Psychology graduates are directly trained in this skill, but they often do not realize how valuable it can be. Through their coursework, they become accustomed to writing essays, which allow them to explore issues in detail; but they are also familiarized with the techniques of concise writing within a pre-set format (a skill much valued in commercial and business worlds) as they write up practical research reports. Technical Skills. A psychology degree, then, is actually rather special. Not all career paths in psychology involve counseling clients, but nearly every job option does involve a … Clinical, counseling and research psychologists typically must have a doctoral degree. Unfortunately, psychologists themselves often fail to recognize what skills they actually have, or find it very difficult to articulate what these are. Since you’ll be learning about various psychological theories and analyzing an array of case studies in your classes, the ability to form connections between different areas of psychology (and to determine which theories resonate most closely with your own ideas) is an extremely important part of succeeding in this major. If you’re considering becoming a psychology major, you might be wondering about the types of skills you’ll need in order to be successful. Here are some of the most common skills for psychology majors. Interpersonal Skills Needed to Be a Psychologist. In order to get the most out of these classes, and to ensure that you’re developing an in-depth understanding of the field, it’s important to be objective and flexible in your thinking and to be willing to change your mind when presented with new information. In your classes, you’ll be learning about various types of behaviors and mental health disorders, as well as about the different ways that people interact with one another. Grad School Is Often Necessary. 1. By its very nature, psychology is a person-oriented profession. Undertaking a psychology degree involves a considerable amount of information-finding skill. Research skills Psychology students are explicitly trained in research methods, and this training spans a range of different techniques. Psychology students are trained to search through library book collections, journals, CD-ROM databases and a range of other ways of obtaining information. They are most commonly used during the hiring and interview process to compare candidates for employment. Becoming aware of what we have learned through a psychology degree is made even more difficult by the way that many of the cognitive skills that we acquire from the study of psychology are negative rather than positive, such as the skill of not immediately jumping to conclusions, and of reserving judgment about alternative possibilities. Hard skills include the specific knowledge and abilities required for success in a job. But this is not the whole story. Hard skills involve specific knowledge and abilities. The following excerpt from the European Psychologist provides a list of the skills psychology students develop through their training—a list they can use to better market themselves. Psychology integrates areas of knowledge that span the arts and the sciences, and in the process it provides students with a liberal education, as well as a particularly wide range of practical and professional skills. Psychology students' general orientation towards psychology usually reflects the orientation of the staff in their department, and of psychology as practiced in their country. Undertaking a psychology degree can generate distinctive approaches to social and interpersonal issues, yet many psychology graduates leave their courses believing they are no more perceptive or knowledgeable than other people. 1, No. Honing a solid set of essential skills makes for an effective, successful mental health practitioner. In the list that follows, I have attempted to identify some of that shared awareness, by naming 13 different types of skill or knowledge that a psychology student is likely to acquire by graduation. These skills fall under the domains of: Cognitive (e.g., creativity and information management). These skills are familiar to psychology graduates, and are distinctly useful in many walks of life, but they are not easy skills to acquire without explicit training. Hard skill include: Proficiency in a foreign language A degree or certificate Typing speed Machine operation Computer programming Another important skill for psychology majors is the ability to think critically. What Skills & Aptitudes Must You Have to Be a Psychologist? Make a gift to the Wagner Fund and help our students obtain a world-class education. The Basics – Hard Skills The term soft skills in contrast to hard skills is one of the great ironies in the world of Human Resources (HR). Whether you’re undecided or know your major, explore your options here. And those automatized skills are a vital contribution to the psychologist's problem-solving abilities. The psychology student's experience of sifting through vast quantities of experimental evidence and interpreting it in terms of schools of thought and other general principles provides useful training in this skill. In contrast, … As John Radford argues, psychology provides its students with an extensive education, training them in thinking and reasoning skills, and encouraging the student to explore a broad range of ideas and assumptions. In fact, being able to solve problems in an effective and creative way is a necessary part of studying psychology since so much of the subject is focused on assessing and treating mental and behavioral problems. Extensive education trains psychologists in the skills they need to practice. They do not feel knowledgeable, partly because their knowledge is automatized rather than conscious, and partly because one of the things they have learned is not to accept 'knowledge' without question. Becoming aware of what we have learned through a psychology degree is made even more difficult by the way that many of the cognitive skills that we acquire from the study of psychology are negative rather than positive, such as the skill of not immediately jumping to conclusions, and of reserving judgment about alternative possibilities. Measurement skills Measurement skills go hand-in-hand with research skills, and psychology graduates are thoroughly trained in these as well. But such awareness can make a considerable difference to someone dealing with everyday interpersonal problems. This is a valuable cognitive skill, but it is one that is relatively uncommon in lay cognition. Environmental awareness Knowing how someone's environment can influence their behavior helps us to understand people at work, at home, in education and at leisure. This is not the same as being socially skilled oneself, of course, although it can contribute to it. Human behavior is a complex subject and learning about it in detail requires an open mind. Since psychology trains you to work closely with others, being able to communicate effectively is key. Many nonpsychologists do not particularly notice environmental factors, yet few psychology graduates are unaware of their importance. Being aware, too, of the sources of conflict or misunderstanding can sometimes result in the ability to perceive ways through difficulties that would not be readily apparent without such knowledge. Although psychology majors come from a variety of interest areas and backgrounds, those who really succeed in this major are able to develop these skills and to put them to good use.
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