Frequently Asked Questions About Having A Master’s In Psychology

Some of the best universities in the world can be found here in the United States. Many people clamor to come to the country to attend one of them. For others, they use it as a stepping stone to living that American dream, find a job, and gain permanent residence. However, the truth about joining any University in the US is that not having a lot of money to back you up could make the situation challenging for you.

My Story

Hi, I am Lana. I come from a little town in Oregon. My father is a carpenter, while my mother is a seamstress.

Growing up, I did not know the concept of poverty, considering my dad was great at beautifying different house parts. My mother could produce beautiful curtains and covers out of any fabric. Because of that, I managed to live comfortably in our little home. Once I entered preschool, though, that’s when I realized the many people were richer than us.

I mean, some kids got dropped off in a Mercedes Benz car every morning. Other kids brought candies that I could only eat after trick or treating during Halloween. What about me, you might ask? My mother and I would ride the bus every day, and she would pack my lunch and snacks consisting mostly of vegetables cut out in cute shapes and leftover food from the previous night.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not ungrateful for what my parents had provided for me. I could imagine how hard it was to raise a kid with a minimum wage, but they did it so that I did not feel like anything was missing in my life. Even the toys I wanted, they would get it for me most of the time. Still, it was in preschool that I understood our social status.

I remembered seeing my dad come home from work looking dusty and grimy.

I blurted out, “Dad, don’t worry, I will study and work hard so that you can retire and travel the world without worrying about money.”

My father laughed, of course. He ruffled my hair and went on to their bedroom to change before dinner. Who would actually believe a four-year-old making such massive promises? Despite that, I meant to keep that promise because I knew that my parents deserved all the luxury in the world.

My Student Life

In school, whatever gadgets or material objects I lacked, I made up for it by acing all my classes. I was not doing it to show off or spite all the rich kids at school; I just felt a need to have the perfect grades to improve my chances of getting college scholarships. I knew that that was the only way for me to get an education after high school. Universities require families to cough up tens of thousands of dollars per semester, you see. My parents’ combined annual income would barely go past $60,000. I did not want to burden them or make them take out a loan for me; that’s why I started working hard for that early.

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I eventually got the scholarship I wanted from Yale University. Aside from the university’s scholarship, other organizations wanted to fund my education. The money I got from all of them was enough to cover my tuition and accommodation; whatever amount was lacking, I could make up for it by being a part-time barista.

My parents were overjoyed, of course. They said they always knew that I could make my dreams come true. Before I left, they insisted that I need not work for my additional expenses, that they could send it to me. But I told them to keep their money because their obligations with me already ended when I turned 18.

Four years quickly went by, and I got into the graduate program for psychology. It meant that I was on my way to get my master’s degree in psychology. All I could do until that point was worked part-time, but I was patient because I needed to get a doctoral, too.

Then, Mom called me one day and told me that my father needed surgery. Unfortunately, their savings were not enough for it. I made the executive decision not to pursue a Ph.D. anymore so that I could finally work full-time. Despite that, I had many questions regarding the jobs I could get with a master’s degree in psychology.

How much money can you make with a master’s degree in psychology? 

Based on studies, an individual’s average annual income with a master’s degree in psychology is approximately $60,000. The digits may go up or down, depending on their location and years of experience. Nevertheless, it is significantly lower than what someone with a doctoral degree in psychology may receive.

Can you be a psychologist with just a master’s degree? 

Technically, no, you cannot be a psychologist with just a master’s degree, considering that a job requires a professional to obtain a doctoral degree. Despite that, you may work in psychological research after completing your graduate program. Other jobs available for someone with a master’s degree in psychology include psych teacher, organizational consultant, data analyst, social worker, HR manager, etc.

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Is getting a masters in psychology worth it? 

Yes, of course, getting a master’s degree in psychology is worth it. After all, sticking to a bachelor’s degree will not help you to become a licensed psychologist. You need that master’s degree to enter a doctorate program before having a stable career in psychology.

Is Psychology hard to get a job? 

