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Hello, I've done a fair bit of research so far, and here's what's not answered:
  • Do all doctorate programs have entry barriers comparable to that of medical school?
    • A thread linked inside one of the stickied threads implied this, but I'm not sure if that's all PhD programs.
  • How much easier are masters programs to get into than doctorate?
  • How important is the school name?
  • What is the mental skill-set required?
    • For instance, memory vs. analysis vs. creativity?
  • My strongest broad professional interests could be said to be psychology and business; what are the best possibilities in marrying the two?
  • What probably contributes to psychologist job satisfaction to merely be mildly above average, considering the entry barrier?
    • Based on MyPlan.com data. Counselors and Professors are generally higher, in comparison.
 

erg923

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Standards not barriers.
much easier
its not so long as its a quality program.
intillegence, compassionate, social skills, hard-working/driven, mental flexibility
uh, start your own business?
i don't know
 

NeuroTrope

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Funded PhD programs are more competitive than most medical schools. Professional for-profit programs are much easier to get into.
School name doesn't really matter. I guess going to Yale or something will always draw attention from people.
You could always go I/O psychology - you wouldn't see patients but your clients would be businesses. There's good money there too.
 

briarcliff

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Funded PhD programs are more competitive than most medical schools. Professional for-profit programs are much easier to get into.
School name doesn't really matter. I guess going to Yale or something will always draw attention from people.
You could always go I/O psychology - you wouldn't see patients but your clients would be businesses. There's good money there too.
Yes, competitive/funded PhD programs accept a much lower % of students as compared to MD programs, but these PhD programs also do not have the same 'weeder' prerequisite undergraduate courses (like O.Chem) that all MD programs have in place. Without these prereq's in place, really anyone can apply to a clinical psych program on a whim. I've read some posts on SDN (I don't have links handy, but I'll try and add them later) that have suggested nearly half of the applicants to many PhD programs are grossly unprepared (i.e. poor research match, no research experience, no psych background, low GPA, low GRE, etc.) when it comes time to apply and that their applications and are taken out of the running pretty early on in the application process.
 

erg923

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Doing organzational development work is a good way to marry the two, as mentioned before, but more and more, an advanced degree in psychology is not neded for this. MBA and business experience, experience, experience is usually good enough.
 

MCParent

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Yes, competitive/funded PhD programs accept a much lower % of students as compared to MD programs, but these PhD programs also do not have the same 'weeder' prerequisite undergraduate courses (like O.Chem) that all MD programs have in place. Without these prereq's in place, really anyone can apply to a clinical psych program on a whim. I've read some posts on SDN (I don't have links handy, but I'll try and add them later) that have suggested nearly half of the applicants to many PhD programs are grossly unprepared (i.e. poor research match, no research experience, no psych background, low GPA, low GRE, etc.) when it comes time to apply and that their applications and are taken out of the running pretty early on in the application process.
I said stuff like that before on the forum, and I think it's accurate. A funded psych program in a nice location will get an enormous number of doc applicants (making it appear very competitive on paper), but many of those are people who have no chance of getting in (little/no research, took all the fluff psych courses and have Cs in stats). Pre-med is certainly a more fixed, and harder, path than UG psych. I've met very few psych UGs who took organic chem (not that we DON'T--I did. But I don't think it's modal).
 

Therapist4Chnge

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MCParent said:
I've met very few psych UGs who took organic chem (not that we DON'T--I did. But I don't think it's modal).
"O-Chem was fun!!"

Said by no one…ever. :D

I actually enjoyed aspects of it, but the practical application is pretty narrow for most things.
 
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seventyfour
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Followup time! Sorry for the late reply.

Yes, competitive/funded PhD programs accept a much lower % of students as compared to MD programs, but these PhD programs also do not have the same 'weeder' prerequisite undergraduate courses (like O.Chem) that all MD programs have in place.
I'm focusing on who -does- get in, not who doesn't, don't worry. Okay, to get more specific with what I'm asking: I read in an aforementioned pinned thread that the average undergrad GPA of accepted applications was pretty close to 3.6 for three disciplines/specialties data was shown for, including clinical; will all doctorate programs at credible schools have a similar entry barrier?

