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Top 6 Interesting Career Options in Psychology in India [2024]

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16th Jan, 2024
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Top 6 Interesting Career Options in Psychology in India [2024]

Psychology is a field that’s been around for several centuries and has had an immeasurable impact on the lives of people across the world. As a field of theory, it’s informed (as well as changed) our imaginations of what our minds are made of, how they function, and why humans work the way they do.

Similarly, as a field of practice, it has taught us new ways to appreciate how humans relate to each other and to the world around them. In several turns, psychology is both a science and an art, and it is with specific reference to its context that its nature can be determined in a particular case. 

When thinking about career options in psychology, it would be instructive to keep in mind all its various facets and sub disciplines, since it’s not one field as much as it is a combination of multiple disciplines and approaches intersecting with each other to create something unique.

At the undergraduate level, you get exposure to various branches, such as clinical, cognitive, developmental, educational, social, statistics, neuroscience, and organization/industrial.

Also another important factor to keep in mind is that doing an undergraduate degree in psychology doesn’t mean committing to the course for the rest of your life! Considering the overlap that psychology has with various other disciplines, it’s just as likely that there are many career options that rely heavily on psychology but use concepts and techniques from other fields as well.

With that said, let’s take a look at some career options in psychology!

Psychology – Dominant Careers

As we mentioned earlier, some careers will more closely use psychology in their everyday operations than other careers. In this section, we will cover careers that primarily deal with psychology on a daily basis. Here, core psychology and psychological concepts become a mainstay, and everything you do revolves around leveraging these concepts to get the results that are required.

1. Psychologist

As a psychologist, you will be responsible for taking care of people across the age spectrum as well as making sure that your patients are doing alright across all levels of existence (personal, social, and collective).

While often used as an umbrella term, there is a lot of scope for specialization here! If you are interested in how organizations function and how this impacts the mental health of those who work there, you can consider becoming an industrial/Organizational Psychologist.

If you’re curious about sports and wonder how sportspersons deal with their anxieties and the tremendous pressure to perform, then you can be helpful to them as a Sports Psychologist.

If crime fascinates you, as well as the mental disposition required to commit these crimes, then you can also become a Forensic Psychologist, whose job will revolve around criminality and the possibility of these crimes being committed by certain people. Really, the possibilities are endless! 

The impact of psychologists is very high in today’s times. With loads of pressure, mental health is decreasing, and depression is rising. Just like when any other body part falls ill, we go to a doctor; equal attention should be given to mental health as well.

Psychologists are professionals who understand the problems of their patients and find a way for them to cope with their problems. Thus enhancing the quality of lifestyle. They support their patients to achieve healthy behavior and prevent them from building further difficulties.

Psychologists apply a scientific approach to address their patient’s issues. There are certain skills they should possess, such as-

  1. Active listening
  2. Communication
  3. Patience
  4. Empathy
  5. Care
  6. Ethics
  7. Research
  8. Constant learning attitude
  9. Collaborative
  10. Emotional Stability

Post-psychology career options are numerous, especially as a Psychologist such as Neuro Psychology, sports psychology, counselling psychology, Clinical Psychology, and many more.

Checkout: Psychology vs Psychiatry

2. Psychotherapist

A psychotherapist’s primary work is to listen to their client and help them make sense of their various mental health issues. This could be at the level of early childhood trauma, or unsettling events that they encountered when they were teenagers and still have not been able to work through on their own. They help clients with depression, borderline personality disorder, narcissism, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and more.

Now, depending on the person’s inclination in terms of thinking, a psychotherapist can pursue one of the many sub-disciplines within the larger field, including cognitive behavior therapy, psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapy, hypnotherapy, and much, much more! At the end of the day, what will matter the most is whether the therapist is able to build an emotional connection with the person who is their client.

Psychotherapy has various benefits such as building confidence, coping with anxiety, increasing self-esteem, improving navigation in society and many more.

A psychotherapist applies the calculated strategy to build a good ecosystem for the patient. They must be a good listener and keen observant to carry out the procedure further.

