Careers: Psychology vs English Degree Watch

User148
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I have several questions and I'd find it incredibly helpful if someone could provide some information to me, regardless of how bitter it is.

What concerns me is the set of skills I get from an English degree. It is considerably more narrow than the broad range you get from Psychology (statistical analysis, report writing skills, objective critical analysis).

For this reason, I am considering embarking a Psychology degree. But first it'd be helpful to know :

1) Is a psychology degree scientifically reputable enough to be accepted onto a pHD program and get into research within an industry setting? (Academia seems like a risky choice)

2) Will I still be able to get into the same fields as with an English degree? (Publishing, Editing, Media)

The reason I don't want to do a hard science degree (biology, chemistry) is because I don't want to continue Chemistry A-Level. I'm predicted an A in it, but I don't enjoy it enough to bear another year.

Some general advice would be really helpful too

Thanks!
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ltsmith
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1) What PhD program? What research field? Why is it 'risky'?

2) Yes.
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DrSocSciences
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In terms of the skill set, what matters is it’s breadth and relevance to your intended career. Work out what you’re aiming for first.
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User148
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(Original post by ltsmith)
1) What PhD program? What research field? Why is it 'risky'?

2) Yes.
For research field, I'd say behavioural neuroscience. I'm not sure what you mean by PhD program - could you give me some examples please?

I believe it requires a lot of persuasion for funding and the salary is taken out of the funding. If there isn't enough funding, there isn't much salary.
I don't believe it's as stable as a job in industry, but then again, I'm not certain. Either way, industry would still be my go to route.
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User148
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Also, wouldn't an individual with an English degree outcompete an individual with a Psychology degree in fields such as publishing and media?
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marinade
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(Original post by User148)
Also, wouldn't an individual with an English degree outcompete an individual with a Psychology degree in fields such as publishing and media?
I would respectfully point out that the figures for an undergrad degree in Psychology v English, that ten years after graduation the English has slightly higher earnings for lower quartile, median and upper quartile than does Psychology. Doing a master's in English actually results in lower earnings for the average person than having an undergrad. Psychology PhDs do a little better than English, but a lot of this are things like clinical doctorates bumping up the salaries.

I doubt figures for what you are asking exist, however you are basically comparing the jobscape for psychology which is very competitive to the jobscape for English which is also very competitive.

Routes BSc Psychology --> Neuroscience --> PhD exist, people do this in noticeably large enough numbers. In terms of the afterwards in industry, I'd be sceptical. I'm guessing from the language used you have a parent/sibling/lots of close friends who've studied Psychology and social sciences?

Whatever you do afterwards you have to be able to sell it. There are a lot of 22-30 year old Psychology grads who've done MScs and found to their puzzlement that other people don't immediately jump on their 'analysis' skills or 'excellent research skills'. Depending on the field you go into some may even be very sceptical and find these statements quite psychology bubble like or odd. You have to find a way of selling it that not everyone else has unfortunately managed.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by User148)
I have several questions and I'd find it incredibly helpful if someone could provide some information to me, regardless of how bitter it is.

What concerns me is the set of skills I get from an English degree. It is considerably more narrow than the broad range you get from Psychology (statistical analysis, report writing skills, objective critical analysis).

For this reason, I am considering embarking a Psychology degree. But first it'd be helpful to know :

1) Is a psychology degree scientifically reputable enough to be accepted onto a pHD program and get into research within an industry setting? (Academia seems like a risky choice)

2) Will I still be able to get into the same fields as with an English degree? (Publishing, Editing, Media)

The reason I don't want to do a hard science degree (biology, chemistry) is because I don't want to continue Chemistry A-Level. I'm predicted an A in it, but I don't enjoy it enough to bear another year.

Some general advice would be really helpful too

Thanks!
I think you are probably asking questions way beyond your current level and a reasonable level of understanding.

Unless you do Psychology at a University and with the backing A levels (which probably includes Chemistry) to take a properly clinical route, it's one of the most over-subscribed and undervalued degrees you can do. English is a far stronger, more academic degree and offers a much wider range of transferable skills.

The industry setting for psychology is primarily the clinical one, with a few opportunities in marketing etc. Jobs such as publishing, editing, media etc are far better supported by an English degree at an academically selective university.

If you haven't begun undergrad, then you are getting too far ahead of yourself for itto make sense to consider PhDs, but if you take clinical psychology out of the equation, then there are probably many more English PhD opportunities. However, the 'subject' associated with a PhD is often only a loose connection. You do a PhD on a specific research subject, and usually refer to it in more detail that 'English' or 'Psychology' if you are talking to employers etc.

Your 1) question doesn't really make any sense.

In general English is a broader, more flexible degree than psychology, unless you want to be a clinical psychologist (or some other medical use of the degree).
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