Doing [organizational] development work is a good way to marry the two, as mentioned before, but more and more, an advanced degree in psychology is not [needed] for this. MBA and business experience, experience, experience is usually good enough.
Grammar corrected because the red, squiggly lines were distracting :p Could there be confirmation / more detail on this, by you or anyone else who wants to chime in? I believe I read that even most I/O psychologists have doctorates. If you're merely saying that trend's changing, exactly how quickly would be nice to know.

Other questions:
  • How does one generally get into formal psychology research experience? Is it just a matter of asking the right department/person and having certain credentials?
  • I have a bachelor's in BA; how much work am I probably looking at to qualify for a master's or especially doctorate program (if I could even qualify for the latter)?
  • Back to the topic of marrying my interests in business and psychology, is there a way to manage them where I could put my informal knowledge and take on psychology into play without having a lot of formal education in the field?
  • I'll ask again about why psychs might tend to like their job less than professors and counselors. If you can legally hold the title of psychologist or you have a lot of experience practicing, you can easily answer this question considering I'm just asking for an opinion.
Thanks!
 

psychRA

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  • I'll ask again about why psychs might tend to like their job less than professors and counselors. If you can legally hold the title of psychologist or you have a lot of experience practicing, you can easily answer this question considering I'm just asking for an opinion.
I'm not sure what you're basing this question on. Maybe you could link to the exact source? I clicked around myplan.com for a couple of minutes but didn't find the comparison you mentioned.

In any case, this specific question isn't easy to answer, for several reasons. First, there's overlap between those categories - most professors of psychology are also psychologists, licensed or otherwise. And "counselor" doesn't refer to any specific discipline or provider type (MFT, LCSW, guidance counslor, camp counselor?), so I'm not sure what that means here. Finally, from my limited search, it looks like the "happiness ratings" that (I think) you're referring to aren't drawn from any kind of study or survey, but are just self-reported by people who happen to be using that website, so I wouldn't put too much stock in those numbers. Even if there's a national study out there that says that psychologists are less happy than similar professions (and there might be, but I haven't seen it), you have to consider the fact that the term "psychologist" can be applied to many different types of people. There will be social psychologists, I/O psychologists, clinical PhD and PsyD psychologists, etc. in the mix, and they may be doing very different types of work. Some are doing research, some are consulting to businesses, some are working in private practice, some have jobs in hospitals and medical centers. Many psychologists graduate
with little to zero student loan debt, and some of them took on massive amounts of debt to complete their program, which can impact quality of life. There are way too many variables at play to make any broad generalizations about the happiness of all psychologists.

One of the most important skills that you develop during your training as a psychologist is to evaluate information from a scientific standpoint. I'm not yet licensed, but I'm happy with the path I chose and would not change it.
 

erg923

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Other questions:
  • How does one generally get into formal psychology research experience? Is it just a matter of asking the right department/person and having certain credentials?
  • I have a bachelor's in BA; how much work am I probably looking at to qualify for a master's or especially doctorate program (if I could even qualify for the latter)?
  • Back to the topic of marrying my interests in business and psychology, is there a way to manage them where I could put my informal knowledge and take on psychology into play without having a lot of formal education in the field?
  • I'll ask again about why psychs might tend to like their job less than professors and counselors. If you can legally hold the title of psychologist or you have a lot of experience practicing, you can easily answer this question considering I'm just asking for an opinion.
Thanks!
1. Be proactive. No ones gives it to ya...ya gotta take it.

2. Complex question. Don't know enough about you. Minimum criteria for masters will be 3.0 and some psych related work/volunteer experiences. Min for doctorate, and I can only speak for clinical/counseling Ph.D here, would be 3.4 and above, significant research experience, and clinical exposure would be helpful as well.

3. I don't really know what this means? My drunken uncle Phil has his "informal knowledge and take on psychology" too. Big whoop. I don't think any businesses are seeking his opinion about how they do task analysis, personnel selection. So, the point is, sure you can. But nobody will pick your CV out of the garbage can long enough to hire you. Harvard MBA talks louder than my drunken uncle Phil....

