What was the point in studying psychology?

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maven
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by maven »

I understand that sometimes it is nice to rant, and to feel the world is stacked against you, but don't let that override the actual facts when making your career decisions. I just read that last post, and it seems like another example of someone trying to skew the facts to their personal experience, and make external attributions about why they are finding it more difficult than the majority of successful candidates.

So for the record: The typical time from graduating with GBC to gaining a training place is 3 years. Most people get on within their first 3 applications. People who take longer than 5 years who are successful often chose to divert to do a Phd, start a family or try another career pathway. There is zero evidence that people who take longer to get on training find the course easier or feel more prepared or go on to be better CPs. Most people would say they got on when they were ready. And the selection process, is broadly successful in selecting people who pass the course and are retained in the CP workforce, even if it doesn't take on every candidate who could have been a CP. But it is a doctoral level training, and therefore selects candidates who are very academically able, and will be able to pass the taught and research thesis components as well as the placements. So getting a good mark in your degree is critical, and getting a 2:2 really stacks the odds against you.
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by RJParker »

maven wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:42 amThere is zero evidence that people who take longer to get on training find the course easier or feel more prepared or go on to be better CPs.
Is that because there is zero research into it? I've not looked but I can't imagine it has been extensively examined.
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maven
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by maven »

RJParker wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:03 pm
maven wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:42 amThere is zero evidence that people who take longer to get on training find the course easier or feel more prepared or go on to be better CPs.
Is that because there is zero research into it? I've not looked but I can't imagine it has been extensively examined.
I don't know of any, but that seemed to be the assertion the previous poster was making, when s/he said "those who take longer to get onto the doctorate are probably better prepared with more maturity, further qualifications, life experience, experience of overcoming adversity, etc". In terms of anecdotal reports on the forum over the 15 years we've been here, older and more experienced candidates seem to report similar concerns about coping with training, and plenty of those who progress quickly from undergrad to doctorate do just fine, so there doesn't seem to be any pattern of the kind claimed. We do often see good reasons that some candidates who feel very hard done by after years of repeated rejections do not get onto training, and hear back surprisingly often about forum users who have been problematic here also being problematic in their professional lives.
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Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare
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workingmama
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by workingmama »

I recall being asked to (along with a number of my training cohort) go along to our university doctorate open day to talk to potential applicants about our route to training. Our training group talked before we went along about the key messages we wanted to get across. We agreed that we wanted to highlight that:

Over half of our training cohort had never had an AP or voluntary AP or internship role in psychology, and that there were many alternative routes to CP other than via the AP type roles.

We gave our talks and the attending prospective applicants asked interesting and informed questions, until it came to the part when someone asked our respective routes to clinical psychology training. I watched people take copious notes as two of my colleagues in training listed their AP roles and what that had given them (all valid and worthwhile experience). I then talked about my route (no AP work, no vol AP work, no Masters, no PhD). All my adult pre-psychology jobs have been reasonably well paid (I took a significant pay cut to train) and interesting. I had other, equally valid professional experiences that I could evidence were transferable to those required for a CP trainee. I retrained in psychology via Open University (which really taught me to work!), applied to the DClinPsy pre-graduation (OU finish in the Oct/Nov exams, get results in Jan/Feb, and graduate in the summer) and was offered a place on first application. No one appeared to write notes (possibly I'm not that fascinating :D ), and one applicant said "Well, you're obviously the wild card entry, I'm not going to listen to you". It was said in a laughing tone, and I appreciate that the applicant was trying to be witty, but it suggested that some applicants are very invested in believing that there is one, set training route to the DClinPsy despite other evidence. I wonder if this offers people a sense of control and certainty in a very uncertain situation ("If I do X then I'll get Y").

My own experience, and my anecdote suggests that this will not be taken on board by anyone desperately invested in believing that there is a one size fits all way to get to the DClinPsy, is that I did not ever have to do unpaid voluntary work and it was unneccessary to do most of the things that people worry about. I did not have anyone fund me a Masters/living costs. I have been financially independent since 16. I do not come from a wealthy background. I earned enough to have a mortgage and pay for my family of (at that point) a spouse and two children, at times on my salary alone pre the doctorate. One of my previous jobs was hugely important to me, made (I think) a meaningful contribution to the world, and I would likely not have come to CP if the government hadn't decided that they wanted to cut that sector's funding, meaning that it was definitely time to look at a plan B. I'm not desperately bright, just a solid high average. I learned to study well and effectively, and learned to debunk my belief that only very clever people can get a good degree classification (can't get enough of the first few pages of Thomas Dixon's How to Get a First). (I feel honestly compels me to share that I also had temper tantrums whenever I didn't understand the undergrad work and would sometimes throw my textbook out the window or sulk at my spouse for a couple of hours - my OU degree that I did whilst working full time was a delight for them, truly :oops: ).

