When you pick a college or university and want to study psychology, you should always look at the psychology degree concentration options available from that school. The right concentration can help you find a job working in a specific field after graduation and make it easier for you to handle the transition to graduate school. Some concentrations will require more independent research on your part than others.
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Industrial and organizational psychology is a field of psychology that focuses specifically on the workplace. The classes that you take will show you how to create surveys that you give to workers to find out how they feel about the duties they do on the job and the safety of the workplace. Those working in this field often create new products that have an ergonomic design to reduce fatigue and help the human body work more efficiently. Some programs may require that you take some business and management classes too.
If you want to go to graduate school and work with real patients, you should pick a concentration in clinical psychology. The clinical term refers to the clinical work that you do, which will prepare you for working with people. Graduate programs in clinical psychology typically require that you do a few hundred hours of practical fieldwork in a setting like a counseling center on campus. These programs often include a number of research classes as well as statistics courses. You may take classes on the medications used to treat mental conditions as well as the treatment methods that professionals use.
Not everyone thinks in the same way that everyone else does, which is why abnormal psychology is such a popular field of study. Abnormal psychology deals specifically with the thoughts, behaviors and actions that deviate from the norm. Choosing a concentration in this field is best for those who want to work with patients and those who want to diagnose mental disorders in others later. You’ll learn more about disorders like depression and schizophrenia. Classes will also cover some of the tests used to diagnose those conditions and the treatments available for those disorders.
When picking a psychology degree concentration, you often have the option of choosing a concentration that relates to a specific group of people or an age range like childhood development. These programs look at how the human brain develops and what happens in each stage of development as a child grows. Some classes look closely at disorders and learning disabilities as well as why those diseases strike certain kids. Depending on the program, you may have the chance to do an internship and gain some experience working with kids before you graduate.
School psychology graduate programs prepare students for getting their school psychology licenses and for working with students who are the victims of abuse and neglect as well as those struggling with other issues. Undergrad programs usually do not require any fieldwork, but you’ll need to work in a school as part of a graduate program. School psychology classes teach you how to identify the common signs of abuse in children, the tests and evaluations that professionals administer to students and counseling methods that you can use with students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those working in this field earn a median salary of $78,690 a year.
Psychology programs all study human behaviors and common mental disorders, but many undergrad programs let you pick a concentration. You can pick a psychology degree concentration in a field that interests you like clinical psychology or school psychology.