Career prospects for a Psychologist in India

There was a point in our childhood where we would use the word ‘pyscho’ without giving a second thought about what it means and how it could affect a person. However, with more education and availability of information, we now recognise the importance of this fragile and the most important part of human personality – THE MIND.

The field of mental health and therapies is rapidly expanding in India. People are getting more aware about complex mental conditions and disorders.

To diagnose these conditions, we need highly skilled psychologists. With a country having population of over 1 billion and most of them growing with emotionally or physically traumatic childhood, career prospects for a psychologist are practically unlimited.

Educational criteria for psychologist’s job:

In order to become a licensed psychologist, the candidate has to pass 10+2 exam first (any stream). After higher secondary level or 12th grade, students can opt for Bachelor (BA or BSC) degree in psychology. This undergraduate degree focuses on neuro-psychology, personality development, stress management and psychotherapy among others.

Students should step up for more specialized study during their MA or MSC courses. It can be anything from criminal psychology, clinical psychology, counselling psychology, child psychology etc., Doing further higher studies like PhD or MPhil may help you in getting research oriented job.

Various job profiles for psychology students. Once your education is finished, students can opt for following job profiles in the field of psychology.

Clinical psychology

A professional clinical psychologist analyses people’s behaviour and treats their problems. This profession involves giving therapies to people suffering from normal psychological conditions such as grief, chronic psychiatric disorders and depression. Some job profiles in the field of clinical psychology involves dealing with specific groups like senior citizens, children or people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Counselling psychology:

Though the approach of work remains similar to clinical psychology, counsellors help people to adjust with particular situation rather than curing specific disorder through a therapy. Large community health centres, mental health clinics, schools and colleges require counsellors for various purposes like personal counselling, career counselling etc.,

Industrial/Organizational Psychology (I/O psychologists):

Big corporations, multinationals and start-ups consider psychology an effective tool to improve overall productivity in their organisations. I/O psychologists use their skills to maintain positive relationship between work environment and employees.

Health psychologists:

Prevention of disease and maintenance of good health are at the core of health psychology. These professionals work on crucial projects such as helping individual to quit smoking, stress management, fight against drug addiction and even weight loss. Rehabilitation centres, government agencies, private corporations and colleges hire health psychologist to improve the productivity of work force.

Teaching and Research

The undergraduate course in psychology focus on more practical and applied side of the field. Those who go ahead with Masters or PhD degrees have inclination towards research and development in the discipline.

For such individuals, taking teaching or research scholar position in the university is a dream come true situation. Even government hires specialized researchers in psychology through bodies such as Centre for Disease Control. PhD and relevant research experience is must of this.

Sports psychology:

Athletic performance depends not only on physical strength of an athlete but also his or her mental health and motivation. Sports psychologists assess the impact of physical exercise on psychological conditions of players. Many of the top teams, clubs and even top atheletes appoint sports psycholists to cope up with the pressure of performing at their peak.

Depending upon the nature of job and organisation, the salary of a beginner psychologist in the country could range from Rs.6, 000 to Rs.15, 000 per month. The compensation could go as high as 2 lakh per month in some specialized branches.


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