christyjoseph
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Hi, I'm in year 14 and making choices for UCAS. I'm really interested in pursuing psychology, doing a PHD and become a clinical psychologist, however alot of people have tried to dissuade me saying it's very difficult to even get into the PHD scheme, that it takes atleast 7 years to reach my goal and that it's not a great career to pursue.Overall, it's making me doubt myself. I was wondering how your experience was studying psychology, the pros and cons, how likely is it to get a job and overall any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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marinade
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Clinical Psychologist DClinPsy/DClinPsych - 14% of those that apply get on it.

PhD in Psychology (totally different thing and different outcome) - more readily achievable, although funded PhDs are rare. These days if you are so inclined to acquire around £80,000-100,000 of debt there are even student loans for PhDs.

It's a very difficult question to answer as I have no idea what your other aspirations are, personality, what your other so called careers you are comparing to clinical psychologist. If you failed to get on the DClinPsy you could still have jobs you find very interesting such as assistant psychologist, academia, Psychological Wellbeing Practictioner, CBT therapist etc. Mental health nurse. Other totally different things. (some require extra training too). You'll probably find yourself in them on the way to a DClinPsy anyway.

Also the 7 years (likely to be longer actually), it depends what you are comparing that to. If you're comparing it to medicine, dentistry, teaching, nursing, pharmacy, engineering each of those have their ups and downs. Most professions go on and on about the long training, but this is usually set in a time machine where they are comparing themselves to 'school leavers' rather than people who've been to university for 3 (or even 4 years which is more common than people think). I hang around with a load of professionals at work that often talk of their 'extra year', unfortunately some are blind to the fact that a lot of people that work with them have degrees and sometimes spent more time studying than they have. It's the modern world. Anything like Clinical Psychologist which is a protected title and highly regulated is going to get a premium in terms of pay/prestige vs everyone else in general employment.

A lot also depends what you think the 'typical' graduate does as your base comparison. So assuming we're talking 3 year degrees, what do you think Psychology students do after their degree, what do they earn? Psychology graduates and a lot out of uni earn way less than people think they do. A lot do jobs like work in charities, support worker, schools, some get on PWP training, office work, the usual graduate stuff like retail and barista. Is an extra 3 or 4 years such a big deal then? Or maybe it is, I don't know. Usually people get into more higher paid jobs 2-7 years after graduating. In Psychology it's very common now to have a vast amount of work/volunteering experience (compared to other graduates) and a master's degree. This will get you a lot of low paid jobs easily in the general employment market.
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Little Popcorns
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(Original post by marinade)
Clinical Psychologist DClinPsy/DClinPsych - 14% of those that apply get on it.

PhD in Psychology (totally different thing and different outcome) - more readily achievable, although funded PhDs are rare. These days if you are so inclined to acquire around £80,000-100,000 of debt there are even student loans for PhDs.

It's a very difficult question to answer as I have no idea what your other aspirations are, personality, what your other so called careers you are comparing to clinical psychologist. If you failed to get on the DClinPsy you could still have jobs you find very interesting such as assistant psychologist, academia, Psychological Wellbeing Practictioner, CBT therapist etc. Mental health nurse. Other totally different things. (some require extra training too). You'll probably find yourself in them on the way to a DClinPsy anyway.

Also the 7 years (likely to be longer actually), it depends what you are comparing that to. If you're comparing it to medicine, dentistry, teaching, nursing, pharmacy, engineering each of those have their ups and downs. Most professions go on and on about the long training, but this is usually set in a time machine where they are comparing themselves to 'school leavers' rather than people who've been to university for 3 (or even 4 years which is more common than people think). I hang around with a load of professionals at work that often talk of their 'extra year', unfortunately some are blind to the fact that a lot of people that work with them have degrees and sometimes spent more time studying than they have. It's the modern world. Anything like Clinical Psychologist which is a protected title and highly regulated is going to get a premium in terms of pay/prestige vs everyone else in general employment.

A lot also depends what you think the 'typical' graduate does as your base comparison. So assuming we're talking 3 year degrees, what do you think Psychology students do after their degree, what do they earn? Psychology graduates and a lot out of uni earn way less than people think they do. A lot do jobs like work in charities, support worker, schools, some get on PWP training, office work, the usual graduate stuff like retail and barista. Is an extra 3 or 4 years such a big deal then? Or maybe it is, I don't know. Usually people get into more higher paid jobs 2-7 years after graduating. In Psychology it's very common now to have a vast amount of work/volunteering experience (compared to other graduates) and a master's degree. This will get you a lot of low paid jobs easily in the general employment market.
You said compared to other degrees you’ll have a lot of work experience compared to other graduates and that this will get you a lot of low paid jobs?