Trying to get on the doctorate clearly sucks for many people. It's stressful wanting something badly that we feel is out of our reach or control, and it can trigger all sorts of existing beliefs we have about ourselves, and whether we are worthwhile, wanted, respected or validated in the world. We can invest a lot of belief that acceptance to the DClinPsy means that we are somehow, as individuals, rated as 'good enough' by some external other (and psychodynamic fans amongst us could have a field day thinking about who we think of as the 'other' who we seek validation from :wink: ). My own take is that I found being accepted on to the course very validating, and that was great for years until I realised I had to do some long work on why I actually sought validation in the first place (spoiler - qualifying from the DClinPsy didn't scratch my validation issues).

I'm not going to address the comments about CPs seeking a soft science route to a prestigious job as that's already been fully discussed previously, but I did want to 'hear' and respond to the anger, bitterness, and pain that I perceived in the posts about the struggle to get on the DClinPsy. I expect I might have felt much the same had I not been offered a place quickly, and it's easy for those of us that didn't struggle to not imagine our own thoughts, defences and responses if we too had been in that position. All I can offer up to that is to suggest that you try to be kind to yourselves during application. Remind yourselves that clinical psychology does not define you. Remember all the other things that you're good at and used to love doing. Have a Plan B. Make the Plan B something that becomes equally sought after and sufficiently challenging and enjoyable that it begins to hold equal validity for you than clinical psychology. I love my job. I feel deeply lucky to work where I do, with some of the most inspiring clinicians I've met, but I can envisage being equally happy, committed, and valued in another role. Sending love to those who can make use of it right now.
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by Sheep21 »

I'm in my early 30's, i'm only going by my own experience, and agree and disagree with comments I have been reading here. Our lecturer in our final year of the psych undergrad told us how competitive the CP doctorate is. Maybe it was mentioned before but I can't remember it was, even so, if I'd have known how competitive it is, I'd like to think I would have worked harder to secure more solid grades though maybe I wouldn't (I was still maturing with organisation mismanagement) but perhaps everything is meant to be as it is meant to be. Living in the countryside and coming from a working class family, I worked many voluntary roles and worked in retail to keep me afloat during and after secondary school, college etc. Learning how to drive allowed me the opportunity to seek out paid psych roles in the city. So I applied once for the doctorate and thankfully got great feedback that my grades were holding me back, 2.2 in my undergrad and masters (I got some good grades but because I had a block to statistics, still finding my studying style/ organisation style and challenges in life happened - these things set me back) but I got a loan out and did another masters and worked my socks off and got a first and then life happened again but I'm back in the game and looking forward to applying the 2nd time round.

I think it's great there's a poll to see how many times people applied until they got onto the CP doctorate but I'b be curious to see a poll to see how many times people have applied and not secured a place. I definitely understand the anger and frustration coming from the OP and I don't know if they did everything 'right' in terms of following out eligibility, like attaining a high 2.1 or 1.1 and getting relevant experience. I do think it's a difficult road though perhaps less if you have your head screwed on and follow the instructions needed to succeed and are super focused, motivated and work hard. I do think people need to reflect and take personal responsibility where it's due, like me not working harder in school, but compassion is allowed too and acknowledgement that the system isn't the easiest going. Financially it's been a struggle, but I take personal responsibility for that for not being a great saver but this field is not a financially secure one either with an abundance of voluntary jobs or low paying AP/PWP posts. And I say low paying as for a single person who would like a mortgage someday, it's not realistic. Anyway, i'm blessed to have amazingly patient parents who let me live with them while I find my feet after a major life event happened, some people aren't so lucky. I think when I get accepted to the doctorate I'm going to appreciate it so much more because of the struggle but also because getting here made me who I am. I'm stubborn so my only plan B is going up the PWP ladder until I secure a place but I know I'd regret it more not trying than giving up. I'm passionate about psychology and yes it sucks that I'm in my 30's and on a very different journey to most of my friends who have their career, their house, their partner and kids etc. That's social comparison theory for you but to be fair a bit of reality. But I can't change the past and I'm growing more mature and wiser from my life experience which money can't buy. "A mistake that makes you humble is better than an achievement that makes you arrogant". I do believe everything will fall into place as it should do when the time is right. But you do you.
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by sammo12 »

