Why Study Psychology?

Why Study Psychology

Psychology has been around for a while but its profile is at some of the highest it has ever been. Before pop culture graced our screens how many of you heard of clinical psychologists Sigmund Freud, the founder of modern psychologist or Carl Jung, the father of analytical psychology? What educationalist doesn’t know about Jean Piaget and his theory of knowing and his work in relation to children that made him one of the most famous psychologists of all time? What about Ivan Pavlov, Abraham Maslow, RD Laing, William Glasser?

Walk into any bookshop today and an array of books from Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow to Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happiness will confront you. Take a look at the books that came out last year and see the influence the psychological and behavioural sciences have on our everyday lives.

Maria Konnikova’s discourse on the Art of the Con, Adam Grant’s glimpse into originality, Angela Duckworth’s treatise on grit and Frans de Waal musings on whether we are smart enough to know how smart animals are all psychological tracks that graced the bookshelves.

The Queen of the American Talk Show, Oprah Winfrey, not only raises the profile of serious and pop psychology authors but has also raised the role of the profession itself from Dr Phil McGraw to her new protege Toronto psychotherapist, Dr Anne Dranitsaris.

Psychology is all around us and it touches every aspect of our lives! Who you are now, how you will be in the future, how you interact with family, friends, colleagues and strangers – these are all issues psychology can help us better understand.


Here are ten top reasons why to study psychology

  1. Psychology can help you better understand yourself
  2. It helps with your own personal development. It can help you understand the motives of other people and your own motives better which can result in personal growth and development. When you study psychology you’ll learn to understand the flaws in your own thinking – such as those that come from cognitive biases – and you’ll learn to better help yourself overcome various forms of anxiety disorder/bad habits etc. As you learn more about how development occurs, how personality forms, and how factors like society and culture impact on behaviour, you might find yourself gaining a deeper understanding of the many influences that have impacted on your own life.

  3. Business is all about psychology
  4. Psychology affects everything in our everyday lives but it especially affects business. Business is really about relationships – it’s about being able to sell to other people, to persuade other people and to work well with them. If you study psychology and understand how other people’s minds work, then you will be able to get your point across and ensure that your colleagues, clients and business partners respect you.
    You’ll be able to make people more likely to buy a product and generally you’ll find you have the skills you need to really excel in business. Studying psychology can give you a better understanding of the people around you. The next time someone behaves in a certain way, you might be better able to understand the influences and motivations behind their actions.

  5. Psychology can help you become a better communicator
  6. Studying subjects such as emotion, language, and body language can help you improve your interpersonal communication skills. By learning more about these things, you can gain a greater understanding of people and what they are trying to communicate verbally as well as non-verbally.

  7. Studying psychology can make you more effective in the workplace
  8. Industrial-Organisational Psychology, one of the top-10 highest paying psychology degree jobs, focuses on understanding human dynamics in the workplace. A knowledge of human behaviour is one of the ‘selling points’ for psychology graduates when it comes to the job markets and a knowledge of basic psychology makes you a more a more effective supervisor or manager of teams.

  9. Psychology promotes the understanding of wellbeing
  10. Although studying psychology doesn’t necessarily make you psychologically healthier (any more than studying medicine makes you physically healthy), psychology graduates do have this knowledge at their fingertips and should be more aware of the fact that good interpersonal and family relationships require attention and work. They will also know where people – family, friends, co-workers – to go when they need counselling, psychotherapy or any psychological intervention.
    While some students may branch off into the and become a psychotherapist, studying psychology can help you better understand how psychological conditions are diagnosed and treated. You can also discover how mental wellness can be enhanced, how to reduce stress, how to boost memory, and how to live a happier, healthier life.

  11. A psychology degree will improve your employability
  12. It may not be the first thing you would think of but psychology is a very good, general degree for careers in various fields – law, social services, education, business, and many other of today’s occupations in the start-up techie world. The key is knowing how to get cross the relevance of you your psychology degree and background to a potential employer which is fairly the same issue for most graduates. However, clued-in bosses (and savvy job applicants) know that an understanding of human behaviour is essential for success in teams and this needs to be highlighted as an important, and employable competency for those who don’t get this.