Yes, it is a challenging feat to get a job with a degree in psychology. That is especially true if you hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and hospitals and institutions only accept a doctorate. In that case, you may need to join the larger crowd and look for a job in other fields where your diploma may still be useful.

Is Psychology a useless degree? 

No, psychology is not a useless degree. It is the foundation of every mental health service known to man. Without this degree, there may be no psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, or even social workers who can effectively help their clients.

Is Psychology a job in demand? 

Psychology did not use to be an in-demand job. In truth, psychiatry and neurology were more sought after than that. However, as we see a rise in the number of people who become more conscious of their mental health than ever, psychology’s level of demand rises steadily. Research even suggests that between 2016 and 2026, psychology-related jobs may grow up to 14%.

Is Clinical Psychology a promising career? 

Yes, clinical psychology is an excellent career. When you become a clinical psychologist, people with mental health issues will flock down to your office every day. The more people you agree to help, the more fulfilled you may become.

Is a Master’s in Psychology hard? 

Yes, getting a master’s degree in psychology can be challenging. It is supposed to be like that, considering you want to obtain advanced knowledge in the field. However, if you genuinely love psychology and wish to apply for and receive a doctoral degree later, you should work hard to obtain a master’s degree.

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Which is better, clinical or counseling psychology? 

The answer honestly depends on the client’s mental health status. For instance, if the person cannot get over a cheating incident, has lost a loved one, or is dealing with a ton of stress, a counselor may help them. Although such issues are quite severe, they may not require the assistance of a licensed psychologist.

Meanwhile, if the person shows mental disorders symptoms, it is better to see a clinical psychologist before anyone else. The reason is that psychologists can assess their condition and provide a proper diagnosis. The psychologist can tell if the person should see a counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist from this information.

Is a clinical psychologist a therapist? 

The answer depends on the licenses that the clinical psychologist has decided to get over the years. After all, when the psychologist receives their doctoral degree, they can only diagnose and advise their clients. They are not supposed to offer therapy merely because of that.

Now, things will change if the clinical psychologist chooses to train to become a therapist. In that case, they need to go through a therapy program and complete specific hours of professional counseling experience before applying for licensure. Only once they fulfill all the requirements can clinical psychologists become therapists.

How do I become a clinical psychologist? 

If you want to become clinical psychology, you need to make peace because you will most likely spend a decade or more as a student. After all, a bachelor’s degree requires four years, a master’s degree needs two years, and a doctoral degree requires four more years. This duration may or may not even count the professional experience you must clock in before getting licensed.

Which country is best for clinical psychology? 

The United States is still the best country to practice clinical psychology. Based on studies, the current demand for clinical psychologists may grow exponentially in the immediate future. And if you decide to put up a clinic in expensive states like California, New York, Hawaii, and New Jersey, you may earn $100,000 annually, more or less.

What exactly does a clinical psychologist do? 

The primary role of a clinical psychologist is to understand how people are doing mentally. Are they thinking, feeling, or behaving as other normal individuals do? If not, does stress cause the change in their thoughts, feelings, or behavior, or is there an underlying mental disorder that has not been diagnosed yet?

Once the diagnosis has been made, the clinical psychologist may then offer counseling services. Meaning, the client will meet the mental health professional for at least an hour or two once or twice a month to talk about their issues and how they can reverse their way of thinking to get better. If counseling is not enough, the clinical psychologist may refer the client to a licensed therapist or psychiatrist.

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Why would you see a clinical psychologist?

The primary reason why you should see a clinical psychologist is that you realize you are behaving or thinking differently in the last few months. For instance, you may have become moody, gloomy, anxious, and paranoid, and you have never experienced any of those symptoms before. A clinical psychologist can then help you discover what causes them or how you can minimize them.

Similarly, it would help if you see a clinical psychologist at the first sign of mental trouble. That is especially necessary if you want to prevent getting diagnosed with a mental disorder later. By doing so, you can understand how to shield yourself from factors that may affect your cognitive function.

Final Thoughts

I was fortunate to become an HR manager at a multinational company. My job was to monitor the employees’ mental and behavioral health and handle possible disputes. It was not my dream job at all, but who was I to complain when I still got to use my knowledge in psychology?