Psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior, which embraces all aspects of conscious and unconscious experience as well as the thought process. It involves science and social studies and has applications in all walks of life – work, family, relationships, sports, and industries. It is a very diverse field and presents a plethora of exciting career opportunities. In this post, we will look at the psychology careers in India – Career Paths, Jobs, Salaries, and Top Colleges in India for Psychology.
Psychology Careers and Jobs in India
Career Paths, Top Colleges in India, Skills, and Salaries
Top Career Paths in Psychology
Clinical psychology deals with the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders. Clinical Psychology emphasizes the cognitive, emotional, biological, psychological, social, and behavioral aspects of human behavior, in a cultural context. Clinical psychology is by far the largest sub-domain of psychology in terms of jobs and career opportunities. Though clinical psychologists work in medical settings (hospitals, drug rehabilitation centers, NGOs etc.), they are not allowed to prescribe medicines like medical doctors (or psychiatrists). Given the emotional pressures and increasing complexity in human lives, the demand for good clinical psychologists is likely to increase.
Counseling psychology deals with facilitating personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span. The field focuses on emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organizational concerns. Counseling psychologists help people recognize their strengths and find resources to cope up with daily life problems, including educational and career issues. These people do not necessarily go through with any (clinically proved) mental disorders. However, these people do struggle with their daily functioning. Counseling psychologists work in therapy centers, private set-ups, career centers, schools, NGOs, and organizations. This is another field whose demand is expected to rise as well.
Child / Developmental Psychology
Child psychology (also termed as Developmental Psychology) is a very broad area. This field of psychology deals with the study of how human beings develop over the course of their lifetime. Primarily, concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to deal with adolescence, adult development, and the entire lifespan. Child psychologists deal with the psychomotor, cognitive, emotional and social development of children and infants. Child psychologists deal with every aspect of child development that includes how children learn, think. Interact and respond to immediate surroundings and people. Child psychologists work in child therapy centers, schools, NGOs, and also play a big role in special education.
Sports psychology deals with the optimal performance and well-being of athletes and sportspersons. Sports psychologists can make a huge difference in an athlete’s performance, including his/her cognitive, emotional, motivational and physiological factors. It’s a new and rapidly emerging field of psychology. It’s very new in India. However, given the popularity of sports and a growing number of leagues and franchise based competitions, sports psychologists are bound to be in good demand. Sports psychologists can work with sports teams, sports coaching centers, academies, and various sports leagues.
Industrial / Organizational (I/O) Psychology
This specialization of psychology deals with the psychological theories and principles of workplaces and organizations. The specialty focuses on decimating principles of individual, group and organizational behavior and applying this knowledge to the solution of problems at work. The area covers job analysis, employee safety, employee training, job performance measurement, and employee hiring systems.
I/O Psychology has got two aspects. While the industrial side involves looking at how to best match individuals to specific job roles, the organizational side of psychology is more focused on understanding how organizations affect individual behavior.
Employers are always looking keen to recruit talented and skilled workers. But, hiring and remuneration of such professionals is always a challenge for companies worldwide. That is why companies put extra effort in skill upgrading and training of their existing employees. This puts the industrial psychologists in great demand globally. Therefore, I/O Psychology is one of the best career paths for getting international job roles. People specialized in I/O psychology can work as human resource development specialists, organizational consultants, HR managers, etc.
School psychologists are responsible for a wide range of issues working with students at various levels of their education. They support students’ ability to learn and also facilitate teachers’ ability to teach. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. School psychologists work with students, teachers, families and school administrators to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment.
Career counseling, also known as career guidance, is an applied branch of psychology that helps with choosing, changing, or leaving a career and is available at any stage in life. Career counselors are kind of similar to school counselors. But, Career Counsellors work with people of all ages at many different junctions in their career. In today’s age, several people complain about job dissatisfaction, work stress, lack of work-home balance, anxiety, depression, burnout, etc.
Career counselors are the best people to help students and professionals to deal with these issues. Moreover, career counselors are also very helpful when it comes to finding a new job, choosing the right career path, and career change.
Forensic psychology basically deals with the law and judicial aspects of society. Forensic psychologists usually work with jails, prisons, forensic labs, rehabilitation centers, police departments, law firms, schools, and government agencies. Forensic psychologists work in both criminal and civil cases. Forensic psychologists play a vital role in understanding the psyche of the criminal, motive of crime and also sometimes in the nature of sentencing. Civil cases involve divorce cases, especially where the child custody is in a question. Get to know the Career Journey of Meghana Srivatsa as a Forensic Psychologist.
Related Post: Career Paths in Forensic Science
Engineering psychology is very new and one of the least known fields of psychology. An engineering psychologist participates in the product design process; the final product can often be more practical, safe, pleasing, and more in demand by consumers. An engineering psychologist works in the product design process from the outset and eliminates the need to expensive re-design after product launch. For example, an engineering psychologist who employed by an electronics and home-appliances manufacturing company, will work with product designer and/or industrial engineer for designing consumer products like mobile, laptop, camera, and home appliances to determine features (size, shape etc.), placement of operating buttons and safety measures of such devices.
This field is gaining tremendous popularity in the US as the engineering psychologists are becoming a critical part of automobile companies, US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and NASA. Know more about careers in engineering psychology.
