Once you reach your final year of undergrad you are faced with the decision of what to do after graduation. Many individuals struggle to decide if they should try to find work or if they should continue in school and receive an advanced degree. For those whose chose to forgo school and get a job they are likely to get entry level positions in areas such as case management, career counselor, rehabilitation specialist, and psychiatric technician (Cherry,2012). Due to limited job opportunities for those with only a bachelors many people choose to continue in school and go on to receive their masters or doctorate.
A master’s is the next step in higher education after bachelors and can either be a terminal degree or can be a stepping stone to getting into a doctorate program. An advantage of getting your undergrad in psychology is that it doesn’t limit you when it comes to masters. Many individuals choose to seek a master in psychology as well as areas like social work and counseling (If interested in becoming an Licensed Professional Counselor or Marriage and Family Counselor a master’s degree is required) (Cherry, 2012). Masters programs usually take anywhere from 2-3 years. Another factor that needs to be considered is your interest in research, you need to research and make sure the programs are thesis based (Cherry, 2012).
A doctorate is the final degree in higher education you can receive and will take anywhere from 4-8 years to complete. If interested in becoming a licensed psychologist or a professor a Ph.D. is required (at most universities). Many people are deterred from entering into a doctorate program due to cost, but many programs offer tuition rebates or graduate assistantships that cover tuition costs. Many people are drawn to this degree because they will be given the title “doctor”, but this should not be an important factor in the decision process (Buffardi, 2011).
Planning the rest of your life is not an easy decision and many people struggle to decide what the right path is for them. When picking a program you need to answer these questions
1. What career do I want and which degree is needed?
2. How much time am I willing to commit?
3. How much do I want to spend?
Ultimately there is no right path to choose you just have to pick what fits best in your life.
Buffardi, L. (2011). Masters versus phd. psychologytoday.com
Cherry,K.(2012). Should you get a master's or doctorate degree in psychology?. About.com
Cherry,K.(2012). What can I do with a master's degree in psychology?. About.com
Cherry,K.(2012) Careers options with a bachelor's degree in psychology. About.com