(Closed) Major indecision. HELP! o_O Psychology, physical therapy, graphic design…

posted 6 years ago in Career
  • poll: Psychology, physical therapy, graphic design?
    Physical therapy (I read the whole post) : (15 votes)
    31 %
    Psychology (I read the whole post) : (2 votes)
    4 %
    Graphic design (I read the whole post) : (16 votes)
    33 %
    Phys therapy (I didn't read the whole post, but from what I know about these options I'd pick it) : (6 votes)
    12 %
    Psychology (I didn't read the whole post, but from what I know about these options I'd pick it) : (0 votes)
    Graphic design (I didn't read the whole post, but from what I know about these options I'd pick it) : (2 votes)
    4 %
    Do something else entirely (please comment!!!) : (8 votes)
    16 %
  • Post # 3
    963 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I wouldn’t take the big risk of a career change and going back to school without being really passionate about it. Maybe you should try to look for a career track that’s more similar to your current work, so you can apply your skills to something new.

    Post # 4
    1022 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    You really don’t want to do Psych. I did psychology as my undergrad, and planned on going to grad school for it, but ended up going to grad school for my minor instead. But it is insanely hard to get into (good) Psych PhD programs, and it takes so long. I really don’t think it is worth it for you in this situation. And neuroscience is ridiculous….it takes A LOT of work. Even for undergraduate neuroscience classes.

    I voted physical therapy, but I only stick by that if these three are truly your only options. I personally wouldn’t want to be in school that long at age 26, but you need to make yourself happy. You only live once!

    Post # 7
    334 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: February 2013

    I am in a Ph.D program for pychology, but in counseling psych, not neuroscience. Once I finish up the doctorate, I’ll have spent 11 years from B.A. to Ph.D. in school for psychology. It is absolutely grueling, and I am only making it through because I have a passion for being a therapist and being engaged in social advocacy and can’t imagine having any other job.

    If you do go into one of the areas of psych that is more clinical (clinical, counseling, school), you will have to apply for a one year internship at the end of your program. I think this is always important for people considering a psych degree to know, because given that there are significantly more students than there are internship spots, applicants must apply nationally in order to have a better chance of getting a spot. This can be really difficult for people whose partners already have an established career or who own a home and wouldn’t be able to move easily.

    That being said, I totally get feeling that it is important to have a job that feels challenging, fullfilling, and mentally stimulating. If you think you could have a passion for Psych or PT, I wouldn’t let the GRE deter you. I’m awful at math too, but did just fine after using the study materials.

    Post # 8
    3572 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I’m not sure what the market is like by you, but my husband is a graphic designer and makes six figures.  He works for a boutique design firm in NYC and has been there almost 10 years.  I have always been amazed by how much graphic designers make.  He does front end development. 

    ETA:  I am an attorney and he has always made double what I do.

    Post # 9
    42 posts
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I’m in a DPT program right now. I’d suggest that you observe in clinics to see if you would be interested in the work. You don’t need a science degree, just the pre-reqs, like you said. PT is a LOT of touching, so if that bothers you from the get-go, I’d suggest you try something else… I think it’s something that you should be passionate about before you go into it..

    Post # 10
    1769 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    Have you considered nursing? Becoming a psych nurse would combine your interest in medicine and psych. It’s also less schooling than your other options. Just a thought! Plus if you want to advance in this area there’s a mental health nurse practioner degree that could be worth pursuing. 

    Post # 11
    3625 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    It’s not one of the options, but have you considered being an Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)? I don’t personally have any experience in it, but it seems to be a shorter program than a PhD in psychology. MFT is definitely necessary and these services are definitely covered by insurance. I think the ones in my area bill out at least at $150+/hour and many work around their family/children’s schedules, which is always a plus.

    TBH, I don’t think getting a masters in psychology is worth the money or the time. We know of several people with a masters in psych and they literally are not doing anything remotely related. It would be a PhD or nothing IMO, and that’s to end up doing clinical work and/or teaching.