The average salary for a psychotherapist is 4.7 LPA, and the salary exceeds 7.6 LPA (Source). The compensation could be more than this owing to experience, skillset, and many other factors. It is considered one of the sought-after jobs after MA psychology.

3. Counselor

A counselor’s function is similar to that of a psychotherapist, but their concern is much more immediate. Instead of exploring at length a person’s behavior patterns and thinking tendencies, a counselor tries to work through the immediate reality that the client is confronted with and brings up to the counselor. Counseling can be specific to certain parts of one’s life, such as marriage, family, relationships, work, and more.

A counselor can also guide people to choose the right careers, and help them in their struggles with addiction, should that be the presenting complaint. A counselor needs to be able to listen to a client’s thoughts and feelings with utmost attention, empathize where empathy is required, and ask questions where that will be the more effective tactic. Much like psychotherapy, there are multiple modes of orientation when it comes to counseling as well.

4. Educational Psychologist

An educational psychologist’s role can be defined as something of a mix between that of a typical psychologist and a usual teacher. Since a usual psychologist cannot position themselves at the intersection of their client’s psyche and the various education systems that their client has to navigate, this task becomes an extremely specific requirement that can only be fulfilled by educational psychologists.

An educational psychologist understands a student’s mental bandwidth and gives them suggestions about what will work for them in the long run. Their approaches are usually sustainable so that their client can benefit from education to which their minds cannot directly adapt. 

The educational psychologist activates the potential of the students by understanding their troubles and addressing them using a scientific approach. The students are nurtured and cared for by educational psychologists as they are tender minds.

 There are various courses after MA psychology one can pursue or various books the professionals can read in order to deliver the sessions better. Educational psychologists measure the learning progress of the students and identify the gaps between low academic performance and students’ mental health.

Educational psychologists also help teachers by giving them new and innovative strategies and teaching methods they can introduce in their classrooms in order to teach the students better and include every kind of student in the learning process.

You can also check out our free courses offered by upGrad in Management, Data Science, Machine Learning, Digital Marketing, and Technology. All of these courses have top-notch learning resources, weekly live lectures, industry assignments, and a certificate of course completion – all free of cost!

5. Psychology Professor

The maxim, “those who can’t do, teach,” doesn’t hold true here – if it were ever true, that is. A psychology professor is someone who’s done at least their Master’s in Psychology and has decided that it will be a great use of their time to open the minds of young students to the wonder of psychology. And indeed it will be since teachers can make all the difference when it comes to giving youngsters life-changing advice!

 MA psychology scope is not limited to practice in society rather the students can also choose the path of academia and divulge themselves more into the field of psychology.

Much like other fields in psychology, there is a wide range of choices here when it comes to specialization – and you’ll teach classes that are most likely in the same line of thinking as your specialization. This being said, most psychology professors also have a Ph.D. which further boosts their eligibility as well as credibility.

6. Research Psychologist

A research psychologist conducts experiments that further what we consider to be the baseline understanding of humans. For example, experimental psychologists have recently discovered that babies as early as 1 year old can recognize a difference between themselves and a stranger that they are interacting.

Earlier, this age limit used to be thought to be 18 months. So, this is what a research psychologist does every day! Depending upon the field they’ve chosen to go into, the nature and frequency of experiments will change. But ultimately, it will all contribute to the fountain of knowledge that flows and will continue to flow, informing us all about the nature of psychology!

The research psychologists increase the existing knowledge pool. They interact with the human body on a daily basis. They deeply observe and understand human behaviour.

They create a wider impact in society such as, how the teachers should be leading their classrooms, ways how parents can raise their children of various age groups, discipline methodologies, the environment of jail and many more applications.

There is various methodology a research psychologist performs in order to carry out their research such as keen observation, having a theory, hypotheses, etc.

Read: Skills needed to be a successful psychologist

7. Child Psychologist

Child psychologists are experts in dealing with behavioral issues in children and adolescents. They focus on understanding the reason behind cognitive delays. Moreover, they can help identify learning disabilities in young kids. After that, they devise effective treatment plans for them.