  13. Psychology give you a strong grasp of research methods
  14. Psychology teaches you to understand basic scientific principles. Psychology as a social science relies on the scientific method. Having a basic understanding of psychological research methods can help you rate some of the many claims that you’ll encounter in books, magazines, television shows, and movies. Becoming a better-informed consumer of psychology means that you will be equipped to sort out the truth from the fiction surrounding many pop psychology myths. Psychology graduates say that research methods and ability to interpret statistical results are the biggest contributors to their career success, regardless of whether they pursued a career in psychology or elsewhere.

  15. Psychology promotes critical thinking skills
  16. A great deal of psychological material and the methods taught and used by psychology departments focus on how to think critically. Critical thinking is considered an essential skill to become an educated graduate and it is more commonly now a general education requirement in universities. Psychology courses develop the student’s critical thinking skills that are important in business, law, and all other professions.

  17. Psychology can be both fun and fascinating!
  18. From intriguing optical illusions that reveal the inner workings of the brain to shocking experiments that expose how far people will go to obey an authority figure, there is always something amazing and even mind boggling to learn about the field of the human mind and behaviour.

  19. Psychology touches everything in our lives, hence the TV shows!
  20. Psychology is one topic with the very broadest of impacts in our lives. When you sign up for a psychology degree then you are really studying human nature which impacts everything else in life. It can help you navigate your relationships more effectively – your relationships in business, with friends and with partners and with family. Plus you’ll be an interesting conversationalist at social gatherings, not to mention if you go on to become an academic psychologist given their profile in today’s media world.


Psychology Jobs

Jobs directly related to a psychology degree include:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Counselling psychologist
  • Educational psychologist
  • Forensic psychologist
  • Further education teacher
  • Health psychologist
  • High intensity therapist
  • Occupational psychologist
  • Primary care graduate mental health worker
  • Psychological wellbeing practitioner
  • Sport and exercise psychologist


Jobs where a psychology degree would be useful include:

  • Actuarial analyst
  • Advertising account planner
  • Advice worker
  • Careers adviser
  • Counsellor
  • Data analyst
  • Forensic accountant
  • Human resources officer
  • Market researcher
  • Physician associate
  • Play therapist
  • Psychotherapist
  • UX analyst

Source: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree/psychology

Here are some of the highest paying jobs you one can get in the USA per year with a psychology degree.

  • Child psychiatrist – $189,301 P.A
      A child psychiatrist requires the psychiatrist to treat mental, emotional, and behavioural disorders in children. An advanced degree in psychology is required and students then need eight years of specialised training – four at a psychiatric residency and the other four in medical school.
  • Engineering Psychologist – $108,348P.A
      The psychology of engineering enquiries into human behaviour and its capability in the technology field. Engineering psychology students might end up using their degree to assess the effects and interactions of aviation technology or nuclear weapons. Overall system performance looks at the ways technology fits into our lives and it aspires to create a more user friendly experience.
  • Forensic Psychologist – $117,470 for top 10% P.A
      Forensic psychologists need a doctorate degree before taking on years of specialised clinical experience. Federal government roles have the highest demands for forensic psychologists employing over 5,000 of them with an average starting salary of $85,000.
  • Be Dr. Phil – $80 million P.A
      Media personality and psychologist Dr Phil is at the apex of the genre. After appearing on American TV show Oprah, Dr. Phil McGraw’s career skyrocketed and he became one of the largest television personalities in America. Psychology graduates also turn to journalism and other media roles with their degree.
  • Industrial-Organisational Psychologists – $102,570 average P.A.
    Industrial organizational psychologists are responsible for using psychology to create business policies and better understand the way a successful business model works, considering the psychology of the personnel and the way in which they are treated.

Source: businessinsider.com/the-5-highest-paying-jobs-you-can-get-with-a-psychology-degree-2011-9

Author: Mary O’Carroll