4. Yes, I am licensed and practicing clinical psychologist. Yes, I have also been a "professor." No, I can’t answer this question. Job satisfaction is much too complex, multifactorial, and idiosyncratic to examine when you have such broad labels ("professor" "psychologist"). I am not sure if this is even borne out in the literature, as others have said.

5. Yes, I/O "psychologists" have doctorates. My point was the certainly don’t have monopoly on that job description/market.
 
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seventyfour
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1. Be proactive. No ones gives it to ya...ya gotta take it.

2. Complex question. Don't know enough about you. Minimum criteria for masters will be 3.0 and some psych related work/volunteer experiences. Min for doctorate, and I can only speak for clinical/counseling Ph.D here, would be 3.4 and above, significant research experience, and clinical exposure would be helpful as well.

3. I don't really know what this means? My drunken uncle Phil has his "informal knowledge and take on psychology" too. Big whoop. I don't think any businesses are seeking his opinion about how they do task analysis, personnel selection. So, the point is, sure you can. But nobody will pick your CV out of the garbage can long enough to hire you. Harvard MBA talks louder than my drunken uncle Phil....

4. Yes, I am licensed and practicing clinical psychologist. Yes, I have also been a "professor." No, I can’t answer this question. Job satisfaction is much too complex, multifactorial, and idiosyncratic to examine when you have such broad labels ("professor" "psychologist"). I am not sure if this is even borne out in the literature, as others have said.

5. Yes, I/O "psychologists" have doctorates. My point was the certainly don’t have monopoly on that job description/market.
#1 Thanks.
#2 I gave little information, so this is mostly a satisfactory answer. What would be an instance of "some psych related work/volunteer experiences" versus "significant research experience"? A short answer is once again fine; I'll follow up here or elsewhere if I want to know more.
#3 I like to imagine drunken uncle Phil to be a goofy version of that fat guy on Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I'll elaborate: I mean managing psychologists without having a professional psychology degree myself. I'm looking at other possible angles of mixing my interests in psychology and business.
#4 I guess list the cons of your psychology work, experienced or what you've heard other psychologists complain about, and what might be overrated about the positives. Noting your specialty helps.
#5 Thanks for the clarification; I thought you were implying particular knowledge of an upward trend of people obtaining IOP jobs without a doctorate.
I'm not sure if you meant to be condescending in your post, btw, but you kind of made me feel like I was on the receiving end of this. This is serious business, career-altering stuff I'm inquiring about. Otherwise, thanks for the help.

@erg923 @psychRA I'll get into data about job enjoyment later, if something doesn't come up. It'll take at least a little while to go into and it's not of particular importance to the information I'm seeking.

@ Everyone else: more opinions and responses to what I've said so far would be much appreciated.
 

erg923

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2. volunterring in a lab or labs part-time (10 hours/week) over the course of 1-2 years vs. working full time as research assitant or research coordinator for a lab/university. The latter will have much more responsbility and particpation in the research.

3. You really have to be more specific here. What kind of "psychologists" and what kind of "managing?" I suppose I am "managed" quite a bit by billing agents and the facility payroll clerk. They certainly dont manage by clinical work/decisions though. If you are talking about overseeing clinical decisions and/or work, then the answer is no. Not that this doesnt happen on occasion, after which I take the feedback politely and tell them I will take that under advisement and let them know what I ultimately deciede. In a org development setting, if you had something to do with money (e.g., CFO, financial consultant/adviser) or outcomes, then I suppose you would have some authority over what was done and how, but you would not be directly managing or supervising the psychs/org development consultants.

4. There are plenty of other threads on here where wwe gripe about stuff. You should do a search.
-I am a psychologist at an outpatient VA clinic. My specialty, I suppose, is primary care mental health integration, which is alot of health psych, but also includes a good bit of variety, as well as mental health triage. I do not see patients for more than 8 sessions. Brief assesment and diagnosic skills are important in this position. I work about 40-45 hours/week, make good money (not great, IMHO). I have a psychiatry resident in my clinic two days per week that I partially supervise. I also do adjunct supervsion and occasional teaching for a local university. Prior to this I was a visiting assistant professor at small college here in town. I then did a very brief stint as a service director and clinican at a state ICF/MR. It was not for me.
 
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