I’m always curious about the thoughts and experiences of my readers, so I asked a handful of them to share their biggest takeaways from their undergraduate studies in psychology.
Whether you’re still in school or recently graduated, these students shared what they wish they knew before starting a psychology degree.
Want to study psychology? Here’s what you need to know
Before deciding on your major, take a look at these tips from people who study psychology and now work in the field.
Many of these students have done well for themselves after earning their degrees. Some are in graduate school, while others have already entered the workforce.
The common thread between them is that they all loved their undergraduate psychology courses.
Here’s what they wish they knew before studying psychology
1. Psychology majors need to do more than just take tests and write papers
I took a lot of psych classes my first two years. But I didn’t really understand how those classes would help me in the real world until I was in a couple of clinical settings (therapy office and nursing home).
I felt like I had been “prepared” for this type of work when really, all my previous psych classes were a waste of time and money.
It wasn’t until my senior year that I started getting real-world experience with assessments, therapy, case management, etc., which is what prepared me for my current job as a social worker in a nursing home/assisted living facility. – Brittney Turner via Facebook
2. Be prepared to take lots of courses outside your major
I wish I knew how many other courses I would need to take in order to get into grad school.
Since you have to know other stuff besides just psychology to get into grad school, I took way more math than any other non-math major would ever need! – Whitney Crumpton via Facebook
3. A master’s degree can make you more marketable in the Psychology job field
I wish I knew how beneficial it would be to get a master’s degree in psychology. – Aimee Petrin via Facebook
4. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it
The thing I wish I knew about psychology before starting is that you need to have an interest in the subject. It is extremely hard work and can be stressful at times, but it’s totally worth it! – Caitlin Reynolds via Facebook
5. Keep an open mind
I wish I knew that most of the work we did was stuff that was actually being used by psychologists every day in their jobs. We were learning skills that could help us after college, not just topics for our papers.
Also, I wish I had realized how much there was to learn outside of class and not let my grades slip because of this.
It wasn’t until after college that I really started learning about psych (through books and podcasts). – Becky West via Facebook
6. Know what career you want before studying psychology
My advice would be to choose a field first then pick your major, rather than picking your major first and then finding out what jobs you can get with that major later on down the road! – Kim Wilson via Facebook
ou should choose a major that you love and that is marketable. I would recommend going to college, getting a degree in psychology, and then finding a job that utilizes your degree.
You don’t have to start out as a clinical psychologist – there are many other jobs in the field of psychology. However, most students don’t realize how competitive it is to get into graduate school.
In fact, only 5% of applicants are accepted into clinical psychology programs at the graduate level.
What do you think? Are you studying psychology? Do you agree with these students?
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