Why Psychology for Students: The Future and Scope of the Field
Psychology has almost always been a fascinating subject for many, and it is indeed encouraging to witness students showing an interest in pursuing a career in psychology. Such a recent increase in such curiosity towards the subject could be attributed to the exposure through various social media platforms, as well as a greater receptivity as well as awareness of psychological issues and concerns within our daily parlance.
The following are some of the points which might help students understand ‘Why’ they could opt for a career based in psychology:
1. Immense scope of the subject. First of all, it is important for students who are interested in the subject to be well-aware of the need and scope of psychology in today’s times. Given the high rates of prevalence, 1-5 people worldwide have been identified to be needing the help of a mental health expert at least once in their lifetime. Further, the modern-day lifestyle and pressures are increasing the need and role of psychological experts in the contemporary world.
2. The need in the Indian scenario. India specifically has over 300% shortage of psychologists. Considering the stigmatization associated with mental health, it is all the more necessary for us to encourage pursuing psychology, with the larger objectives of creating sensitivity and awareness about the field.
3. Explore the applications of psychology. It is important for students to think beyond the textbook, and explore various upcoming fields of super specialties within the subject of psychology. Some of these could include Psycho-oncology (psychology in cancer care), Expressive-Arts based therapy, Marital therapy, Family therapy, School psychology, Psychoanalysis, Sport psychology, Organizational psychology, Criminal and Forensic psychology, Environmental psychology, Fashion psychology, and the list could go on.
4. Build on personal characteristics and attributes. In addition to the learning and training required for psychology, there are also certain personal attributes which are almost prerequisites for an individual entering the profession. Some of these could include a high interest and motivation, a dedication towards the career, being a keen learner, while also developing the ability to empathize and relate to others.
5. Seek practical exposure and field trainings. Understand that psychology is an established and recognized science. Therefore, it is essential for you as students of this field to be proactive in seeking practical exposure within the field. We need to encourage young minds to transcend the boundaries of the textbooks, and instead apply their theoretical knowledge to an actual clinical or non clinical setting. Seeking internships and supervision from practicing professionals is one of the best such options in order to increase one’s awareness and experience of seeing psychology and psychological principles being implemented in action in an actual field setting.
6. Keep yourself up to date within the field. Remember, psychology is a growing field, with new findings and advancements in progress. Therefore, it is essential for students who are aspiring to build a future within the field to keep themselves updated with the recent happenings, research advancements and developments within the field, and remember that it is a lifelong learning process.
7. Don’t forget to focus on your own self. Working in the field of psychology is not only focusing on others, but also applying the same to work on one’s own self. In fact, understanding oneself is often a prerequisite to understanding as well as relating to others. Further, the field of mental health involves a lot of physical as well as mental investment by the individual, and therefore it is essential to pay attention to our own health. Taking out time as a respite for the self is important to ensure our own physical and psychological well-being in the long run.