In today’s world, many parents and their children regularly seek the guidance of child psychologists. These professionals help in addressing concerns such as ADHD and other developmental disorders.

It is one of the psychology career options that will let you work in schools. Apart from that, these professionals are available in hospitals and private settings. These professionals don’t recommend medications to their patients. Instead, they make use of family therapy and play therapy to help these children improve their conditions.

8. Industrial Psychologists

Several corporate workplaces recruit industrial psychologists to give a morale boost to employees. These professionals can help improve the job performance and satisfaction of employees. Industrial psychologists can help an organization resolve turnover and productivity issues.

Industrial psychologists can use their expertise to align human behavior with organizational systems. They often help design training programs and other strategies that can positively impact the organization as well as the employees.

These professionals also conduct surveys and interviews to review statistical data. It helps them understand the issues of an organization and suggest relevant solutions. They often work closely with the HR department to implement several employee and business-oriented strategies.

9. Forensic Psychologists

Forensic psychology combines psychological concepts with the intricacies of legal investigations. By analyzing human behavior, these professionals can decipher the underlying motives behind criminal acts. They also offer valuable insights into the mindset of offenders and witnesses.

In order to aid in investigations effectively, they employ psychometric assessments and behavioral observations. Forensic psychologists are sought after by various organizations such as law enforcement agencies and the court system. It is also one of the psychology career options for working in consulting firms.

Their expertise and understanding of the legal system are crucial in simplifying complex legal procedures. Therefore, it is imperative for them to possess advanced training and extensive experience in their field.

These professionals also help with the rehabilitation of criminals in society. Giving criminals time to reflect on their wrongdoings isn’t enough. Criminals should have professionals by their side to help them reflect on their crimes.

Forensic psychologists have a huge role to play in making criminals reflect on their past actions. Moreover, these professionals help them adjust to societal norms and lead a normal life.

Apart from assisting criminals, forensic psychologists also help with the psychological profiling of individuals. These professionals can predict which individuals are likely to become a criminal and harm society.

Forensic psychologists are often called in before releasing a convict from the prison. Depending on the assessment of these professionals, it is determined whether an individual is ready to go back to society.

10. Sports Psychologist

This is one of the perfect psychology career options for sports enthusiasts. Sports psychologists possess an understanding of the human body along with the mind. These professionals have deep knowledge of the interactions between the mind and the body.

Ideally, sports psychologists need to undergo fitness training rituals themselves. Therefore, they understand the emotional toll of chasing fitness on the body as well as the mind.

Sports psychologists usually have athletes as their patients. These professionals need to ensure the mental well-being of athletes. This positively impacts the performance and behavior of athletes.

Sports psychologists also help drive athletes toward their goals. They are often responsible for helping athletes fulfill high self-expectations. Therefore, sports psychologists can make or break the career of an athlete.

The field of sports comes with rewards as well as disappointments. Sports psychologists help professional sports personalities deal with both seamlessly.

11. Addiction Counselor

An addiction counselor focuses on professional counseling services for people struggling with substance abuse issues. These professionals begin their job by assessing the addiction habits of their patients. After that, they provide guidance and curate tailored plans to help individuals overcome their addiction issues.

These professionals often engage their patients in group counseling sessions and support group activities. The counseling sessions can also be one-on-one at times. These initiatives help addiction patients develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Addiction counselors also work closely with the families of their patients. It helps the professionals understand how addiction issues have affected the relationships of patients. Moreover, addiction counselors help create personalized relapse prevention strategies for individuals.

These professionals maintain client records meticulously and document sessions. It helps them track the progress of the patients. Moreover, addiction counselors often need to work with several authorities to increase awareness regarding addiction.

12. Social Worker

Becoming a social worker can also be one of the psychology career options. Social workers help in enhancing the overall mental health and wellness of individuals. From hospitals and schools to community health clinics, social workers need to work in different settings. They are also appointed by non-governmental organizations and social service agencies.