I completely agree and empathise with the original poster imonkk. Psychology as a profession and as an undergraduate degree course need a major overhaul. There is vast dishonesty from universities, employers and the BPS around the career prospects of psychology graduates and the value of a degree in the subject.

Univerisities/BPS

Marketing for undergraduate psychology courses give the impression that a degree carries some weighting after graduation, particularly with the eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), which is almost something of a misnomer. For me definitely, I thought GBC was a genuine gateway into professional practice, similar to when medical doctors finish med school and start on their foundation programme with a provisional licence to practice.

I thought as a graduate with an accredited degree and GBC, I could apply for assistant psychologist jobs etc and I would be considered for the position on that basis alone. No questions of whether I had the right amount of knowledge or previous experience with the client group. If an accredited degree and GBC alone don't qualify you for a graduate job, then they are not fit for purpose. Can you imagine if a newly qualified doctor was turned away from foundation training because they didn't have previous experience in a similar role!? Yet this is what happens to psychology graduates all the time and this is the first thing that needs to be overhauled. A psychology degree should enable students to be suitably trained and qualified to immediately start graduate psychologist positions.

- As an example, the University of Reading (supposedly) have a 4-year undergraduate integrated Masters course which once completed, qualifies you to work as a PWP.

One of the main selling points of a psychology degree is that you develop transferable skills and knowledge that fit nicely into other professions. We're told a psychology degree gives you broad career prospects aside from the psychology route - teaching, public services, marketing, advertising, journalism, wider research roles etc. Not true. The knowledge we possess on for example, persuasion, messaging and influence is negligible and irrelevant to what recruiters in advertising are looking for. Take a look at a graduate advertising vacancy - it will either ask you to have a specific advertising degree, English degree or substantial previous experience in the sector, at positions that are paid far below a graduate salary. But you have a psychology degree? So what, mate?

It's the same with the other professions that I mentioned. A book publisher isn't going to care that you can write a good essay in APA format. The other applicants with English degrees can also write well, and probably better than you. A company's business/analytics department isn't going to care that you can use SPSS to analyse experimental data, or that you managed a group project in 2nd year. All the other applicants with business/maths/statistics degrees can do the same, and probably better than you.

For universities and the BPS to tell students that a psychology degree can lead you into these careers, is mis-selling plain and simple.

Employers

I have not yet come across a graduate psychology job vacancy where they haven't asked for previous experience in a similar role. As I said earlier, if a psychology degree was truly valued and carried weighting, then employers would not be asking for previous experience. Furthermore, what happened to training new recruits up? Employers nowadays seem to want all recruits to be able to hit the ground running. I think this is unfair and unrealistic. Why can't an employer recognise for example the skills, knowledge and experience already gained from a degree, and commit to invest in an employee's professional development where gaps exist?

The job responsibilities in graduate roles are excessive too, now. Clinical, administrative, research, and teaching responsibilities are often cited in vacancies. Not to mention the challenging environments that these roles are often based in. And for what salary? Less than £25k usually. Exploiting eager graduates wanting a step on the career ladder.
___________________________________

Yes, before you ask, I am bitter. Bitter that I spent 4 years on a clinical integrated Masters degree, on the promise that it would give me that edge to not only get a graduate job at the end of it, but also get a place on the DClinPsy. However, 7 years after graduating I have yet to achieve an AP job or anything which could be considered a graduate position. I unfortunately fell into the social care sector (which is also totally messed up). I naively hoped that a few years supporting adults with learning disabilities would count as good enough clinical experience to complement my 4 year Masters degree to get an AP job or even on to the DClinPsy. Nope. I have since become a care home Team Leader, worked in a children's home and completed certificates in counselling and life coaching, but have got nowhere. I now work in an admin role and still not earning over £25k. That's what I've got to show for, 7 years after graduating and nearing my 30s. Oh and of course there's the student loan...

