When you are pursuing a degree in a specific field, it is critical that you take the time to research the future job outlook in the field. While supply and demand in the labor force change on a regular basis, there is a government agency that is dedicated to publishing Occupation Handbooks that consider the trends in the nation to project how much a field will grow in the upcoming years. If you are pursuing an undergraduate or a graduate-level degree in Psychology, you may be wondering what the overall job outlook is projected to be like in the future. The field of Psychology as a whole is expected to grow at a national average rate of 12%, but the field has many specialty areas and subsets that must be considered to determine which career you should pursue early on.
Why is There So Much Competition in a Field Growing at an Average Rate?
The job outlook in the field of Psychology considers the number of students that graduate with a degree in Psychology or a related field. While demand is important, the number of students enrolled in graduate-level programs can also affect whether or not undergraduates and new master level grads can find career opportunities quickly. According to reliable studies conducted by the American Psychological Association, 5000 new doctorates graduate with a major in some subset of Psychology on an annual basis.
What contributes to cloudy job outlook is that many of the new positions being created in the field are for individuals with a master’s degree and not necessarily a doctorate. College students need to be sure that they enroll in the right degree program and select the right specialty if they want to enter a career with a brighter future.
Which Specialties Are Predicted to Grow Faster Than Other Fields?
There are several different specialty areas within psychology where demand for professionals is high and the supply of graduating professionals is low. One growing field where demand is extremely high is neuropsychology. With more and more research being done on dementia and traumatic brain injury, more neuropsychologists are needed.
For future psychologists who are not interested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology, like the specialty of neuropsychology, there are other specialties like Industrial and Organizational Psychology that have great job outlook.These psychologists work with organizations and employees to help firms test and assess performance, or also with government agencies as researchers or consultants. In a down economy, both public and private organizations are looking for experts to help retain employees and keep costs down. Specialists who have Master’s degrees, MBAs, or other related specialty degrees can appreciate a positive job outlook.
When it comes to entering the field of psychology, you need to consider your interests and also be willing to be adaptable. Not all careers are as high in demand in the field, and choosing a field where you can hone your skills and still enjoy several employment opportunities is imperative. There is a growing need for doctorates and master-level physicians, biomedical engineers, industrial-organizational psychologists, school psychology and other clinical specialists are high in demand for professionals with the right degree. There are limited opportunities for graduates with a BS in Psychology, but for graduate-level and doctoral students there are plenty of opportunities.