Choosing the Career path I want to pursue. Journalism, conservation, psychology

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Postgradbio
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I am a 23 year old Biology graduate, who has recently quit my graduate job. This was something I thought a lot about and wasn't a decision that was taken lightly. I took the job with the mentality that I'd just do it whilst I was looking for something else, but I became stuck in a rut and didn't have enough time to properly apply for other roles and decide on a new life direction.
I am currently deciding between 3 career paths. I'm aware this sounds as though not much tought or passion can be behind these professions as there are three, but these three options are the result of years of rumination and thought. None of which are particularly conventional and all will require risk and effort, money and time. I feel at this point I only really have this one chance so it's something I want to be sure of.

1. Writing. This is probably my main passion in life. I feel as though I must write every single day, and I do. It's more a need to write. I have hundreds of filled note books and word documents etc and I've always done this from being a small child. It's just I'm unsure of what career I can fashion from this - it seems as though the only career I can realistically get from this would be journalism. But jobs are very difficult to get in journalism and are very low pay and there doesn't seem to be any real progression. It seems as though your starting wage doesn't really increase and I'm not sure it would provide me with enough money to stustainabily live from. Upon researching this I've found many people are no longer classing journalism as a career (as it lacks progression).

2. Ecology and conservation. This is why I originally went into the field of biology from my love of nature and animals. I'd love any job that allowed me to spend a large part of my time outdoors. I have an I depth knowledge of animals and would love to work on projects particularly abroad working along side animals. I'm aware this route is also extremely competitive and would require a lot of volunteer work. I have been looking at turtle conservation programmes over seas and would love to do this but it's extremely expensive.

3. Psychology. Psychology has also always been a passion of mine and I'd like to become a psychologist. But I'm aware careers in psychology take years of training. I would need to do one year conversion course which would cost me around £10,000 then I would need to do around 6 months of voluntary work in mental health and then I would need to try to secure a funded PhD and complete that over the course of 4 years. This does seem like a costly and long process but it also seems like the most conventional and secure once I'd be in the job.

I'd be really grateful if people could share their thoughts and opinions on these different options to help me with my decision.
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Milkround Student & Graduate Careers
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(Original post by Postgradbio)
I am a 23 year old Biology graduate, who has recently quit my graduate job. This was something I thought a lot about and wasn't a decision that was taken lightly. I took the job with the mentality that I'd just do it whilst I was looking for something else, but I became stuck in a rut and didn't have enough time to properly apply for other roles and decide on a new life direction.
I am currently deciding between 3 career paths. I'm aware this sounds as though not much tought or passion can be behind these professions as there are three, but these three options are the result of years of rumination and thought. None of which are particularly conventional and all will require risk and effort, money and time. I feel at this point I only really have this one chance so it's something I want to be sure of.

1. Writing. This is probably my main passion in life. I feel as though I must write every single day, and I do. It's more a need to write. I have hundreds of filled note books and word documents etc and I've always done this from being a small child. It's just I'm unsure of what career I can fashion from this - it seems as though the only career I can realistically get from this would be journalism. But jobs are very difficult to get in journalism and are very low pay and there doesn't seem to be any real progression. It seems as though your starting wage doesn't really increase and I'm not sure it would provide me with enough money to stustainabily live from. Upon researching this I've found many people are no longer classing journalism as a career (as it lacks progression).

2. Ecology and conservation. This is why I originally went into the field of biology from my love of nature and animals. I'd love any job that allowed me to spend a large part of my time outdoors. I have an I depth knowledge of animals and would love to work on projects particularly abroad working along side animals. I'm aware this route is also extremely competitive and would require a lot of volunteer work. I have been looking at turtle conservation programmes over seas and would love to do this but it's extremely expensive.

3. Psychology. Psychology has also always been a passion of mine and I'd like to become a psychologist. But I'm aware careers in psychology take years of training. I would need to do one year conversion course which would cost me around £10,000 then I would need to do around 6 months of voluntary work in mental health and then I would need to try to secure a funded PhD and complete that over the course of 4 years. This does seem like a costly and long process but it also seems like the most conventional and secure once I'd be in the job.

