Hi everyone! If you are reading this post it means you could be interested in a degree in psychology!
I am here to help you figure out whether this is the best path for yourself and will hopefully provide a little bit of information that I wish I knew when I was making my career decision.
I am 29 years old and finished my degree in Honours psychology in 2014. Growing up, I can remember fondly wanting to be a therapist, one that is depicted in movies with the beautiful office and outfits, supporting individuals and families with their experiences and problems. Truthfully, I wanted to be a psychologist, however, I did not know what this actually meant and really how long the process would take or whether there were other options out there. I picked a university that I ended up loving, but I chose it because my friend’s mom who was a psychologist did her schooling there. I thought well if she did it there it must have an excellent psychology program and quite frankly, it was fine but I did not know what to expect.
Although my psychology degree did lay a foundation for my career, it took a college program and now my master’s in social work to get to where I really want to be.
Questions I wish I knew prior to going into my psychology degree
What can you do with a psychology degree?
You can absolutely do many things with a psychology degree, but many will require additional training and education, including a psychologist, social worker, psychotherapist, researcher, or teacher.
What’s the difference between a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science psychology degree?
A bachelor of arts focuses more on the humanities and community work including social justice, whereas a bachelor of science focuses more on math and science. This distinction can be very helpful if you are interested in pursuing a psychology degree, specifically in what schools offer which programs.
How long does it take to become a trained and licensed psychologist?
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you will need to obtain at least a master’s degree if not your Ph.D. and a year of supervised interning prior to becoming a psychologist. According to the Canadian Psychological Association website, it can take between 5-8 years after completing your bachelor’s degree to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology.
What does a master’s and Ph.D. require?
Although I cannot speak to this completely, I do understand that a master’s and Ph.D. require conducting research. This personally was not something I cared to complete as I did not thrive in a research setting. However- I STRONGLY encourage you to explore what you are interested in.
My experience definitely was not what I expected when I went to university. However, I also did not do the research that I should have done. I knew I wanted to do some sort of therapy but I did not understand even the different options that were out there, including a child and youth worker, residential counsellors at local shelters, community organizers among so many more.
I hope for you as you explore your next steps is to really reflect and take time to figure out what you really want, utilizing journaling to explore your goals and figure out what that could look like.
Have conversations with people who are in that field, ask them how they got there, who inspired them, what courses they found most interesting.
Research the different programs at different schools. I can tell you that not every program is the same so figure out what best aligns with your values and goals.
Lastly, I know that this time is very confusing but I want to let you know that it is totally OKAY for you not to know what you want to do. Everyone has their own journey and own timeline. However, I would encourage you also to figure out what you want to study prior to committing your valuable time and money to something you hate.