According to the American Psychological Association, psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour. It originated as an independent subject in the late 1800’s after scientists realized that philosophy could not answer the questions related to the human mind and behaviour. 


Careers in psychology


From its inception to the present, psychology as a subject has been growing steadily. Its importance has been felt in all fields of life. The impact and need for this subject is being felt even more, given the increasingly stressful modern world. Many intellectuals believe that knowledge regarding mental health should be provided to individuals from a very young age. Excessive dependence on gadgets, increased competition, round the clock work and a highly polarized world have all added to the fact that psychology as a field has become essential to mental hygiene. Individuals want to maintain their mental health and are becoming more and more open to the idea of psychologists and therapists.

“Psychology is the science of the intellects, characters and behavior of animals including man.”
- Edward Thorndike

Psychology itself is divided into many sub fields such as development psychology, research psychology, clinical psychology, applied psychology and so on. 

One practical application is in field of Human resources which is gaining more and more importance as corporate world is increasingly becoming depended on it. Human resources in relation to psychology has become one of the most sought after courses and job prospects. 


Scope in Psychology


Career Options and Scope  in Psychology

Students can study and form a fulfilling career in any of the sub fields of psychology.

  • Clinical Psychologist – Clinical psychology is one of the most sought after courses in psychology. The main focus of clinical psychology is to study and learn about the major mental disorders and therapies that help the individuals adjust better. The main courses available are B.A./B.Sc. and M.A./M.Sc. in Clinical psychology. These degrees do provide individuals with many job opportunities especially in rehabilitation centers and hospitals. 

  • Research Psychologist -  Research psychologists use scientific methods such as interviews, observations, experimentation and case studies to test out hypotheses and formulate theories regarding human behaviour.  The main courses for research psychology are B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Applied psychology. Research psychologists work in institutes and psychology organizations formulating theories about human behaviour. 

  • Criminal Psychologist  - Criminal psychology is the study of the behaviours, thoughts and actions of criminals. They help with profiling, assessment, consultation and research regarding criminals and their behaviour.  Students can get a Masters degree in Criminal Psychology or they can get a PG Diploma in the same. Criminal psychologists work with criminals and are often employed by government agencies. 

  • Child Psychologist  – Many parents are more attuned to the needs and behaviours of their children. They  can easily identify faulty behavior among their children and consult child psychologists about it before those behaviours can become a permanent part of the child’s cognition. With parents gaining more knowledge about learning disorders and other childhood disorders, the need for child psychologists has been increasing. M.A./ M.Sc. in Child psychology is the courses individuals must opt for to become a child Psychologist.

  • Career Counsellor – Career counseling has been on the rise as the career prospects available for students have been gradually increasing. These counselors not only help students understand what they want to do in the future but also guide them in the areas of schools and colleges. A bachelor’s and master’s degree or a PG diploma in Guidance and Counseling are the main courses opted by career counselors. Many career counselors set up their own practices but some even work with educational institutions. 


Some psychologists work in schools as counselors and some as teachers. Others opt to become professors, practitioners, researchers etc. But the scope of the field is not just limited to these jobs. Other bright outlook occupations in Psychology include

Gaining more knowledge in and about the field of psychology is will be extremely helpful in the future. Students and professionals alike have come to appreciate this field of human sciences and have understood why it is so important. Psychology can and has helped many individuals overcome mental health issues and will continue to do so even in the future. 


Courses in Psychology in India 

B.A./ B.A (Hons) in Psychology – The Bachelor of Arts is available as a 3 year full time course in most colleges in India, with many prestigious institutions offering the subject. While some colleges ask for a minimum of 50%  marks in 10+2, a few may hold entrance tests for admissions. Both courses are theoretical and focus on the counseling aspects. As opposed to a regular BA, the BA(Hons) in Psychology offers a more specialized and intensive curriculum in the subject. 

B.Sc /B.Sc (Hons) in Psychology – The Bachelor of Science degree approaches psychology from a more scientific and logical perspective. It is ideal for students with a mathematical bent as the curriculum focuses on research methodologies, statistics and more experimental learning than theoretical. Depending on the college, admissions may be either entrance based or merit based.

M.A/M.A (Hons) – The Master of Arts degree in Psychology offers an in-depth study of the subject and prepares students to understand and identify for various behavioural, psychological and emotional issues and disorders. The curriculum covers various courses like the nature of mind and feelings, mental processes and reactions as well as motivation, conflict resolution, crisis management etc. Students can choose from a number of specializations like General Psychology, Counselling Psychology, Industrial Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Educational Psychology etc. While the general eligibility is a graduate degree from a recognized university or college, some institutions may specifically require a BA in Psychology. 

M.Sc – A Master of Science degree in Psychology is a two years full-time program focused on the practical applications of the field. Eligibility includes a range of degrees including BA Sociology/Home Science/Philosophy, Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), B.Ed (with Psychology as a subject) etc apart from a BA/BSc in Psychology. 

MA in Applied Psychology – As the name suggests, the main focus of this degree is to apply research to work to identify and find solutions for both organizations and individuals for problems faced in their everyday lifestyle. Applied psychologists help people who are undergoing emotional disorders, distress and illnesses. Admissions can be either entrance based or merit based. As with a regular MA, there are a number of specializations available in this as well.

Students often go on to complete their M.Phil. in psychology after their masters, many even go on to complete their PHDs. Having a higher degree in this field is extremely beneficial and may also be an essential requirement for some of the career paths.



The below courses provide a good overview on the study area

An introduction is provided in the below video

Frequently  Asked Questions

Let’s take a look at some commonly asked questions by students.

A career in psychology will prove to be beneficial in the future because of its growing relevance and importance. People are paying mental health more attention, hence the relevance of psychologists will only grow. This awareness is growing due to the age of social media and increasing knowledge among individuals regarding their mental health. Dealing with a pandemic and increasing climate issues has also caused many individuals to seek help.

After getting a bachelors degree, students can choose any of the following areas for specialization in psychology:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Sports Psychology
  • Criminal Psychology

Students with a psychology degree can work in a number of areas such as a clinical psychologist in a hospital, social worker, general practicing therapist, school psychologist, career counselor, researcher, school psychology teacher and a college professor.

A counseling psychologist generally focuses on many everyday life, whereas a clinical psychologist focuses on much more serious mental disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and others.

To become a successful psychologist one must have the following skills:

  • Excellent communication

  • Empathy

  • Should be non-judgemental

  • Good listening skills

  • Patience

  • Sensitivity

Yes. Organizational psychology is gaining more popularity and companies look for individuals with a psychology background to work in their human resource department. Many companies also hire in house counselors to help their employees whenever necessary.
Yes. Organizational psychology is gaining more popularity and companies look for individuals with a psychology background to work in their human resource department. Many companies also hire in house counselors to help their employees whenever necessary.

It can be a mentally draining job for those individuals who are either emotionally less strong or do not create health boundaries with their clients or patients.

No. Psychologists can also go into research work, or organizational work. Many psychologists opt to formulate tests and design experiments and not counsel people.

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