    Regarding graphic design, I don’t think it’s obscure persay, but I think it’s hard to break into as a newbie, though at least you are being judged on your portfolio more than anything else (e.g. your looks, resume, etc.). My company employs graphic designers and they are full time employees on the payroll (really good pay actually) though I do have graphic designer friends that rely on contract work as well. We’ve worked with PR/marketing agencies that have graphic designers on the payroll as well so there’s definitely a need out there. It definitely helps to live in a more urban area. If you are good, companies will pay top dollar for your work and try their best to keep you happy. Plus, graphics and branding are important to companies so they can’t just designer hop from one to the other as the look will be inconsistent.

    As for PT, I know someone who does that as well, but she’s really into sports and sports medicine, so it was a natural fit for her. If you don’t want to touch people all day, that’s a really odd choice IMO. I don’t like touching people regularly either, so I wouldn’t pick something like PT or cosmetology, for example.

    Post # 12
    9198 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

    In this day and age, I think it’s really smart to get a degree in a field where you can be pretty sure to get a decent-paying job after.  (I say that as someone with a master’s degree in something I love but that’s a very tough field.  I have a great job now but will have to give it up when I have a family in a couple years, as I travel most of the time 6 months a year!  Don’t know if I’ll be able to find another job in my field after that, where I want to live :/ ).

    If you’re feeling over graphic design, I think PT is the way to go.  I’m sure you’d get used to the touching, physical part of it.  Other medical-ish jobs with great job prospectives you might consider are speech pathology and occupational therapy.

    Post # 13
    7771 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    Dh is a designer and there is a lot of competition.  I feel like to make it you pretty much need to be a programmer too- for web design.  If I were you, I would try to take some time- some soul searching time and ask yourself- when are you happiest?  See if any careers relate to what that answer is.  Also, JOBSHADOW.  Seriously- before going to school for something, try shadowing those jobs.

    Post # 14
    8 posts

    I earned a PhD in psychology last year.  Some things you may want to think about before you commit to going into this area…

    1.  There are degrees other than PhDs in this field (EdS in School Psych) that allow you to operate somewhat independently and without many years in school.  As you have an interest in more medical psychology, this may not be a good option for you.

    2.  A PhD is a research degree.  You need some research experience to even have a remote chance to be accepted into a program.  Additional undergrad classes may be secondary as psych programs often admit people from various backgrounds to graduate programs.  It has been a while since I applied (7 years, in fact), but I think APA may have a list of required undergraduate courses on their site.  

    3.  Make sure any program you apply to is APA accredited.  There is a program list on the APA site.  As a previous poster mentioned, internship match is a stressful and not always successful process, even coming from an APA-approved program.  You will have a much harder road finding an internship, fellowship, and getting licensed if your program is not APA accredited.

    4.  A typical timeline is 4-6 years of coursework and practicum experience while at the school, a 1 year internship, and a 1 or 2 year fellowship while studying for the EPPP (licensing exam) and state test.  There are also several additional hurdles, such as comps and dissertation.  Make sure you are prepared for this before starting a program.  There is very little you can do if you leave the program early.

    5.  There are several areas other than neuropsych that combine psychology and medicine.  Health psychology and pediatric psychology are two areas that come to mind, there may be more.  My concentration is behavior psych and yet I completed much of my practicum work at a children’s hospital and my internship and fellowship at a major medical center.


    Having said all of this, I love what I do.  I can do so many things with my degree (e.g., open my own practice, research, teach, work in a hospital or community setting, full time or part-time) so there are many benefits.  I would encourage you to contact psychology departments at your nearest medical center (I did my internship and fellowship in your state so I may be able to point you in the right direction) and offer to volunteer on a research project for X hours per week.  Often times, research teams will employ undergrads or recent grads to help with data collection or data entry.  There may also be jobs as a research project coordinator and you often only need a BA to qualify for this.  Spending some time with a research team and around others with PhDs should give you a good idea as to whether this is a direction you would like to pursue before you invest to much time or money applying to programs or taking additional classes.

    PM me if you need any help!

    The topic ‘Major indecision. HELP! o_O Psychology, physical therapy, graphic design…’ is closed to new replies.

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