Psychology is in everything. This is one of those fundamental truths that can’t be escaped, like death and taxes. Even if you go to a grocery store and buy a carton of milk, you don’t just want a lighter coffee, but a way to make it tastier, because you remember that instance when you once tasted it in childhood and it was bitter. Also, your mother never loved you. That’s the magic of Psychology!
And USA is the best country to surprise these complex psychological facts and this need to interpret everything and anything within the study field. So, when you’re making your decision, remember that…
1. The U.S. is still fascinated by Psychology
Remember “A Dangerous Method”? “Experimenter”? “Girl, Interrupted”, “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, “Analyse This”, “Analyse That”? Yeah…
Although other countries may have practiced it for longer or even if they provided more psychology schools and theories than you will be able to read in your life, the U.S. never lost its fascination with it.
Whether you watched numerous American movies about psychologists, or with counsellors, patients, syndromes, diseases, and more, the fact that Psychology is a versatile field and provides the opportunity to understand the human mind suggests that Psychology is still a very popular degree study option in the U.S.
2. Bachelors and Masters in the U.S. cover all known specialisations
Do you know how many areas Psychology covers? DO YOU? No, you don’t. Don’t lie.
Truth be told, there are so many fields in which psychology is used, that you can’t even imagine the scope of this discipline. Just think, you could choose a Master’s degree in:
- Psychology of culture
- Addiction counselling
- Forensic psychology
- Social work
- Clinical mental health counselling
- Applied psychology
- Industrial and organizational psychology
- Media psychology
And can I please stop? Because I have a life besides this list, and I would like to do something with it. Let’s just move on to the next point, and that…
3. You will get to see psychology in action
In addition to theoretical knowledge, the curriculums of psychology degree courses include many and interesting opportunities for research, organized either as laboratory courses or as field projects.
Some American colleges have partnerships with psychiatric institutes, public and private clinics, enabling students to attain practical experience, participate in various psychologic/counselling sessions and make their own observations.
Also, the American teaching system is based on project-based learning, which involves the students’ ability to find their own answers to questions, to solve and explore issues and topics based on their own judgements and opinions. In the field of psychology, this learning style is even more challenging and rewarding.
But you should still stay clear of Anthony Hopkins, if you ever meet him.
4. Learning the difference between movie Psychology and real Psychology
Fun fact: If you want to remember the lyrics of that cool song you once heard at a party, you don’t have to hit your head over and over with a rock, because the cure for amnesia isn’t just a hit to the head away.
And yes, maybe this will ruin your movie-going experience, but imagine how smart and how hard to impressed you will become, after knowing to debunk the most notorious psychological myths, like:
- OCD isn’t a simple phobia of germs, but the need to repeat certain rituals
- Villains aren’t good partner material: psychopaths are psychopaths because they can’t keep a steady relationship, not in spite of it
- Love doesn’t cure psychological issues, but there’s probably a reason why you think it does and you’re trying to fix your broken boyfriend or girlfriend
- You can’t make a person cluck like a chicken just because you dangle a clock in front of them, snap your fingers, and say “Boom! You’re under!”
- Depression isn’t cool and you can’t wish it away if you try really hard
- Mascara runs in heavy rain
As a psychologist, you can spot all of these fallacies and transform misconceptions and stigmas into cautionary tales and you will finally know how to help people, even if they aren’t as good looking as Edward Norton and his sexy personality, Brad Pitt.
5. American universities rock psychology programs
American psychology programs are not only offered by prestigious Ivy League American universities, but you can also apply for a psychology major at plenty liberal arts colleges.
Over 4,000 American colleges and universities provide both undergraduate and graduate psychology courses, so you can literally throw a rock and hit a psychologist (e.n. Please don’t throw a rock and hit a psychologist. We don’t condone violence!)
You can, however, check out these universities, that provide Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in psychology:
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Lincoln Memorial University
- Transylvania University
- Harvard Extension School
- George Mason University
- Walden University
6. Attractive career prospects of U.S. Psychology graduates
Psychology graduates who want to pursue a career in the United States will be required to first complete a doctoral degree (PhD), as this is the main credential for psychologists to be recognised by The American Psychological Association (APA). However, in some states, you are allowed to partake in supervised psychology or psychotherapy practices with only a Master’s degree.
In the States, career options in the field are more numerous and more diverse than you can imagine, and, according to PayScale, the average income of psychologists in the U.S. is around 70,000 USD per year, which is, overall, pretty awesome. Some of the career paths graduates can take are:
- Statistical assistant
- Director of volunteer services
- Child care worker
- Behavioral therapist
- Court consultant
- Guidance counselor
- Army psychologist
On the other hand, if you wouldn’t like to practice and listen to people all day, Psychology provides students with numerous transferable skills, that can be useful later on in many other fields. Several Psychology graduates have found work opportunities as:
- Human resources specialists
- Advertising agents
- Probation officers
- Writers / journalists
So how does all this make you feel?
Working as a psychologist in America is challenging, enriching and rewarding, both on a personal and on a professional level, so we couldn’t recommend it enough. Just remember not to romanticise it too much. You’ll be there to help, not jump in a pool of acid, because the Joker told you to do so.
You’re welcome for that pertinent advice, now go be the best psychologist out there!