Last year in 2010, colleges saw that there were 94,271 students going to school to study psychology. Interesting the study of the human mind, emotions, perceptions and personality may be, but the infographic that Spark News discussed a couple days ago on the most popular career paths showed that only 25 percent of students that graduate with a psychology degree actually work in that field.
The graphic did not offer any reasons as to why the statistic is so low, but there could be a couple reasons. Most psychology professions require a master’s degree, which means more school and more money. A lot of students are already hard pressed to pay their current student loans and may shy away from having to pay more. Also, getting a master’s degree takes time. Most students need a job right when they graduate and going back to school may mean that a full-time job is out of the question. Many people can work full-time and get their master’s degree, but there are surely a number of people who do not want to do that. On the other hand though, there are a lot of psychology jobs that pay extremely well and are worth the time and money spent in your degree. In a struggling economy, it only makes sense that if a student puts their time and money into a degree, they want to be able to find a high paying job when they are done. About.com took a look at the highest paying psychology jobs currently out and made the following list.
1. Psychiatrist. Average Salary: $167,610 per year
Though salaries may depend on what your specialty area is, Psychiatry is the highest paying profession in psychology right now. As with most professions that offer a high paycheck, there is significant work that must be put in. About.com reports that there are approximately eight years of post-undergraduate study that is required of psychiatrists. Once gaining a bachelor’s degree, psychiatrists must go to medical school for four years and complete a four-year residency following that.
2. Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Average Salary: $97,820
Psychologists in this field use their knowledge of the human mind, cognition, emotions, personality and perception to aid companies in their workplace issues. As about.com states, industrial psychologists may work at increasing workers productivity, selecting the best employees for particular jobs and developing market research surveys. Furthermore, “the top five percent of their members earn in excess of $250,000 a year.” While a doctorate degree is not required for this position, it offers more opportunities and higher salaries. Otherwise, there are opportunities available to those with a master’s degree.
3. Neuropsychologist. Average Salary: $90,460 per year
Studying the brain and the effects outside stimulants have on it is both interesting and intricate. According to about.com, “neuropsychologists specialize in the study of the brain and cognitive science. People who work in this field often perform cognitive tests, run brain scans, assess people suffering from brain injury and study how drugs impact the nervous system.” A doctorate degree in neuropsychology is required or in clinical neuropsychology.