Identify Your Qualifications
Psychologists observe and research to analyze the behavior of other people. If you think you have the right qualifications, test those skills on yourself to determine if you have what it takes to succeed in this career.
|Do you have strong interpersonal skills?||Yes or No|
|Are you patient?||Yes or No|
|Do you value other people's trust in you?||Yes or No|
|Are you observant?||Yes or No|
|Do you write well?||Yes or No|
|Are you comfortable working with computers?||Yes or No|
|Are you compassionate?||Yes or No|
|Are you open-minded?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy working with numbers?||Yes or No|
|Are you pragmatic?||Yes or No|
Analyze Your Answers
Do you have strong interpersonal skills?
Whether in a research or a counseling setting, a psychologist's success depends largely on their ability to build relationships with patients.
Are you patient?
Research takes time, as does building relationships with patients. Given that these are two key responsibilities for psychologists, you will need patience and persistence in order to succeed in this career.
Do you value other people's trust in you?
To effectively gather information in the course of research or counseling, you will need to prioritize your ethics and trustworthiness to earn the confidence of patients.
Are you observant?
In identifying human behaviors and patterns, psychologists must be observant of nuances such as body language, verbal cues and environmental factors.
Do you write well?
A psychologist regularly generates reports and pens research studies that require advanced writing skills. Similarly, to digest the academic and research works of others, you will need strong reading comprehension skills in both your college and professional career.
Are you comfortable working with computers?
While television programs may portray psychologists scribbling on notebooks as their patients speak, the reality is that this career requires an aptitude for computers and the various software used to maintain patient records, conduct research tests, and maintain billing.
Are you compassionate?
While psychology is a science, unlike most other sciences, the subjects of psychologists' studies are people. To succeed in this field, you will need to balance your scientific curiosity with genuine compassion and empathy for your patients' feelings and experiences.
Are you open-minded?
To successfully and scientifically analyze research and human behavior, psychologists must embrace the unexpected, putting aside pre-conceived ideas or biases.
Do you enjoy working with numbers?
As a psychologist, especially one in a research setting, you will deal with numbers as much as you do with people. A strong grasp of math, especially statistics, is critical.
Are you pragmatic?
While psychologists use scientific methods for their work, human behavior, emotions, and interactions never entirely conform to specific rules or expectations. Psychologists, therefore, have to be as practical about outcomes as they are educated about theories and concepts.
What is Your Conclusion?
If you identify positively with most of the answers above, you may conclude that you have the makings of a psychologist. To work in most clinical, research or counseling settings, you will need to earn a doctoral degree and may need to acquire a license from your state before practicing. Jobs for psychologists are expected to grow 20% from 2014-2024, and opportunities include work in schools, government agencies, hospitals, and private practices.