Wondering what to do with a postgraduate degree in Psychology? You can start your own practice and help people with their emotional, mental and social well-being. Or you can explore a diverse set of career choices in sectors as different as sports, industry, forensic and technology.
We caught up with Prasanta Kumar Roy, assistant professor of Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, IPGMER Kolkata (SSKM Hospital), for an outline of career avenues for Psychology students.
How to become a registered psychologist
After finishing your MA/MSc in Psychology, you can proceed to become a registered psychologist. For that, you’ll need to do an additional two-year MPhil course in Psychology from an institute recognised by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). This is a purely professional course that entails hands-on training.
After finishing the MPhil course, you can start practising as a clinical psychologist anywhere in India. You can specialise either in Clinical Psychology or Rehabilitation Psychology for this MPhil degree.
Here are some well-known institutes across India that offer an MPhil course in Clinical Psychology:
- National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore
- Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi
- Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health (LGBRIMH), Tezpur
- Institute of Psychiatry (IPGMER), Kolkata
- Calcutta University, Kolkata
Only two institutes in India offer an MPhil in Rehabilitation Psychology. They are:
- National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, Secunderabad
- Sweekaar Academy of Rehabilitation Sciences, Secunderabad
After finishing your MA/MSc in Psychology, you can proceed to become a registered psychologist. For that, you’ll need to do an additional two-year MPhil course in Psychology from an institute recognised by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)- Prasanta Kumar Roy
Psychology specialisations after MA/MSc:
This specific area of psychology focuses on the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illnesses. Clinical Psychology is concerned with the cognitive, emotional, biological, psychological and social aspects of human behaviour in a cultural context.
This is a comparatively new domain that focuses on criminal behaviour to help the judiciary. It specialises in the psychological evaluation of those who engage in violent and criminal activities. National Forensic Science University, Gandhinagar, offers an MPhil course in Forensic Psychology.
Industrial /Organisational Psychology
This branch of psychology is concerned with the psychological theories and principles that govern workplaces and organisations. It includes topics such as job analysis, employee training and safety, job performance measurement and the hiring process.
This discipline focuses on ensuring optimal performance from athletes by taking care of their mental well-being. Sports psychologists work with athletes, coaches, sports administrators, family members and supporters to create the best environment for sportspersons to excel. It also involves clinical counselling to assist athletes with injury rehabilitation, eating disorders, prevention of self-harm, mending self-image issues and other concerns that frequently occur in a highly competitive environment.
Cyberpsychology deals with the mental impact of using social media and addiction to technology. Cyberpsychologists assist law enforcement agencies to analyse cyber crimes. Rashtriya Raksha University, Gandhinagar, offers a diploma in Cyberpsychology in association with the Central India Institute of Psychological Sciences.
This is a specialised subject that focuses on experiments conducted to understand human and animal behaviour. An experimental psychologist uses scientific methods to collect data to explore a broad area of psychological phenomena, including personality development and cognitive processes.
You can always go for teaching jobs at colleges and universities after completion of your MA/MSc in Psychology.
Some popular jobs available for psychologists:
Counselling: Counsellors try to understand and resolve the problems faced by their clients. Apart from private practice, they can work at NGOs, old age homes and rehabilitation centres. NGOs working on development issues, anti-trafficking, sexual abuse and other pressing issues are in constant need of counsellors.
School counselling: School counsellors play a vital role in the education sector. They assess and improve teachers’ ability to teach and also support students’ ability to learn. They work with school administrators to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment. They are employed by public and private schools, colleges, universities, and professional and vocational training schools.
Corporate training and communication: Psychology students can become trainers and motivational coaches in fields such as corporate training, communication skill improvement training and manpower development training. Most corporate organisations upskill their employees through training sessions conducted by such professionals.
Forensic psychologist: All law enforcement agencies such as CID and CBI study criminal behaviour. Forensic psychologists are an essential part of that process. These specialists play a key role in solving crimes and focusing on criminal profiling.
Experimental psychologist: Experimental psychologists primarily focus on research application. Research organisations like DRDO and think-tanks recruit experimental psychologists to help boost the morale, productivity, quality and satisfaction of employees.
Sports psychologist: Sports psychologists work with professional teams as well as high school, college, and university teams. They help prepare athletes for their events and also work as sports rehabilitation specialists, sports research specialists and consultants.
Industrial and organisational psychologist: These specialists apply psychological principles and research methods to resolve workplace problems and improve quality of life. They investigate workplace productivity, management and work style. Industrial and organisational psychologists also work with the recruitment team.