What are the Pros and Cons?
Whether you already have a Bachelor's degree in a related field or are just starting to think about your eventual career path but haven't started college yet, you might be thinking about Psychology. Getting a Master's degree in this field can open up a wide range of opportunities, allowing you to help others. It can be a fascinating field of study as well, because you can learn all about the biological origins of human behavior and what motivates people to behave as they do. However, committing to a Master's degree requires time and effort. It can also be stressful.
The following are a few pros and cons of entering this degree program.
Pros of Getting a Masters in Psychology
- There is a bright job outlook – According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an expected growth of 22% through the year 2020. This is due to an ever-growing need for qualified psychologists, to help an aging population that will need counseling.
- You can earn a high salary – Although the salary varies depending on what you specialize in, the median salary for those who have a Master's in Psychology was $68,640 in 2010. This can go up into the six-figure range for those who specialize in certain fields, such as Industrial-Organizational Psychology.
- Psychologists help others – If you want a job that can make a real difference in someone's life, than psychology might be for you. One of the big advantages for many professionals in this field is that they can help treat illnesses, provide useful counseling to get the disadvantaged back on their feet, and bring families back together.
- You can work in a social setting – For those who like working with people, the social aspect of working as a psychologist can be a major bonus. No day will be the same because you spend your time talking to different individuals each time you go to work.
- There are many different areas of specialization – Within the greater field of Psychology, there are many different subspecialties. One of the pros of getting a Master's degree in this field is that you can choose your area of interest, according to your personal skills and interests. Those who prefer research can work within a laboratory, while those who want to work directly with people can do so as a clinical or counseling psychologist.
Cons of Getting a Masters in Psychology
- It can be stressful – Students who pursue a Master's degree in this field can find the coursework to be quite rigorous. This can be stressful while you are in school. The profession itself can also be stressful, because you are dealing with people who really need your help and may share disturbing details with you. A calm head is necessary to prevail in this type of work environment.
- Psychologists can work odd hours – Although many professionals will work a typical full-time 9-5 work week, other psychologists might work the odd hours that are typical of those in the health care field. Even if you have a private practice, you might find yourself working evenings and weekends as a psychologist in order to accommodate your patients' schedules.
- Getting a Master's degree requires at least 7 years of school – You will first need to obtain a Bachelor's degree in order to apply for a graduate program. This usually takes 4 years to complete. Then on top of this you will need to commit to another 3 years of school to obtain a Master's degree. For those who are looking for a quick and easy degree, this may not be the best choice. Distance learning or Online degree options do exist which may offer an accelerated approach. See some of the options offered on this site. Masters in Psychology without the GRE requirement are available.