I love psychology, but as a career choice, it is has been soul-destroying. :(
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by lakeland »

I don't think your point about GBC really holds up, because how can an academic degree alone be enough to know if someone is suitable for clinical work? Are you suggesting that everyone with a degree with GBC should be immediately offered an AP post if they want one?

Perhaps there is something to be said about the generic nature of Psychology degrees but then I also think that it's important to have a sound academic and theoretical knowledge of Psychology before you work clinically in an applied role.
sammo12 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:09 am Employers nowadays seem to want all recruits to be able to hit the ground running. I think this is unfair and unrealistic. Why can't an employer recognise for example the skills, knowledge and experience already gained from a degree, and commit to invest in an employee's professional development where gaps exist?
On your point about employment - and I don't think this is great for us as a profession - services sadly don't have time to nurture people as much as they once did, so when I am recruiting, I do want someone who isn't going to cause me too much stress and will add value to the service. Sometimes I'm even relieved when I don't have a trainee, because the initial level of support they need to get up and running is time I don't always have.
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by miriam »

sammo12 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:09 am I completely agree and empathise with the original poster imonkk. Psychology as a profession and as an undergraduate degree course need a major overhaul. There is vast dishonesty from universities, employers and the BPS around the career prospects of psychology graduates and the value of a degree in the subject.
Whilst I do think many people have idealistic career expectations and you are probably far from alone, I'm afraid I agree with Lakeland. You seem to have some massively unrealistic ideas and to think that universities and the BPS are responsible for your misconceptions rather than for what they actually said. I'm sure it is tempting to turn your bitterness onto external targets, but I'm not sure they've done what you claim. Perhaps you can cut and paste or link us to some of this "vast dishonesty" so we can see it? Otherwise it just sounds defamatory.
sammo12 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:09 amMarketing for undergraduate psychology courses give the impression that a degree carries some weighting after graduation, particularly with the eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), which is almost something of a misnomer. For me definitely, I thought GBC was a genuine gateway into professional practice, similar to when medical doctors finish med school and start on their foundation programme with a provisional licence to practice.
Degrees open access to posts that require a graduate, but they don't guarantee you employment. GBC merely says the degree meets the minimum standard for academic knowledge of psychology, it doesn't say that is the only requirement to progress. AP posts aren't the next step in a multi-stage training program that works like a conveyor belt with equal numbers entering the bottom and leaving the top. They are jobs, and highly competitive ones at that. And the numbers of AP posts (?) and the numbers of doctoral training posts (about 800) are massively smaller than the numbers of psychology graduates securing GBC (about 20,000). Some steps are competitive and not guaranteed. Just the same as lawyers compete for pupilage after they get a law degree, and academics compete for posts and have no guarantee of reaching professor.
sammo12 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:09 amI thought as a graduate with an accredited degree and GBC, I could apply for assistant psychologist jobs etc and I would be considered for the position on that basis alone. No questions of whether I had the right amount of knowledge or previous experience with the client group.
You are considered, but when there are 200 applicants for a post, you also have to be the best amongst them to get it. To think otherwise is to miss the basic facts of the situation.
sammo12 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:09 amIf an accredited degree and GBC alone don't qualify you for a graduate job, then they are not fit for purpose.
This is total nonsense. The vast majority of people on an English degree don't go on to be writers. The vast majority of history graduates aren't historians. University degrees are academic qualifications that show your intelligence and self-direction, and a whole load of general skills. The majority of psych grads go into HR or care work or research or business/management or any other job or graduate role. Your idea of their purpose was incorrect.
sammo12 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:09 amCan you imagine if a newly qualified doctor was turned away from foundation training because they didn't have previous experience in a similar role!? Yet this is what happens to psychology graduates all the time and this is the first thing that needs to be overhauled. A psychology degree should enable students to be suitably trained and qualified to immediately start graduate psychologist positions.
In what world are there 20,000 graduate psychologist roles? You haven't even considered the basic maths, or the nature of any competitive profession. Your examples show a lack of realism and what appears to be a remarkable level of entitlement, that a degree will automatically walk you into a job. There are almost no careers in which this is the case, and they all involve a shortage of suitably qualified applicants, rather than a massive excess of candidates compared to roles. A book publisher also won't care if you have an English degree. They only care whether your novel is brilliant, and the vast majority of wannabe authors also don't get to achieve their dreams. Psychology graduates can and do go into all the careers that are listed. But that doesn't mean they walk in there effort free on the day after their degree. They gather and demonstrate applicable skills and then work their way up.