I'd be really grateful if people could share their thoughts and opinions on these different options to help me with my decision.
Hello,

It's great that you have an idea of the kind of jobs that would interest you - that's a good start!

Regarding the options you have discussed, I'll outline my thoughts on these below...

1. Journalism: If you want an alternative to the traditional routes into journalism, there are plenty of careers that you can pursue that involve writing. For example, working in advertising and PR heavily involves copy and content writing. Likewise, with the digital age comes great opportunities - if you get really good at what you do, you can build a career in freelance writing - although you really do need to be an exceptional writer and work hard to build your own brand to achieve this. Otherwise, you could become a 'digital journalist', writing content for websites - career progression here would involve helping manage the website, managing website editors etc.

2. Ecology and conservation: have you considered doing a Masters or PhD? A career in research can be incredibly rewarding, and allows you to pursue what you're most interested in, without having to put lots of voluntary time in or pay a lot to do an overseas conversation programme.

3. Psychology: There are a few options here - you could go down the clinical route if you wanted, as you have mentioned - but it's worth noting that there are other careers that lend themselves nicely to people with an interest in psychology. For example, roles in HR & recruitment or marketing both require you to work closely with other people - take a look at our article on careers in psychology for more ideas.

Any thoughts?

Chantelle & The Milkround team
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Juichiro
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(Original post by Postgradbio)
I am a 23 year old Biology graduate, who has recently quit my graduate job. This was something I thought a lot about and wasn't a decision that was taken lightly. I took the job with the mentality that I'd just do it whilst I was looking for something else, but I became stuck in a rut and didn't have enough time to properly apply for other roles and decide on a new life direction.
I am currently deciding between 3 career paths. I'm aware this sounds as though not much tought or passion can be behind these professions as there are three, but these three options are the result of years of rumination and thought. None of which are particularly conventional and all will require risk and effort, money and time. I feel at this point I only really have this one chance so it's something I want to be sure of.

1. Writing. This is probably my main passion in life. I feel as though I must write every single day, and I do. It's more a need to write. I have hundreds of filled note books and word documents etc and I've always done this from being a small child. It's just I'm unsure of what career I can fashion from this - it seems as though the only career I can realistically get from this would be journalism. But jobs are very difficult to get in journalism and are very low pay and there doesn't seem to be any real progression. It seems as though your starting wage doesn't really increase and I'm not sure it would provide me with enough money to stustainabily live from. Upon researching this I've found many people are no longer classing journalism as a career (as it lacks progression).

2. Ecology and conservation. This is why I originally went into the field of biology from my love of nature and animals. I'd love any job that allowed me to spend a large part of my time outdoors. I have an I depth knowledge of animals and would love to work on projects particularly abroad working along side animals. I'm aware this route is also extremely competitive and would require a lot of volunteer work. I have been looking at turtle conservation programmes over seas and would love to do this but it's extremely expensive.

3. Psychology. Psychology has also always been a passion of mine and I'd like to become a psychologist. But I'm aware careers in psychology take years of training. I would need to do one year conversion course which would cost me around £10,000 then I would need to do around 6 months of voluntary work in mental health and then I would need to try to secure a funded PhD and complete that over the course of 4 years. This does seem like a costly and long process but it also seems like the most conventional and secure once I'd be in the job.