How? Won’t it stand you in good stead to potentially get well paid jobs too just not titled ‘clinical psychologist’?

What do you mean low paid?

What job do you do?
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marinade
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(Original post by Little Popcorns)
You said compared to other degrees you’ll have a lot of work experience compared to other graduates and that this will get you a lot of low paid jobs?
Yes, it's very common for Psychology students to have a lot of work experience compared to other degrees. If you want an article I can drag one out, if you want some stats saying in actual fact Psychology grads have good employment rates (a bit of a wishy washy definition when you look into it as the standard government measure is six months after and you could be in a job that totally sucks).

(Original post by Little Popcorns)
How? Won’t it stand you in good stead to potentially get well paid jobs too just not titled ‘clinical psychologist’?
In theory. A lot of that depends on where you live and how you network as well as other things. If you live somewhere with a very thick jobs market like London, Oxford, Manchester, Cambridge and are highly mobile then you'll have a very different set of opportunities to say a Psychology graduate in a village in County Durham, the welsh valleys, Cumbria, various dying towns in lancashire, yorkshire and the midlands.

The problem with the economy in this country is it is an hour glass economy, there are a vast number of low paid and insecure jobs and not much in the middle. To get to the higher jobs you've got to transition to a middle job somehow and then the higher ones. That's very difficult in the UK economy at large and especially so in general employment.

(Original post by Little Popcorns)
What do you mean low paid?
I'm talking minimum wage plus around a pound. Some would go further and take that into the low £20ks. Some people really like these jobs for a while, but it's often not what they want to do.

(Original post by Little Popcorns)
What job do you do?
I work in a pharmacy.
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marinade
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(Original post by Little Popcorns)

How? Won’t it stand you in good stead to potentially get well paid jobs too just not titled ‘clinical psychologist’?
If you have any really good ideas to get lots of Psychology graduates well paid jobs, then suggest away.

I think you are reading my post as more negative than it was - it isn't. If someone really wants to do a DClinPsy then why not go for it, they'll probably get another interesting job they may like along the way even if they fail. It's the whole conversation about comparisons with the city of London, medics and so on that's the difficult bit and everyone has different expectations. I think regret comes into things for a lot of people.
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Little Popcorns
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(Original post by marinade)
If you have any really good ideas to get lots of Psychology graduates well paid jobs, then suggest away.

I think you are reading my post as more negative than it was - it isn't. If someone really wants to do a DClinPsy then why not go for it, they'll probably get another interesting job they may like along the way even if they fail. It's the whole conversation about comparisons with the city of London, medics and so on that's the difficult bit and everyone has different expectations. I think regret comes into things for a lot of people.
I’m asking to see if you have any valuable info/tips not to challenge you. I don’t want to do Clinical Psychology... I’m interested in other areas. I just want to highlight that you cannot right of a natural progression. Although people won’t be in high paid jobs at 25 they might end up climbing up the career ladder to a equally well paid job in the long term. If they carry on in a steady upward trajectory even if they do start on a low salary to begin with.
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Nihilisticb*tch
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year 14???
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marinade
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(Original post by Little Popcorns)
I’m asking to see if you have any valuable info/tips not to challenge you. I don’t want to do Clinical Psychology... I’m interested in other areas. I just want to highlight that you cannot right of a natural progression. Although people won’t be in high paid jobs at 25 they might end up climbing up the career ladder to a equally well paid job in the long term. If they carry on in a steady upward trajectory even if they do start on a low salary to begin with.
You can do most things with a Psychology degree, with caveats and strong ones about where your location is.

Cannot assume a right of natural progression or deny?

They might end up climbing upwards later. Might. Will all do so? No. There are now massive datasets of longitudinal studies done on graduates and there will be more of this in the future, measuring where they are 2, 5, 10 years after graduating.

Take the LEO study which is innovative. It found a quarter of all graduates earned less than £20,000 ten years after university.

https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...re-low-earners

The thing about that is the changes in the jobs market the last ten years mean I think this sort of thing will become more common.

I don't see much of a steady upward trajectory for many people. I see a lot of retail and bar work, zero hour contracts, schools work - people with 1st class degrees, MScs in Psychology, substantial work experience and minimum wage jobs for years after graduating.

As I said why is this? You can't have an upward trajectory for a lot of people if we're an hour glass economy with not many jobs in the middle. However it's become quite off topic.
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