Professional opportunities of the psychologist

Professional opportunities of the psychologist

Are you interested in psychology, but you are not clear about the psychologist's career opportunities? If so, this article is for you. Find out about the main professional opportunities in psychology and the training paths to access them.

Professional opportunities of the psychologist

Last update: December 08, 2021

When a person reveals to us that he is studying psychology, the first image that comes to mind is that of the classic psychotherapy session with the patient sitting on the armchair. However, the professional opportunities of the psychologist are much wider.

Psychology is a relatively recent science and professional opportunities are not yet fully understood, not even for the students themselves.

The degree in psychology is a general training course in which broad psychology contents are dealt with, but which does not go into the specific contents and skills necessary for the exercise of the profession. Unlike what one might believe, the professional opportunities of the psychologist are numerous.

This article will give you a clear idea of ​​your possible future as a psychologist. We will also give you concrete suggestions for pursuing each professional career.

If you want to study psychology, if you have already started the degree course or if you are close to graduation and you feel lost, read on to discover the professional opportunities of the psychologist.

Psychology, what to know before starting to study it?

First, it should be noted that most of the degrees in psychology are complete courses that address anatomical and statistical issues.

Much of the training hours are devoted to behavioral biology, neuroscience, physiological systems, the endocrine system, development and anatomy.

Before embarking on the path, therefore, it is fair to know that this is a course with a broad medical-biological content. The first years of training will give you an important basis of knowledge on the healthy functioning of the human body, and then go on to understand how it changes in cases of psychopathology.

As far as psychopathology is concerned, this training course consists of 99,9% cognitive-behavioral notions.

Why is it important to keep this in mind? Because following this general and scientific training, the psychologist will have various professional opportunities available even within medical-pharmaceutical contexts; for example, he may specialize in writing clinical essays to prove the efficacy of new psychotropic drugs.

The training obtained will allow you to exercise the clinical profession, in the field of human resources, education, in the field of social psychology or as teachers and researchers. We analyze each professional outlet of the psychologist.

The professional opportunities of the psychologist

1. Clinical psychology and psychotherapy: the most coveted by future psychologists

The first professional opportunity that comes to mind is that of the psychologist and the sofa, right? In reality, this is only a rather limiting stereotype, given the advances in the field of psychology applied to psychological disorders and emotional problems.

When we talk about clinical psychology and psychotherapy, we refer to the work of the psychologist in the clinic. This is the best known professional outlet associated with the role of the psychologist that we all have in mind.

To become a clinical psychologist, you need a degree in psychology and a major in clinical psychology. After the degree course you will have to take the state psychologist exam, which you will be able to take thanks to the training received.

Once the master's degree has been completed, in order to practice in the public or private sphere, it will be necessary to undertake a post-graduate internship, take the state exam and finally enroll in the professional register of the Order of Psychologists.

2. Psychologist in human resource management

We refer to one of the less coveted professional opportunities for psychologist but which enjoys the greatest demand in the workplace, especially within companies.

Also for this profession it is necessary to have a specialization (master's or master's), but at the legal level the path is shorter.

It will be enough to complete the degree program to be able to work in human resources, as a recruiting technician, in the field of managing group dynamics or managing work conflicts within a company.

If you like the administrative and business context, the first step is to look for a university that allows you to specialize in the field of work and organizational psychology.

It should be noted that in the last 10 years there has been a increase in the demand for qualified professionals for the prevention of occupational risks, another possible job opportunity for those who specialize in psychology.

"In the private sphere, there is a large majority of psychologists who work as freelancers in several centers at a time, combining the work in the clinic with other activities".

3. Professional opportunities of the psychologist in the educational field

Psychology is in charge of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pathologies, learning difficulties or educational needs of pupils (individual or class). The psychologist educator also deals with orientation and vocational and professional counseling.

To work as an educating psychologist, a degree in psychology is sufficient. The quickest way is in follow a path of educational psychology and special needs. The downside of this professional outlet is that in order to practice, you need to win a public competition.

Education is in fact an area managed by the state, e the same rules apply to access as for any public official post. At the same time, there is also the role of didactic counselor, a career that has grown in recent years.

The role of the didactic counselor is reserved in particular to psychologists and psychopedagogues who will undertake to inform the educational community about the special needs of the pupils, and to elaborate psycho-pedagogical reports on each specific case.

Its role includes ensuring educational continuity and reducing school dropout rates, as well as advising and guiding pupils in choosing a course of study or a profession.

4. Professional opportunities of the psychologist: promoting social inclusion

The work of the psychologist in the community or social area includes a number of functions which vary according to the geographic area and the job.

These, however, coincide with a single goal: to help people who are part of a special community (mental health, mistreatment, risk of social exclusion, long-term unemployed) to find a job and acquire a perspective of independence and autonomy.

Another area of ​​work of the social psychologist is the participation in the design or implementation of community intervention programs.

We refer, for example, to social initiatives aimed at creating a flow of more supportive social support, which focus on the promotion of associative movements or direct attention to the specific needs of a community.

For this type of work it is necessary to have obtained a degree in psychology, better if master's or even a master's. As already mentioned, the training of the three-year course is general and is not sufficient for the independent and responsible exercise of the profession.

"To work as an educating psychologist, a degree in psychology is sufficient, preferably if you have followed a specialized path in educational psychology and for special needs".

5. Teaching and research

Teaching and research, although less well known, are two other professional opportunities for a psychologist. It is about becoming a professor and / or researcher, two roles that often coincide within the university environment.

One of the ways to become a university professor is follow a course of study that includes a degree, master and doctorate. The latter involves carrying out research and developing and defending a doctoral thesis.

On the other hand, a psychologist can work as a research technician in many fields. For some research special certifications are required (for example clinical essays), while for other paths (psychological, social or epidemiological research) it is not necessary. Unlike other outlets, the research technician's work can guarantee greater mobility throughout the territory.


It is important to emphasize that the clinical psychologist's job in a psychotherapy clinic involves being self-employed, which has its pros and cons.

At the same time, among all the professional opportunities seen, the only one that necessarily requires post-graduate training is a career as a clinical psychologist.

The career orientation of future psychologists is still a field to be explored; for this the faculties of psychology organize annually orientation days to include students in the professional field.

We recommend that you attend one of these meetings to find out about the opportunities available in your area. Either way, having a master's or master's program in your area of ​​interest is key to having a competitive curriculum.

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