People under 25 are obsessed with being psychologists.
But let’s talk hard facts.
Psychology jobs in the public sector are hard to come by. Psychology jobs in the private sector are near impossible. Currently, only 65% of registered psychologists (this means they have studied for 6 – 7 years) have jobs relative to their field.
Interesting, 5,300 fully registered psychologists working in regional, rural and remote Australia, representing 21.5% of the fully registered psychologist workforce.
The three largest industries for psychology graduates with more than 6 years experience are education and training, public administration and sales.
The next myth is about the time it takes to become a psychologist. Sure, there are things you can do with an undergraduate degree in psychology. But being a practicing psychologist is not one of them. To meet the standard you’ll need to commit to postgraduate studies (usually another 3 years). Do you really want to spend seven years getting that degree in order to work in a completely unrelated field?
There is a better way!
Students who have ventured down the psychology route never imagined that they’d be greeted with statistics, biology and all the other things every psychology degree will entail (reading, reading and more reading). So, to do psychology you are going to need a deep understanding of science and maths and if you are capable – do engineering.
Engineers with bachelor’s degrees start at nearly double the salary of someone with a bachelor’s in psychology. Let’s contrast the number of graduates and number of job openings in psychology with those in engineering. There is a 87% graduate employment rate for engineers finding work in their relative field within the first year of graduation.
Of course, that little voice inside your head that is whispering… “do psychology” has a vested interest in telling you that “engineering is a boring degree”.
But I’m here to tell you that’s not true.
A good engineer knows people’s psychology just as well as she knows engineering. In fact, the difference between a good and a great engineer often lies in people skills. So if you’re smart, you love people, and you want to study psychology, do yourself a favour. Avoid well-meaning advice to “follow your passion.”
Instead, run the other way and develop new passions. Explore the idea of getting an engineering degree.
Base your career decisions on a true understanding of the pluses and minuses of your choice. You’ll be glad you did.