A Career in Psychology in India

Why do people act the way they do? Can there be a proper study on the behaviours and desires of the human brain? Can one be mentally ill? Is there a comprehensive method of understanding human behaviour and personality? Are you fond of finding out the answers to these questions? Is there even a career in treating mental illness without medications?

Well, there are a lot of such questions which we think of when a career in psychology is concerned. Nonetheless, all you need to think about is whether you are willing to be a part of this career. If yes, then you have landed on the right article. It is going to provide you with a complete guide on what is psychology, what are the career options available to you, what is the eligibility criteria, the educational expenses, various courses, training institutions and the career scope of a profession in psychology.

Understand Psychology

Psychology is referred to as the mental characteristics or attitude of a person or group of persons and it is also the scientific study of the human mind and its function, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context. The concept of psychology revolves around the uplifting and healing of the human brain so as to enable a stable and normal social as well as personal life. It aims at changing the perception of an individual and stimulates his/her thinking in the right direction with the help of counselling and other relevant sessions.

A psychologist is responsible to identify the root cause of the emotional, behavioural as well as psychological issues of his/her clients. The most significant factor is the diagnosis and treatment of the illness without the use of medication and only with the help of interactive sessions. A psychologist is entitled to a lot of responsibilities and amongst them, client privacy is of prime importance as not many people are very good with opening up about themselves without being insured of privacy protection.

Before one begins to think of establishing a career in psychology he/she must review the advantages and disadvantages of working in this domain.

Why should one opt for this profession?

  • Decent earnings
  • Social status
  • Job satisfaction
  • Personal contentment
  • Growth prospects
  • Flexible work hours
  • Doesn’t involve manual labour

Why shouldn’t one opt for this profession?

  • Infrequency in the number of clients
  • Some cases may be mentally challenging
  • May require a lot of research or study
  • May affect the practitioner at apersonal level

Whatever be the profession, it will always have a few factors which may seem drawbacks at the initial stage, however, if one is really passionate about bringing about a positive change in another individual‘s life then, this profession can certainly bring fulfilment and a sense of achievement to oneself.

Know the Career Options in Psychology

The career of a psychologist is not limited to only a few alternatives and one can definitely choose a specific field in which he/she may achieve expertise. There are a lot of recruitment areas for a psychologist like mental health clinics, rehabilitation centres, schools, colleges, universities, corporate agencies, print and media houses and so on and so forth. One can choose to become a private practitioner as well if certain about his/her capabilities. The professional statuses with which one can work are enumerated and discussed below.

1. Counselling Psychologist:

A counselling psychologist is an individual who is specialized in providing counselling to his/her clients on the issues faced by them in their day to day life. This profession does not deal with complex cases and hence the patients seeking counselling are not really mentally sick. The counselling psychologist is responsible for guiding his/her patients and helping them deal with unpleasant situations so as to provide them with mental relief.

They can earn a sum of Rs.15,000-Rs.30,000 per month at the initial stage of their career.

2. Industrial Psychologist

There are a lot of companies where the multitude of individuals operating is numerous. Every individual at work has a personal objective that drives him/her to work. However, these very personal objectives may hamper the performance of an individual at work. Hence, there are industrial psychologists, commonly known as human resource managers who help in uplifting the mental load and provided the employees with the right amount of motivation to keep them going. For this profession, one may need to study the business management course alongside the psychology courses.

An industrial psychologist is entitled to an income of Rs.30,000-Rs.50,000 per month.

3. Clinical Psychologist

A clinical psychologist deal with those individuals who have problems accepting the aftermath of life after facing a certain health issue, accident, or any such mishaps. They help in treating their clients and enabling them to start the new phase of their life without having any negative thoughts and regrets. They function at the hospitals and clinics and deal with a lot of patients.

A clinical psychologist can earn up to Rs.30,000-Rs.70,000 per month based on the organization with which they are associated.

4. Child Psychologist

As the name suggests, a child psychologist is specialized in dealing with children. They provide mental care to the child and encourages them to develop their capabilities. They deal with children who are specially-abled or who have faced critical situations in their past which can be due to a lot of reasons.

This profession of dealing with innocent little children enables an individual to earn somewhere near Rs.30,000-Rs.40,000 at the initial stage.

5. Sports Psychologist

Sports psychology is a concept that is still fresh in our country. Although, it is a new concept the individuals are working just fine in this sector. A sports psychologist studies the behaviour of an athlete and determines the factor behind his/her good as well as poor performances. They are even specialized in providing counselling to their clients in case they deal with any anxiety due to a mishap during the game or any event which affects their performance adversely.

A sports psychologist is entitled to a sum of Rs.35,000-Rs.50,000 at the initial stage of his/her profession.

6. Forensic Psychologist

Forensic psychologists assist in the law abided operations of the nation and operate at state levels as well. They are responsible for determining the behavioural aspects of the criminals and help in achieving the reason behind the deed done by him/her. They are highly specialized and appointed after discerning the reports of their past experiences.

A forensic psychologist earns somewhere near Rs.40,000-Rs.50,000 per month initially.

7. Professor

No matter what one chooses, if he/she is really good at explaining things then the option of becoming a teacher or a professor always stands. A psychology professor is another decent and satisfactory vocation in the field of psychology. For this one may require to clear the NET exams, after which one can easily get to work as a professor in the government colleges. However, one can even seek employment in private foundations if government colleges don’t work out.

