, and sports.
If you are considering studying for a psychology degree, here are some hidden benefits that might not have occurred to you before.
Learn More About Yourself and Others
One of the primary reasons to undertake a degree in psychology is that it gives you a deep understanding of your mind and emotions, and why you behave in such a way. And, from there, those insights broaden to take in the behaviors of those around you.
This not only leads to greater self-awareness but also gives you a though grounding in what makes people tick in general – a skill that is much in demand in a variety of professions, including education, health care, advertising, marketing, and even politics.
High Future Earning Potential
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychologists earn an average US $72, 580 a year, almost double the mean for all other professions. Many earn more than that. Those employed as industrial psychologists a mean of US $77, 350 a year, while those practicing a variety of specialties earn a median annual wage of US $94,590. Some developmental, social, and forensic psychologists are on over S $100,000 a year just now. In fact, the top 10% of all psychologists in the USA earn more than S $118,310 per year according to the same study.
Not only are psychologists better paid on average than most other professions, but the prospective employment picture for them is much rosier as well. The same BLS Study predicted that job openings in all sectors of the economy over the next decade would increase by 7% on average; however, for psychologists, the figure over the same period is 19%.
Become Your Own Boss
For those who dream one day of being their own boss and not having to g to an employer, then psychology may be the right profession for you. According to the BLS study, almost a third of psychologists are self-employed. That is without taking into account those that work in fields that a psychology degree gives them access to like business, counseling, and marketing.
Whilst some find being their own boss is challenging, having a psychology degree behind you can equip you to cope with some of the demands of the role – such as how to collect and analyze data, interact with key stakeholders like customers, suppliers, and employees, and how to manage the stress often associated with self-employment.
Provides a Launchpad for Further Studies
Even if you choose not to pursue a long-term career as a psychologist, acquiring a first degree in it can provide an excellent launch pad for further studies. Many people choose to switch to a related field such as education, social work or counseling or, use their background in the subject to branch out into law, life sciences, or medicine.
Offers A Host of Specialization Options
One of the best things about psychology is that it offers practitioners a whole host of specialization options. Whatever your passion, or area of interest, you are likely to find something that appeals to you.
Among the most common specializations are:
- Clinical psychology which concerns itself with the assessment and treatment of mental illness, abnormal behaviors, and psychiatric problems;
- Counseling psychology which deals with mental health disorders such as depression, psychosis, domestic and sexual violence, physical abuse and relationship issues;
- Development psychology which looks at how people grow and change over their lifetime from a physical, social, emotional and cognitive point of view;
- Forensic psychology which is concerned with the interaction of psychological concepts and the legal system, in particular as applied to criminal justice, family and civil law;
- School psychology which is concerned with practical applications of the discipline to the area of education, including learning and behavioral issues; and
- Social psychology which seeks to understand how the behavior of an individual is influenced by the surrounding social environment.
And even within these specific areas, psychologists can choose to specialize even further.
Make a Difference in Other People’s Lives
One of the primary motivations that people choose to study psychology is that they want to help people in the future, especially those that opt to go into clinical or counseling psychology. Few professions offer such a chance to make a positive impact on other people, whether they are suffering from mental illnesses, dangerous addictions, marital and family problems, or life changes and transitions.
Not all reasons for studying psychology need to be for professional reasons. What you learn in your studies can also be applied in your personal life as well. At the end of the day we all form personal relationships with those around us – friends, lovers, parents, children, and neighbors. Psychologists are no more immune from problems in those relationships than anybody else. However, armed with the tools and the learning that they have gained from studying the subject, they can better understand the thoughts and feelings that drive behaviors, and where to look for help to set things right.
There are many professional and personal benefits associated with studying for a degree in psychology. Not only does it offer high future potential earnings and an expanding range of job perspectives, but it offers the chance to specialize in a myriad different ways. And, even if you eventually choose to branch into another field in your career, a psychology degree gives you an excellent platform to study other subjects or areas of interest.
It also gives you the unique ability to gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your own emotions and behaviors and how these impact, and are impacted upon, by the social, political, economic, and moral world about you. It is hard to think of any other degree that has so much to offer.