As UCAS say:
Over 75,000 students were studying this subject in 2014/15.

72% of graduates went directly into employment.

Top graduate destinations:

Human health and social work
Education
Retail/administrative and support
Legal, social, and welfare professions
Business, HR, and finance
Marketing, PR, and sales
It seems pretty clear that there are more psych grads each year than there are practitioner psychologists in the UK, that most psych grads get unrelated jobs, and that employment is not guaranteed.
sammo12 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:09 amEmployers nowadays seem to want all recruits to be able to hit the ground running. I think this is unfair and unrealistic. Why can't an employer recognise for example the skills, knowledge and experience already gained from a degree, and commit to invest in an employee's professional development where gaps exist?
Employers have no problems filling all of their vacancies with people who can hit the ground running. In fact they could fill them ten times over, and have to have means to select the best candidates fairly, which is what they do. The system works from their point of view. It is your expectations that are not aligned with the reality. Likewise with your view of salaries or responsibilities.
sammo12 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:09 amYes, before you ask, I am bitter.
That seems clear.
sammo12 wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:09 amI unfortunately fell into the social care sector (which is also totally messed up). I naively hoped that a few years supporting adults with learning disabilities would count as good enough clinical experience to complement my 4 year Masters degree to get an AP job or even on to the DClinPsy. Nope. I have since become a care home Team Leader, worked in a children's home and completed certificates in counselling and life coaching, but have got nowhere. I now work in an admin role and still not earning over £25k. That's what I've got to show for, 7 years after graduating and nearing my 30s.
I love psychology, but as a career choice, it is has been soul-destroying. :(
You made choices based on unrealistic expectations, and were disappointed they were not met. That is a shame, and I can see you feel cheated as a result. I suspect you are really angry at yourself for not achieving your aspirations, and wondering where to go from here*. But as you have found out, clinical psychology is a highly competitive career path and that means that not everybody gets to succeed, and those that do have to put in a lot of effort into tailoring applications, acquiring transferable skills and demonstrating their competencies. That is why we always advise people to enjoy the journey and to be realistic about the level of competition.

*I'd say to follow what you really love doing, and what you want to do right now and think less about what might be on the horizon
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by alexh »

Also, the comparison to medical students and going on to foundation is ill-founded as it is one of the few courses where undergraduate numbers are controlled by the government. If there were a clinical psychology undergraduate course then numbers would likely have to be controlled in a similar way and you can envisage that it would be amongst the most competitive undergrads for entry requirements.

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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by MiniChestnut »

I sympathise with your position sammo12, I really do, and know that I have had some similar thoughts myself. But I do think lakeland and Miriam raise some good points.

I think one of the contributing factors can be that as psychology graduates working in a healthcare setting, we often work with nurses, OTs, physios, etc, all of whom could have done a 3-year degree and came out qualified for their role. And this can cause us to feel that studying psychology was a bit of a dead-end in comparison. But these courses are the ones that are unusual, not psychology, and they spend a lot of time on placement where they've developed strong clinical skills. Psychology graduates are actually in a pretty similar boat to our peers that have studied Sociology, English, History etc. Maybe the rise in more "vocational" degrees is leading to some of these frustrations, and I can definitely see the benefits of doing a course like this if you're sure that's the career pathway you wish to take. But I certainly don't think the worth of a degree is solely determined by it's ability to land you effortlessly into a job afterwards.
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by hawke »

It does make we wonder if there would be scope for a graduate scheme for aspiring psychologists, where the NHS/HEE could centrally fund band 4/5 AP posts and band 6 associate/trainee posts and recruitment/allocation be managed regionally. A bit like some of the IAPT courses or the current doctoral courses, where you apply to the university and get allocated a service.
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by mungle »

I also wonder if this is a fairly normal reaction to the realities of graduation in a world that promotes university strongly to school leavers.