Be it private or government college, the income of a professor at the initial stage is somewhere between Rs.45,000-Rs.55,000 per month and with time and experience it may even increase up to Rs.1 lakh per month.

8. Animal Psychologist

Totally evident from the name, an animal psychologist studies animal behaviour. The study of animal emotions is necessary for determining the reason behind their acts and establishing the signs of any problems faced by them. This is a fast-growing sector and if one is passionate about animals and likes observing them then this can be a really great option.

An animal psychologist can earn up to Rs.40,000-Rs.50,000 per month and of course, it rises with time and experience.

The Eligibility Criteria

The conditions applied for earning the graduation, masters, doctoraldegrees or certification in psychology are pretty much the same for all the reputed academic foundations and most of them are relatively flexible. The most important component is the completion of the secondary and the higher secondary education after which one can think of pursuing the specialized courses at the college level. One must fulfill the following requirements to become eligible for psychology courses.

For Graduate Programs

  • 10+2 from a recognized board
  • A minimum of 50% marks in any stream i.e. arts, commerce or science
  • Minimum age limit 17

For Post Graduate Course

  • BA in Psychology with any major subject or honors
  • A minimum of 55% marks
  • Successful clearance of entrance test

The above-mentioned points are applicable for the educational qualifications of an individual however, those are not the only necessities and one should look at the personal traits as well. Hence, the skillsetsessential for a career in psychology are also mentioned below.

  • Analytical mind
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Observation skills
  • Good memory power
  • Genuine passion
  • Patience
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Integrity

Is there a selection process?

The selection of the students is done on various grounds however the most common and well-known methods are merit list and entrance test or interview. So yes, there is a selection procedure which the institutions follow.

The merit list method usually enables a direct admission to the candidate based on the marks obtained at the higher secondary in case of undergraduate programs and the marks of graduation degree in case of postgraduate programs. If the aspirant meets the cut off marks then he/she can be selected on this basis.

The second most common process is the conduction of entrance tests which involves written as well as verbal questioning. If the prospect clears the tests and meets the minimum pass grade then he/she can avail the seat for the course in his/her desired institution.

The entrance tests are completely relevant for institutions having a promising prominence and where there are a lot of competitorswho are willing to compete for every single seat. Only the best of such candidates gets selected hence, a strong hold at the subjects is a must from the very beginning of ones schooling.

Courses to Opt

There are several courses available for psychology studies in India. The courses are adequately designed for the student willing to pursue this career at graduate, postgraduate and doctoral as well as forcertification programs. The courses encompass the provision and enhancement of memory, learning abilities, habit interferences, observation techniques and environment driven behaviour. There are many varieties of psychology studies which include research and study on a specific mental issue. One can choose to opt for any of the course which offers specialization in a specific denomination of a skill. Almost all course classifications are enlisted below.

Graduate Level Courses

  • Bachelor of Arts Honors in Applied Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts Honors in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Psychology and English

Post Graduate Level Courses

  • Master of Arts in Applied Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology
  • Master of Arts Honors in Psychology
  • Master of Artsin Philosophy and Applied Psychology
  • Master of Philosophy in Applied Psychology
  • Master of Philosophy in Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Master of Philosophy in Counselling Psychology
  • Master of Philosophy in Psychology

Doctoral Level Courses

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling Psychology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Stress Analysis

Certification Course

  • Certificate Course in Child Psychology

Educational Expenses

This is known to almost all of the individuals in India that the government institutions provide the academic courses at a lower fee than those of the private institutions. It also depends on the courses offered and chosen. In case of psychology courses, the training and education development is provided at an affordable price in the government colleges which usually charge a sum of Rs.1-2.5 lakhs for an entire course duration which can either be for undergraduates or post graduates. However, private institutions may charge somewhere near Rs.1-10 lakhs and in some rare cases it may even extend even further for the entire course.

Training Institutions

Mental fitness has truly become a matter of prime importance in our country and it is essential to train the practitioners and propel them to do the best at what he/she is supposed to deal with. To provide the mastery in this profession there are quite many renowned and esteemed institutions in India as well as abroad. Be it government or private, the number of institutions providing psychology courses have increased in the past infrequentyears and at present, there are more than 900 academic foundations providing these courses and one can easily locate the nearest and feasible institution as per one’s preference.

The most prominent and well-known establishments working towards encouraging such abilities in their students are mentioned below.

  • Indian Institute of Psychology and Research, Bangalore
  • University of Delhi
  • National Institute if Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore
  • Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
  • Jamia Millia University, New Delhi  Amity Institute of Behavioral Health and Allied Science, Noida
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences

The Scope in Future

As one of the first scientific methodologies aimed at dealing with mental illness, psychoanalysis and psychology have paved the way for a much broader understanding of the human mind and the advancement has even enabled the understanding of the animal mind. The conventional theories have been dismissed by modern psychologists and medical professionals and replaced with new insights into human nature itself. What we think about ourselves can be greatly influenced by forces outside our control and that our strongest beliefs about ourselves may not be reflective of reality.

There is an increased number of divorce rates, suicides, work complications, social disturbances, anger management issues and so on. The modern lifestyle has brought about a lot of changes in our life and hence the psychology domain have seen an increment in its reach by 14% and it is expected to rise even further in the coming years. Hence, a career in this field can be beneficial for one in the present as well as the long run.

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