Social workers often perform thorough evaluations of patients and provide them with guidance. They also help individuals find mental health experts to deal with issues like domestic abuse and depression.

Social workers often need to collaborate with psychologists and psychiatrists to deliver care to individuals and communities. Moreover, social workers with a background in psychology often develop policies and spread awareness to improve the mental well-being of communities.

13. Career Counselor

It is one of the psychology career options revolving around helping people discover their right career path. A career counselor will help you find and pursue your career dreams. To do so, these professionals will begin by performing a thorough evaluation of your interests, skills, and personality traits.

Career counselors also need to provide their clients with different resources to pursue their career goals smoothly. They often help clients with job search strategies and creating resumes. Moreover, these individuals might need to provide interview preparation tips and teach individuals how to network in the professional field.

People also think about visiting career counselors while trying to switch their career paths. These professionals always remain updated about the latest trends in the job market to help their clients make the right decisions.

14. Behavioral Therapist

One of the psychology career options to help people with emotional challenges is to become a behavioral therapist. These professionals closely study the behavioral patterns and tendencies of their clients. They work with clients to understand their behavioral objectives and create tailored strategies to achieve them.

A behavioral therapist often helps clients lead a content life by getting rid of behavioral obstacles. These professionals will rely on evidence-based strategies to correct unhealthy behaviors in their patients. For instance, they can help patients overcome self-destructive behaviors and embrace new routines.

Behavioral therapists often use cognitive therapy to help their patients. Other techniques used by behavioral therapists to help their clients include aversion therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy.

15. Occupational Therapist

Among different psychology career options, you can also consider becoming an occupational therapist. These professionals help their clients perform daily activities with ease by overcoming physical, emotional, and mental issues. An occupational therapist will have to work closely with their clients to help them with daily activities with more confidence.

Occupational therapists usually need to specialize in mental health. It allows these professionals to help clients cope with anxiety and fear while performing daily activities. Hospitals and rehabilitation centers often hire occupational therapists.

16. Case Manager

Among different psychology career options, a case manager can be an offbeat role. These professionals need to support the emotional and mental needs of their clients. Moreover, they need to help their clients find appropriate resources for comprehensive well-being.

Case managers will have to work closely with clients to determine their exact needs. The needs can be varied, ranging from financial assistance to housing and healthcare. Case managers will have to chalk out proper strategies to help clients find what they need.

Case managers also reach out to the families of their clients as and when required. Moreover, they often seek government assistance to help their clients find what they need.

In a nutshell, they serve as a bridge between their clients and other specialists. For instance, case managers can help their clients find social care specialists, doctors, or therapists.

17. Neuropsychologist

While searching for interesting psychology career options, you can pursue the role of a neuropsychologist. These professionals focus on understanding the mechanism of the brain. A neuropsychologist will look into different parts of the brain. They help determine which part of the brain is triggering what kind of behavior or action.

These professionals need to possess a thorough understanding of the different parts of the brain. They take part in a lot of neuropsychological studies to discover new things. For instance, they might have to figure out which part of the brain works when someone reveals they are sad.

Neuropsychologists often work with pharmaceutical companies to discover new remedies. Even though it is a complex field, neuropsychology can be a highly rewarding career path.

Psychology – Affiliated Careers

Now that we’ve taken a look at careers with psychology as a main focal point, let’s turn our attention to careers in which knowledge of psychology is a fundamental requirement, but which use that knowledge to achieve other means. Since dealing with people is something that every job entails, these careers specifically work out very well for psychology graduates, since they usually have an edge in this department over most other people! MA Psychology job opportunities are numerous and some of the additional information is given below-

1. Careers in Different Forms of Advertising and Media 

The inherent advantage of understanding the human psyche can be leveraged in an impressive manner when it comes to careers in advertising and media. At the core of both these industries is the target audience which needs to be reached, and if someone understands what the target audience wants, then all the better! And not just at that level – psychology students tend also to be sensitive people who can communicate honestly and with conviction.