I can remember facing the reality that I wasn't qualified for anything after graduating (long before I studied or thought about a career in psychology) and struggling to get my first graduate job and seeing many friends face the same struggles. I had hoped the messaging might have changed over the last couple of decades but I remember the message being work hard at school, invest your energy, time and money (a price that has since sky-rocketed) in higher education and there will be graduate jobs available. To my parents' generation, a university education was a valued route to success with only 5% off the population attending to university, so it was a dream many parents held for their children. This message was hardly disputed by universities who needed bums on seats. I'd be interested to hear a more up-to-date version of the current messaging young people receive.

The reality becomes more evident during and immediately after university. It is hard realising that we are yet another graduate, skilled for nothing in particular yet and competing against a vast number of other graduates. I experienced a range of emotions but also had to realise that to potential employers I was at best, perhaps bright enough and mouldable but had no special skill that was in great demand (this differs to vocational courses such as nursing or medicine where they are qualified to do a job where there are national and International shortages).

The harsh truth is that graduates from most subjects are plentiful. Many will try several avenues, adjust their expectations and find something that suits that they can then grow in and gradually develop valued skills. For psychology graduates this might be in a range of careers as outlined by Miriam above. Not all the psychology graduates wanting to work in marketing will land the milk-round graduate scheme but many will work their way up in time, perhaps securing a marketing assistant role after having gained other administrative work. Clinical psychology is popular and competitive and it not intended to be the destination for all psychology graduates (and many psychology graduates would much prefer a different career).
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by miriam »

Indeed, my much-recommended animation of music and life* sums up that idea of how fulfilled we will be at some future point when we just complete the next step...

*I've linked an excerpt from the original Alan Watts lecture, rather than the animation for a change. Whilst I do believe in education for education's sake, and finding (and working towards) your point of most impact in the world, it is a good reminder to not only focus on the destination, but to make sure you sing or to dance whilst the music is playing.
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by ell »

I remember graduating with my low 2:1 psychology degree and then applying for a research assistant post with a very famous psychologist. I felt like I stood a good chance of getting the job, I told my parents about it, in my head I already had it. Needless to say I didn't even get an interview. Logically if you'd examined it with me I probably would have known that I didn't stand a chance, but I think that first experience of rejection is a difficult one for anyone. And my belief that I would stand a chance just because I had a degree was probably a bit of a defence against the idea of potential rejection. I also think that because the job title had the word 'assistant' in it I was thinking I wasn't aiming that high. (I can't remember all my thought processes though, it was a long time ago, indeed, in the days when handwritten job applications were acceptable, plus the memory is a little embarrassing for me!)

It's a shame when people (and the recent poster is not the only one) invest so much time and energy and money into something that they thought was going to be something it wasn't. I can understand the feelings of 'bitterness'. Part of me wants to say "well you should have done your research", but I was 17 when I choose and applied to my degree course, I was hardly in the position to be doing extensive research into different careers. Plus I started my degree with a different career path in mind (teaching), and I had done my research into what that needed (degree plus PGCE). It wasn't until the teaching plan was ditched that I started doing research around what was required for applied psychology careers, and by then I was already half way through the degree. So then I wonder whose responsibility is it to make sure undergrads know the career paths they are setting their hopes on. Is it the university's job to address all the different career hopes that they imagine their students to have? (Because it's not just about clinical psychology, there are lots of other careers that people can have unrealistic expectations about)

For what it's worth, clinical training places are increasing at the moment, so perhaps that is good to hear for those who think more posts are needed. However, I don't like the rationale that we need to create applied psychology posts because there are lots of able graduates out there without the jobs they want. The NHS needs to create those posts to meet a clinical need. And yes of course we need lots of psychologists, but we also need more nurses and OTs and physiotherapists and S&LT and social workers, and I would argue more desperately so. I wonder if we should be helping psychology graduates move into those careers a bit more.
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Re: What was the point in studying psychology?

Post by miriam »

Indeed, Ell. There are lots of ways of being part of the NHS (or voluntary, social impact or private sector) and part of the sources of help and support for people with psychological distress or additional needs. It isn't CP or failure, but a whole spectrum of career options in which we can achieve success (in terms of impact and a reasonable level of income and job security).

I hope that this website/forum goes some way towards making the information about the career path more transparent for people who do try to look into things. The amount of traffic we get suggests it probably does.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com
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