Open Your Mind: Which Direction Will You Take Your Psychology Career In?

Have you recently graduated in psychology, or hoping to do so in the future? Does your career path aspiration involve psychology in some way? Since the field is so broad and varied, there are many different types of roles out there to choose from. Here are just a few of the places you could end up working, if you’re interesting in pursuing a psychology career.

Psychiatric Hospital

Psychiatric hospitals are where people with severe mental health difficulties are admitted so they can be treated for their illness. It could involve people who are suicidal, those suffering from dementia, schizophrenia, depression or other issue that has become so bad that they pose a risk to themselves or others. You could work as a clinical psychologist, working to assess and diagnose patients or on the ward itself as a mental health nurse. You could be working with children, teens, adults or the elderly with the aim of getting them the right help and treatment. The aim is for them to integrate back into society and continue to live their lives successfully out in the community.

Police and Law Enforcement

Even those who aren’t especially interested in psychology have probably dreamt of a psychology role within the police at some point. Television and movies often glamorize the work of forensic worker,  detectives and criminal profilers. While of course this is heavily dramatized, it’s still an incredibly interesting career path (albeit, one that’s very competitive to get into). Once you have your psychology degree, you will need to specialize in forensics, criminology or similar at masters level and above. You could look into school counseling online masters options if you wanted to study from home, and fit it around your other commitments. Using your skills to help police catch criminals is always going to be exciting and rewarding, even if it’s not quite like what you see on tv!


As a prison psychologist, you have to remain completely objective. You have to be able to see past what the criminal has done and practice the same methods of respect and fairness than you would to any other patient. Since a large proportion of the prison community has mental health issues (far more than in the general population), your role would be helping them through tough times and working to rehabilitate them. While all psychology work is challenging, you will be working with people who have committed the worst of crimes- murder, rape, child abuse, arson and much more, so it does take the right kind of person to succeed in the role.

Private Practice

Working your way up to become a clinical psychologist (you need a degree, a masters, a doctorate, clinical training, experience and then to become licensed) and opening your own private practice is a way to help people while earning some serious cash. Just like becoming a doctor or lawyer takes a lot of training and education, so does becoming a clinical psychologist, meaning you can charge rates that reflect your level of training and expertise. This is often the end- goal that many who study psychology aim for- but it certainly doesn’t come easily.

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