Psychology is a very popular field of study and is expected to have strong growth through 2020. Because of this popularity there are many community colleges in the Chicago area that offer Associate degrees and certificates in psychology. While these programs are popular it’s important that students understand how competitive psychology is and that they will need to study many years beyond an Associate degree if they want to be a licensed psychologist.
Why Become a Psychologist
Having the ability to recognize human emotions ranging from personality disorders to tell-tale body language signals is like having a super power in today’s society. A trained psychologist is well prepared for many different careers. Does the nervous person in the checkout line have a mental illness or has he done something wrong? Is the local psychic a fake, or is she a legitimate psychic reader? Is your business suffering from lack of sales because of a bad economy or due to a company message that does not resonate with consumers? These are just a few situations where a trained psychologist excels.
Psychologists need a master’s or doctorate degree in psychology as well as having a license or certification. When discussing the options available for a student graduating with a Bachelors of Psychology, a web page from the University of West Georgia explains it best, “You can find a job in which you are called a "counselor," but you will not find a job in which you are called a psychologist. This is because psychology has decided that one minimum requirement in order to be called a psychologist is an advanced degree “.
Graduates that earn a master’s degree will often work in business and industry. They may also work as a counselor or in research as long as they are under the supervision of a Ph.D Psychologist. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree most often do not work in the field of psychology.
How a Community College Can Help
Most of the Chicago area community colleges have arrangements with local 4 year universities to accept transfer students. Probably the single biggest advantage of starting at a community college and transferring to a university to earn a bachelors degree is the lower cost. Depending on the community college and the university the savings can be well into the tens of thousands of dollars. This savings makes graduate school more affordable and community college the smart choice for students.