A Career in Social Psychology
The primary focus of Social Psychology is to understand how individuals affect others by their behaviors and the way they understand themselves and their own positions in the society. The most common areas of study are persuasion, stereotyping, group interactions, prejudice and obviously, relationships. In today’s world of technological advancements and intense competitions, it is really very hard for a person to handle both work and family or relationships perfectly. Misunderstandings occur, and depression is very likely to set in the minds of the ones who have to face failure. It is under these circumstances that a social psychologist is called for, so that he can understand the situation and solve the matter.
One can start off with a general Bachelor of Science degree in any related subject, be it psychology, biology, sociology, statistics or neurosciences. However, the degree should be obtained only from an accredited institution or a quality university. After this, one needs to get himself/herself a Doctorate degree in social psychology. You can also opt for a Masters degree, but even if you pursue that you will have to do a Doctorate later on.
The students are mostly needed to understand fully the way in which independent research is designed and implemented. They have to work with an adviser who is actually a professor of the same subject as the one the students are working on. The course is extremely grueling as one has to study a lot of subjects. At the end of your course, you will have to take an examination which will test your knowledge and decide whether you are skillful enough to be a competent social psychologist in the future.
There are basically two types of careers which are available to you once you earn your Doctorate degree:
- University professor
- Independent researcher
If you think you are good at teaching, then opt for the first option. That way, you can not only enjoy a regular job and salary but also reap the benefits of your researches at the university laboratories. For the others, several governments fund social researchers. There are also many private bodies which employ them.
There are, however other careers which employ social psychologists. These are mostly the ones with the industrial companies who employ them to understand their position in the minds of the consumers. Social researches find employments with advertising agencies and marketing firms as they help them understand what works with a select group of people and what can pique their interest.
What is most important for any career is knowledge. To get on with your career as a social psychologist, you must first acquire immense knowledge on the subject. One should opt for the required classes which will train him/her to become a competent social psychologist. Obtain a license from the authorities. If you want to work as a researcher for any firm, you need to show them your own background and experience as a researcher. Becoming a successful social psychologist is very hard and needs intense preparations. But once you become one, you really have a great chance at making the world a better place to live in.