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Published by Afterschool.my on Sep 01, 2020, 03:42 pm
From assuming that psychology students can read minds to asking them for love and relationship advice, people often have many false stereotypes on what psychology students actually do. In fact, they often question, “what can you work as in Malaysia with a degree in Psychology?”
The truth is, a degree in psychology does not limit one to become a psychologist or a therapist only. There are many career pathways for psychology graduates to pursue!
Public relations managers strive to build and enhance a favourable image of a company with its employees, potential candidates, clients, potential customers, influencers and the public. They plan and implement public relations programs; design and review the online content in media announcements and media kits; and monitor corporate image frequently ensuring it is in compliance with company brand.
Political strategists design and direct political campaigns for politicians. They often specialize in certain competencies such as polling research, fundraising, public relations or speechwriting. In order to increase their clients’ support among voters, they may conduct investigation on voter biases, study voter behaviour and develop strategies for their clients.
If you wish to pursue this career, you may take political science as your minor to strengthen your capabilities in succeeding this role.
Human Resources Officers help to manage the organisation of the HR team and develop staff policy. Their goal is to ensure that the organisation employs the right balance of staff in terms of skill and experience. They also ensure that training and development opportunities are available to the staff for professional development. A degree in psychology would equip a candidate the necessary skills needed for this role such as communication and behaviour analysis skills.
Life coaches develop empowering relationships with their clients and help them to decide steps that they need to take to achieve their best potential. They help clients to identify their strengths and plan positive goals. Some life coaches also deliver personal development workshops for groups. To become a life coach, you may need to be accredited by a professional body to reflect your training (e.g. International Coach Federation).
Sports psychologists ensure the well-being of individuals, teams and organisations involved in sport and exercise. They work with athletes and sport teams from amateur to elite professional level, helping them to deal with the demands of the sport psychologically. Datuk Lee Chong Wei, who carried the hopes of over 30 million Malaysians, had also enlisted the help of sports psychologist to build his mental strength. As Malaysia is competing in more international sports competitions, sports psychologists are in high demand in Malaysia.
Counsellors provide a safe and confidential environment for clients to talk about issues they feel they cannot normally share with others. They listen to clients actively and offer them time, empathy and respect to talk about issues and problems that are troubling them. These issues include divorce or relationship difficulties, illness, bereavement, unemployment or job uncertainty and general anxiety. Counsellors may refer their clients to other sources of help if needed.
Social workers support individuals and their families through difficult times and help to protect vulnerable people from harm. They may work in homes, schools, hospitals, public sectors and voluntary organisations. They tend to specialise in supporting either children, families or vulnerable adults. It could be an emotionally challenging role as they often need to deal with their clients’ hardships.
Forensic psychologists work within the criminal and legal system. Not only they deal with prisoners and offenders, they also work with professionals in the judicial and penal systems as well as victims of crime. They help to rehabilitate prisoners and assess the risk of re-offending, suicide, self-harm or other high-risk behaviour. Besides, they also provide research-based evidence to develop policy and working practices and also provide evidence for parole boards and mental health tribunals.
In order to become a forensic psychologist, you will have to complete your bachelor degree in Psychology and choose criminal or forensic psychology in your postgraduate studies.
Generally, clinical psychologists assess and treat clients with a range of mental or physical health issues, conditions and disorders. They aim to improve the psychological wellbeing of their clients who may be facing conditions including anxiety, depression, neurological disorders, addictive behaviours and learning disabilities. Clinical psychologists often liaise with other professionals such as psychiatrists, social workers and counsellors when dealing with clients’ complex issues.
Neuroscientists focus on understanding and developing treatments for neurological issues. These include mental health challenges such as depression or schizophrenia, trauma on the brain such as stroke or head injury, diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as epilepsy or Alzheimer’s disease. Most neuroscientists complete their postgraduate studies in order to be employed by government departments, contract research organisations, pharmaceutical industry or universities.
Other than the jobs mentioned above, psychology graduates can also consider starting their career in business and management or marketing. Many branches of psychology are available for students to specialize in such as business psychology and political psychology. Hence, stop expecting psychology students to read your mind! They have much important things to do.
If you are interested in career prospects for other courses, you may wish to read:
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