This means they can become great writers, visualizers, production heads, and more! Moreover, they can make their mark in Marketing as well, whether as copywriters, designers, or as touchpoints in client servicing – really, the opportunities are endless and the possibilities infinite! 

Psychology professionals understand various types of mindsets better and they know how to work with them better. Psychology professionals or students can market their products or advertisements in such a way that their product grabs positive attention.

This technical bent of mindset is not possessed by any other person rather it requires a specific bent of the mindset that can think critically and execute.

2. Careers in Communications and Human Resources 

To be an effective communicator doesn’t just require a thorough understanding of the language in which one will communicate. It also requires that you understand who you will be communicating to and whether what you will say will be received by your intended audience. This is why psychology students tend to make for great resource persons when it comes to doing Public Relations or handling internal or external communications of big MNCs.

Putting oneself in another’s shoes comes naturally to most psychology graduates, and in this field, in particular, that skill is greatly valued. Moreover, human resources is also an area where psychology students can make their mark.

By showing people that their needs are being heard and worked upon, psychology students make for very effective HR managers as well, and can extend their field of expertise to professional development, recruitment, employee satisfaction and training, and more! 

3. Careers in Management and/or Business

Seeing as some parts of psychology make extensive use of data in the form of statistical analysis, it will come as second nature to most psychology students to know that most businesses favour data-driven decisions – something that they already understand from their years of studying psychology! Therefore, they can smoothly transition into a career where they’re managing people and simultaneously making data-driven business decisions.

In fact, when it comes to intra-company policy, they will also be able to create more holistic policies that take care of the people who work within the company as well. Considering all this, it’s no surprise that they can start their own businesses as well, using all the knowledge that they have gained from studying psychology in combination with any other interests they may have, to create something new and unique for all!

Now that we’ve seen what possible career paths await those who are considering various career options for psychology, it’s important to mention something that is true not just in this field, but for all fields. A career is not made in one or two years – but rather it’s something that keeps getting created as and when you do your work every single day.

So if you’re currently confused about where you’re headed, don’t get overwhelmed by the plethora of options in front of you! Just take it one day at a time and see which direction seems the most comfortable as well as challenging for you, and then slowly start taking steps in that direction. In no time, you will find that you have the career you’ve always wanted!

Where Should You Begin?

Taking the first steps in your psychology career need not be an all-consuming concern! If you already have a university degree, then you’re well set to begin with, and you may think about expanding your qualifications a bit. Alternatively, if you’re just starting out, you’re probably looking for something that best suits your needs as a beginner.

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Sandeep Pereira

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Responsible for working with the various teams and other management to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies and set up new programs at upGrad. With a demonstrated history of working in the EdTech industry.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Which psychology is demand in India?

Psychology subfields that are in demand in India are mentioned below- 1) Clinical psychology, 2) Criminal psychology, 3) Child psychology, 4) Forensic psychology, 5) Counselling psychology, 6) Neuropsychology

2Does psychology have scope in India?

Yes, psychology does have scope in India. With the rise of mental health awareness, the taboo behind mental health is decreasing. And the professionals are in demand as they are skilled to provide guidance to patients.

3What is the highest salary of a psychologist in India?

The highest salary that a psychologist can procure is 7.5 LPA. This may change owing to experience, skills and many more factors.

4What is a cyber psychologist?

Cyber psychologists focus on mind and behavior and figure out the solutions to problems arising out of human and digital interaction.

5How do you know if psychology is for me?

Below mentioned are the signs that tell the psychology is for you- 1) You are an empath, 2) You are an active listener, 3) You are to provide solutions to people’s issues, 4) You are a source for trusted advice, 5) You listen without making any judgements.

6What’s a forensic psychologist do?

They better understand criminal behavior and aid the legal process by applying their psychological expertise, and research.

7 Do criminal psychologists go to the crime scenes?

Yes, sometimes they need to accompany the police to the investigation site for assessing the evidence.

8What is an example of forensic psychology?

Custody evaluations, child evaluation, parental evaluation. Counselling criminals and counselling victims are all examples of forensic psychology.

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