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PsyD in the corporate world-job options?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by ncantone, 05.03.12.

  1. ncantone

    ncantone

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    I'm just finishing up my pre-doc internship and am set to graduate in September with a PsyD. During my job search, I started thinking about job possibilities in the corporate world as a consultant or something. Anyone know of someone who got into consulting right out of school with a PsyD? I know that field is for I/O folks, but I'm curious about the job possibilities and the higher pay.
    Thanks!
  2. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    What skills do you have to offer?

    In my experience, although having advanced education in psychology/behavior is always beneficial and indeed necessary for org development work, traditional clinical psych training (especially the Psy.D.) offers no real opportunities to develop or practice the work that would be required to do org consulting.
  3. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    Agreed.

    Piled Higher & Deeper had a great comic about this a few years ago...Mike Slakckery was (finally) graduating, and he went to his mentor to talk about jobs. The gist of the conversation was that he was overqualified for all regular jobs, but completely underqualified for everything else. Trying to do consulting work right out of school is kind of like that.

    Sometimes you can secure a gig with a consulting company if your research/expertise is in a hot area of work, but you'd be starting at the bottom of the food chain (at least compared to other Ph.D. holders). The Boston Consulting Group (and their competitors) are known for trying to pick off the best and brightest Fellows for consulting careers...but the positions are highly competitive, the hours are long, etc.

    I spoke with BCG awhile back about a possible fit, but they were primarily interested in me because of my prior consulting experience in biotech/tech integration...not for anything I learned in graduate school. :laugh: The analytical training was admittedly helpful, but you are swimming in the deep end when you pursue a position like that because they purposely pit you against a bunch of other new hires and you get to fight it out...much like they do in finance, b-school, etc. Been there, done that once already...and it wasn't particularly fun.
  4. ncantone

    ncantone

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    Honestly, none. You both make great points. While I was looking around, I came across this page, which makes me think that a clinical degree may be relevant in the business world:
    http://feelingupindowntimes.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/the-psychologist-as-business-consultant/

    That being said, I have no I/O experience and unless the PsyD gives me some sort of head start or financial incentive, I'd rather stick with what I was trained to do.
  5. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    The NCOD office within the VA offers a 2 year post-doc in organizational development. It sounds amazing if you're into that stuff. However, its 60 hour weeks routinely and about 15 days of travel per month. Not exactly family friendly. Which, disqualifed it as an option for me, lest I want to be divorced...

    http://www.va.gov/NCOD/Postdoctoral_Fellowship.asp
    Last edited: 05.03.12
  6. Pragma

    Pragma

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    Well outside of I/O, there are "clinical-community" programs that offer coursework in things like consultation and program evaluation. Might not set you up for this type of career necessarily, but it could prepare you for some consulting work. Generally this is consultation wtih community orgs though, not businesses.
  7. sockit

    sockit

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    ime (unrelated to psychology), it is not tremendously difficult (given some experience, say 2-3 years, and, crucially, an entrepreneurial attitude) to establish oneself as a consultant in the HR world (or indeed, in government/NGO/quangoland). partnering with someone more established in business would help a lot, as would hanging around the right people in general. (you could, for example, team up with your MBA-holding high school buddy, who's been working for the past five years. work for an uncle. nepotism should be your first strategy, vs your last.)

    i have seen some fantastically ill-equipped individuals successfully represent themselves as consultants (different field, admittedly). *so* much spin. and (as i'm sure you know) the more the consultant charges, the more convincing his/her authority (maybe especially in government).

    concretely: playing up your teaching and project management experience (the last gained through your research)*, and maybe taking a short course in instructional design/technology or adult education, should get you somewhere in eg the 'learning and development' field. christ, try that, do a little search for 'learning and development' on indeed.com. it's shocking. a doctoral degree in psychology is absolutely sufficient to perform those tasks; it's all, as i say, a question of perception. re more typical HR functions - have seen life coaches charge ridiculous amounts of money, and be paid it.