I'd be really grateful if people could share their thoughts and opinions on these different options to help me with my decision.
3. The path to clinical psychologist is long and unreliable. There are only a few unis offering the clinical psychology course and each of those unis only have 10 places. For every places there might well be hundreds if not thousands of applicants. You are in for a long ride.
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blitzchika
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(Original post by Juichiro)
3. The path to clinical psychologist is long and unreliable. There are only a few unis offering the clinical psychology course and each of those unis only have 10 places. For every places there might well be hundreds if not thousands of applicants. You are in for a long ride.
Do you know whether becoming an occupational psychologist or health psychologist is as competitive? I'm also worried about job opportunities for health psychologists
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Juichiro
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(Original post by blitzchika)
Do you know whether becoming an occupational psychologist or health psychologist is as competitive? I'm also worried about job opportunities for health psychologists
Hello! I don't think the demand for occupational psychologists is as great (and stable) as the demand for clinical and educational psychologists. On the other hand, I don't think occupational psychology is as popular as the other two (hence less competition). The same applies to health psychology. Job-wise, health psychology jobs are mostly (and probably, only) found in NHS jobs while occupational psychology does not really have a main place where the jobs get advertised. I think it is more of a self-employed field. But for all of them you need a Masters and working for at least 2 years under supervision. It is a tricky game. Less competitive fields like health and occupational are also less in demand and more competitive fields like clinical and educational are more in demand.
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blitzchika
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(Original post by Juichiro)
Hello! I don't think the demand for occupational psychologists is as great (and stable) as the demand for clinical and educational psychologists. On the other hand, I don't think occupational psychology is as popular as the other two (hence less competition). The same applies to health psychology. Job-wise, health psychology jobs are mostly (and probably, only) found in NHS jobs while occupational psychology does not really have a main place where the jobs get advertised. I think it is more of a self-employed field. But for all of them you need a Masters and working for at least 2 years under supervision. It is a tricky game. Less competitive fields like health and occupational are also less in demand and more competitive fields like clinical and educational are more in demand.
Thanks for the information!
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blitzchika
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(Original post by Juichiro)
Hello! I don't think the demand for occupational psychologists is as great (and stable) as the demand for clinical and educational psychologists. On the other hand, I don't think occupational psychology is as popular as the other two (hence less competition). The same applies to health psychology. Job-wise, health psychology jobs are mostly (and probably, only) found in NHS jobs while occupational psychology does not really have a main place where the jobs get advertised. I think it is more of a self-employed field. But for all of them you need a Masters and working for at least 2 years under supervision. It is a tricky game. Less competitive fields like health and occupational are also less in demand and more competitive fields like clinical and educational are more in demand.
Are counselling psychologists in high of a demand as clinical? They do similar things
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Juichiro
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(Original post by blitzchika)
Are counselling psychologists in high of a demand as clinical? They do similar things
I would not say that they do similar things at all. Clinical psychology is more of a medical field (heavily leaning on the biological side) while counselling psychology is more of an advisor/therapeutic role (think psychotherapist or mental health specialist - this is a more "humane" role where you deal with people in a more personal way).
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(Original post by Juichiro)
I would not say that they do similar things at all. Clinical psychology is more of a medical field (heavily leaning on the biological side) while counselling psychology is more of an advisor/therapeutic role (think psychotherapist or mental health specialist - this is a more "humane" role where you deal with people in a more personal way).
Ah I see (I forgot the question mark oops). I was wondering as when looking at available jobs people ask for either counselling or clinical. I hear that clinical is competitive but I don't hear much about counselling so I was confused
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Juichiro
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(Original post by blitzchika)
Ah I see (I forgot the question mark oops). I was wondering as when looking at available jobs people ask for either counselling or clinical. I hear that clinical is competitive but I don't hear much about counselling so I was confused
Counselling psychology has a wider range of jobs so I think it is good for employability purposes. However, the salary varies depending on the role while a clinical and educational psychologist salary is more steady (you can expect to earn about £30K and then it will increase with experience).
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blitzchika
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(Original post by Juichiro)
Counselling psychology has a wider range of jobs so I think it is good for employability purposes. However, the salary varies depending on the role while a clinical and educational psychologist salary is more steady (you can expect to earn about £30K and then it will increase with experience).
Ah I see thanks a lot for your help. I've been researching this for ages. I think I'm gonna try to become a counselling psychologist (even though it seems to be the more expensive route than something like clinical)
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Juichiro
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(Original post by blitzchika)
Ah I see thanks a lot for your help. I've been researching this for ages. I think I'm gonna try to become a counselling psychologist (even though it seems to be the more expensive route than something like clinical)
I think counselling is actually cheaper because getting into clinical is harder (involves Masters plus indefinite period working in a relevant position so you can get into one of the few doctorates whose successful completion makes you eligible to apply for the status of clinical psychologist) while counselling involves Masters and (I think 2) years working supervised.
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