10 Fields of Psychology to Consider for Your Career

Psychology field type cover

Psychology is one of the most fascinating subjects as it enables us to learn about the human mind and its behaviors. So you want to become a psychologist or perhaps a therapist but are confused as to what field to major in? As of today, there are multiple branches of psychology and related studies available. The reason why there is such a spectrum of subfields is due to the nature and complexity of the cases and issues faced by modern society, each type deals with a separate cause. To make your search narrower, here’s the list of 10 main fields of psychology in which can help you build a strong career and enable you to improve people’s lives.

Different fields of Psychology for a Career

1. Clinical psychology: This field of psychology is one of the most common types, you can even say it is general psychology. It is the study, assessment, and treatment of illnesses caused by mental health, behaviors, and disabilities. Here psychologists work with clients who suffer from anxiety, depression, and/or substance abuse. This field uses both non-applied and applied psychology, meaning both research and its application fall under this category. Some clinics hire post-graduate students but must require a doctoral degree.

2. School psychology: Upon completion of this study, psychologists can look for helping students, typically from kindergarten to high school, in terms of their academics, social, and other essential behavior skills to be successful students. The psychologist will often work with teachers and parents along with the child. It is not limited to this age group as college students seek advice as well under the category of student psychology and a master’s degree is necessary.

Child psychology

A school psychologist working with a child.

3. Forensic psychology: Forensic psychology is one of the most differentiated fields of psychology and a doctoral degree is necessary if one aims to work in this field. Psychologists here usually deal with the legal actions that are the result of psychological errors by applying the basic principles of psychology. Forensic psychologists either work with individuals who suffer from some sort of mental illness who may have performed actions that are illegal or they work in police stations and prisons. Their work is also slightly different as they provide testimonies, asses children subjected to abuse, and recommend the next legal action their client must take. If legalities are what make you tick along with the human mind, this is your best choice.

4. Comparative psychology: If you are an animal lover, this might be the perfect field for you. Though it does not necessarily work for improving the lives of animals, it does include extensive work with the animals. As psychologists here study the mental and emotional behaviors of animals and most of the research is in contrast with human behavior.

5. Counseling psychology: As the name suggests, it provides counseling to all age groups in order to improve their daily lives by attempting to relax the client from their mental stress or ongoing issues in their lives. This includes a type of therapy session as well. One can also start educating new counselors after having subsequent experience in this field. Of course, a master’s degree is required here but in some cases, a doctoral degree might be asked as well.

6. Educational psychology: Unlike school psychology, this field solely focuses on the learning process of a child. It goes in-depth with the cognition and other emotions involved in learning. Here one aims to find the factors that may be affecting the learning of a child or help parents understand the learning disability of their child and improving their life from there by incorporated new ways of learning into their lives.

7. Sports psychology: Having sports in its name may appear to have less to do with mental processes and more with physical performance, it is not the case. Sports psychologists have intense pressure to keep the mental health of the athletes in check, usually, they work with professional teams and their coaches. It is not limited to but it includes, helping a sportsperson through a failure or establishing trust and understanding among their teammates. A plus point of this study is that psychologists are able to tour with the team throughout the world. Though to become a sports psychologist a doctoral degree is a must.

8. Business psychology: Compared to other fields on this list this one is a tad bit different. While other psychological studies are distinct as well, they have a similar aim to help people from various walkways of life. But business or industrial psychology aims to enhance the business and its profits. It does have an aspect of improving the work environment so employees can be more productive. This field also includes organizing the groups in such a manner that maximizes productivity and efficiency. Also, set realistic goals for a business so that they can stay motivated and work in a healthy manner.

Business psychology

A team working with a business psychologist.

9. Rehabilitation psychology: Psychologists with this degree, work with clients who have suffered injury or a disability due to an accident or a disease. Overcoming physical challenges is, of course, one of the important factors and main goals here, but rehabilitation psychologists help injured people overcome their emotional and mental issues which keep them down and make them feel unmotivated to change. Usually, they work with people who have suffered extreme traumas to the brain, spinal cord, or loss of a limb. It is doctorate-level work.

10. International psychology: International psychology or cross-cultural psychology is the study that applies the knowledge of psychology to understanding the behavioral and emotional differences one may undergo upon visiting a new place or encountering a new culture. It also focuses on how a native culture affects the behavior of an individual who is never exposed to other cultures. This is mostly non-applied psychology.

Granted there are more fields of psychology that can provide a fulfilling career. However, this list is comprised of psychological fields that are growing rapidly and will most likely continue to grow. So these are great options if one aims to become a successful psychologist.


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