Consumer psychology is the study of why people buy things or prefers certain things over others. It basically studies how human thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and perceptions influence their buying process related to products and services. A consumer psychologist aims to find the underlying cognitive processes behind the consumer’s choices and their responses to marketing. Consumer psychologists closely work with marketing executives and sales people and help them figure out how to sell a product effectively. In today’s age of digital economy and e-commerce boom, consumer psychologists are in huge demand. They can help the companies and e-commerce sites on designing websites and product pages for converting visitors into customers. Consumer psychology has been very effective of late for boosting e-commerce sales. So, careers scope is definitely bright for this particular field.
Geropsychology (Geriatric Psychology)
Geropsychology is the field of psychology that deals with mental issues of elderly adults. With increasing age, people suffer from various disorders like depression, anxiety, dementia, schizophrenia, struggle to cope up with retirement life (including financial issues), social isolation & loneliness etc. Quite often people commit suicide as well. This makes the field of geropsychology the leader of all psychology fields. Geropsychologists counsel and encourage the older adults to live their lives normally by providing psychotherapies and interventions to deal with the age-related challenges and mental disorders.
Another challenge is this field is that the mental issues of the older adults often get overlooked by their children due to overlapping with the physical illness like hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, hearing loss, cataracts etc. This makes the geropsychologists even more special.
The field of geriatric psychology is expected to be in huge demand globally in the coming years. In the US and India, there is a huge demand for such professionals as not many students opt for this specialization. As per the American Psychological Association (APA), the US will need 5, 000 geropsychologists by the year 2020. As of April 2017, there are only 700 geropsychologists in the country. In India, around 15 – 20% of older adults (aged above 60) suffer from some kind of mental illness.
Neuropsychology is a specialized field of psychology and very much interrelated to clinical psychology. The field combines neurology (which looks at the physical aspects of the human brain and central nervous system) and psychology (which focuses on human behavior and thought process).
Neuropsychologists deal with the assessment and treatment of patients with brain injury or neurological disease. They evaluate cognitive deficits, while also being a part of the management, treatment, and rehabilitation of cognitively impaired patients. They also conduct research work towards the development of models and methodologies to be used in the understanding of normal and abnormal brain functions. More often than not, neuropsychologists are engaged in researching neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Schizophrenia, dementia etc. They investigate the cause and mechanisms of these diseases, along with potential treatments.
Related Post: Careers and Jobs in Neuroscience
The field of military psychology deals with military personnel and their families. Quite often military personnel suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, grief, anxiety, and sleep issues. Military psychologists perform psychiatric evaluations, assessment and treatment of mental and emotional disorders and provide counseling services to military personnel – both on active duty and retired. Military psychologists get employed by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Special Armed Forces and Para-Military forces.
Required Education for a Career in Psychology
There is no subject restriction for taking Psychology after 10+2. So, you can opt for any stream at the 10+2 level. However, it would be great if you study Psychology as an elective during your school. At the graduation level, you can study either B.A. or B.Sc. in Psychology. A Master’s degree is very much preferred for better career opportunities. However, a degree is not enough. This field demands several years of experience in order to see yourself earning fat paychecks. In few cases (e.g. Neuropsychology, Clinical Psychology or Counselling Psychology), a doctorate degree is desirable as well.
Top Colleges in India for Psychology
- Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi
- Jesus and Mary College, Delhi
- St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai
- Presidency College, Chennai
- Christ University, Bangalore
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
- Sophia College for Women, Mumbai
- Kamala Nehru College for Women, Delhi
- Mithibai College of Arts, Mumbai
- Fergusson College, Pune
- University of Calcutta, Kolkata
- Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
- K J Somaiya College of Arts and Commerce, Mumbai
- St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad
- Gargi College, Delhi
- Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi
- Bethune College, Kolkata
- Amity University, Noida
- Jai Hind College, Mumbai
- Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi
- University of Lucknow, Lucknow
- Wilson College, Mumbai
- Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow
- Mount Carmel College, Bangalore
- Loyola Academy, Hyderabad
- National PG College, Lucknow
- Women’s Christian College, Chennai
- Osmania University College for Women, Hyderabad
- Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
- Ashutosh College, Kolkata
- Galgotias University, Noida
- The National Degree College, Bangalore
- Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar
- Holy Cross College, Agartala
- DAV College, Kanpur
- VGZ College of Arts & Science, Mumbai
- NMKRV College for Women, Bangalore
- Flame University, Pune
- Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra
- KLE University, Belgaum
- Indian Institute of Psychology and Research (IIPR), Bangalore
- Loreto College, Kolkata
- Bheem Rao Ambedkar College, Delhi
- Madras School of Social Work, Chennai
- Sarojini Naidu Government Girls PG College, Bhopal
- Ravenshaw University, Cuttack
- DAV College, Chandigarh
- Sarojini Naidu Government Girls PG College, Bhopal, Ranchi
Top 10 Online Courses on Psychology for Career Progression (Higher Studies & Employability)
Psychology at Work – University of Western Australia
Required Skills for a Career in Psychology
- Written and verbal communication, including report writing and presentation
- Information technology
- Handling of data and statistics
- Analytical research
- Ability to work in teams
Career Scopes of Psychology in India
We are living in a fast-paced world these days. Complex relationships, stressful jobs, increasing expenses, competition, anxiety, depression, sickness are very common in today’s world. We are not immune from societal and global pressures and tragedies, and cannot insulate from them. Psychology offers solutions that are useful for helping human society as a whole. There are a lot of career opportunities in the field of psychology, and it does present great career scopes in terms of job satisfaction, intellectual pursuit, and personal development.