    *put these under separate headings on your resume, ie, 'teaching experience' and 'project management experience'. use buzzwords: 'coaching', etc.

    edited: just want to offer up some examples of workshoppy-type services I believe a PsyD or clinical PhD with a bit of experience could credibly help with (at least as well as life coaches do), other than learning-related stuff (which, really, I think any PhD ought to be able to do):

    - stress management
    - "work-life balance"
    - mediation & conflict management
    - individual goal-setting and performance
    - "troublemakers" and victims - bullying; stalking
    - probably, at least some forms of vocational assessment (I have been assessed with the bloody Meyers-Briggs tool in the past)
    - layoff trauma/exit transition/counselling*

    *This is a vulture's job, if ever there was. But, my last employer paid a guy with a post-BA (college) certificate $5,000 to assist 12 of us in this way (anecdotally). 24 total hours of work for him.
    Last edited: 05.04.12
  8. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx
  9. sockit

    sockit

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    Lol... gently done.

    I wasn't suggesting the OP misrepresent him/herself in the way the mentioned people have; just noting that there's a high tolerance for bull outside of academia/health.

    I remain convinced that a PsyD is capable of (ethically) providing valuable ($) insight into adult development in the corporate context, and/or structuring a training programme to facilitate learning of, e.g., a content management system.

    eta: re creative shuffling of experience - not advising lying, just formatting things such that your average HR bunny can easily parse it, vs listing everything under 'education'.
    Last edited: 05.04.12
  10. 4410

    4410

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    Sometimes psychologist become administrators for non-proftts or for profit companies. Not many psychologists become wealthy in clinical practice but through engaging in private business they attain wealth. I believe John Watson acquired most of his wealth in the advertising/marketing industry after being terminated from a University position. Psychologists are going into politics and having some success. Logan Wright acquired his wealth from Sonic Restaurants and he was APA president in 1986. He taught at OUHSC many years but left in his 40's to devote full time work with his Sonic Restaurants Company in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

    I guess from many I have talked with throughout the years, some psychologists acquire their wealth outside of psychology. Seems that in Kansas most of the Psychologists also have farms and this is where they make most of their money.
    Last edited: 05.04.12
  11. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    I would think that, as in the rest of the country, most of the state's psychologists live in urban areas/cities. Dare I ask your cite for this? :rolleyes:
  12. 4410

    4410

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    At a mental health center in Salina, Kansas, two of the Psychologists I worked with had farms and this was where they attained most of their wealth as they grew up on farms and inherited the family farms.

    You won't find many millionaires working as psychologists but you will find millionaires who are psychologists but they made their money outside of psychology. Logan Wright bought Sonic for next to nothing and became a multi-millionaire. There is a school psychologists who writes murder mysteries and she has become wealthy off of her book sales.
  13. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    Ok. So you knew 2 psychologists in kansas with farms? I don't understand how that becomes
    Last edited: 05.04.12
  14. 4410

    4410

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    Actually more than two. One of the Psychologist is the administrator/executive director of a residential treatment center private non profit and he never actually practiced clinical psychology after his internship. He was from a very wealthy family as was his wife so he really did not need to work.

    I did a practicum with a psychologist this year who does private practice part time and he is loaded due to inheriting his family farm with his brother.

    Most of the psychologist I know do not get rich from engaging in the practice of psychology. In the city where I live, a psychologist owns a corporation that does training for multiple corporations and this is how he became wealthy.
  15. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    So because you heard that more than 2 psychologists own farms in the state of Kansas you have concluded and posted:
    I don't care about this topic. I am simply trying to give a concrete example of people dismiss your posts on this board.
  16. 4410

    4410

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    I guess you have never been to Kansas? Salaries are terribly low and most people make their money in farming wheat or getting government money for not planting their acres. One of the judges who is a lawyer made his wealth from real estate.
  17. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    Let me help you out...here is what I post whenever 4410 throws out wildly inaccurate opinions posed as facts:

    [​IMG]

    Citing multiple anecdotal experiences does not make for superior data. Things like regression to the mean, the impact of outliers on a limited data set, and confirmation bias are all reasons why anecdotal data is not sufficient to "prove" anything.

    For instance...

    I lived in KS, and I worked with 24 psychologists between two hospitals....and guess how many made their money off of farms?

    (None).

    This doesn't "prove" anything, but I now have N=24 AND my own assurance that I'm right.

    24 > 2

    I win.

    See how poorly that argument translate in a scientific arena?

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