Aug 30, 2016
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I am 33 with 2 years of generals completed several years ago. It's taken me way too long to get my stuff together but I am now. I am just starting a bachelors in psychology and was wondering whether I should go for a master's and then a PsyD or just go for the master's. How long will it take to get the PsyD? Do I need the master's before going for PsyD? Am I too old to be trying to go for the PsyD? Please any advice or input at all would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
 

MCParent

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I am 33 with 2 years of generals completed several years ago. It's taken me way too long to get my stuff together but I am now. I am just starting a bachelors in psychology and was wondering whether I should go for a master's and then a PsyD or just go for the master's. How long will it take to get the PsyD? Do I need the master's before going for PsyD? Am I too old to be trying to go for the PsyD? Please any advice or input at all would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
What do you want to do for a career?
 
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pco454
Aug 30, 2016
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I've narrowed it down to either forensic psychology, child and developmental psychology, or clinical psychology.
 

MamaPhD

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You need a doctoral degree to practice independently as a psychologist, or to do any kind of consulting or forensic work. There is no special rule that you need a master's degree first, although for some people it's a helpful stepping stone if their academic background is lacking in some way. But plenty of psychologists go straight into a doctoral program after graduating with a bachelors degree.

There are no good shortcuts, so it's a long road. Only you can decide whether it's worth it. Take some time to get to know the field better. Work in a faculty member's lab so you can understand how psychologists come to know what they know. Read (start with free information like this: http://www.apa.org/education/grad/faqs.aspx) and become familiar with the typical settings, hours, salaries, and functions of a psychology career. Then you can make an informed decision.
 
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pco454
Aug 30, 2016
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I've also considered a mental health practitioner. As I was reading some of the information online, if I understood correctly, I would be able to license in that with just a master's. Now if I did go for a PsyD after a bachelor's it sounds like it would take an extra 4-5 years to complete does that sound about right on the timeline? Thanks for your responses so far.
 

Doctor-S

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I've also considered a mental health practitioner. As I was reading some of the information online, if I understood correctly, I would be able to license in that with just a master's. Now if I did go for a PsyD after a bachelor's it sounds like it would take an extra 4-5 years to complete does that sound about right on the timeline? Thanks for your responses so far.
Agree with @MamaPhD.

What do you actually want to *do* or plan to *do* with a graduate degree? Practice as a licensed clinical psychologist? Engage in research? Teach? Work in a hospital? Work in a public agency? Work with adults, or adolescents, or childern? Work in a school district? Work for the FBI or NCIS? Pay your bills?

If you're looking for the shortest career path (for whatever reason - educational, financial, indecisiveness, parental pressure, peer pressure) be prepared to encounter obstacles. In general, many well-qualified applicants to psychology graduate programs have taken time to identify a career trajectory for themselves before applying to graduate school (see @MamaPhD comments above).

In your original post, you stated that you're "just starting" a bachelor's degree in psychology. At this early stage in your UG education, you might benefit a great deal by shadowing (or speaking with) some mental health professionals (forensic, child, developmental and clinical) and meeting with a career counselor to sort out your ideas, thoughts and goals.

In addition ... some professional careers in psychology often require fellowships (e.g., forensic psychology). So, it might be very useful to consult with your school's advisors to evaluate your career goals and aspirations. Just saying. As a UG, you can take advantage of many valuable educational and career resources at your own school - use them, explore things, and choose wisely.
 
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pco454
Aug 30, 2016
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Thank you for all of your responses! I appreciate the advice. I understand it seems like I am angling for "shortcuts" but I don't want shortcuts in my education I guess my biggest concern is will I be too old, if I were to go for a PsyD, after completion to be taken seriously as a job candidate versus finishing with just a master's? After completing my Masters I will be, at least in my best estimate, about 37-38 if I go on to compleye a PsyD I would be over 40. Thanks again!
 

Doctor-S

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Thank you for all of your responses! I appreciate the advice. I understand it seems like I am angling for "shortcuts" but I don't want shortcuts in my education I guess my biggest concern is will I be too old, if I were to go for a PsyD, after completion to be taken seriously as a job candidate versus finishing with just a master's? After completing my Masters I will be, at least in my best estimate, about 37-38 if I go on to compleye a PsyD I would be over 40. Thanks again!
I don't think any of us can tell you if you will be "too old" or "not too old." That is a personal consideration that is advisable to discuss with an experienced career counselor. Since you don't know which career (or which degree) you want to pursue, it's difficult to provide you with useful information. All of the degrees and potential career paths that you have mentioned in your posts differ from one another in terms of time, curricula, training, credentialing, etc.

In case you're curious: I am aware of some individuals who completed MD, DVM, DDS, PhD, PsyD, MSW, MS/MA degrees when they were in their 30's and 40's (and one of them was in his early 50's by the time he earned his PhD). These individuals completed their graduate education later in their lives, after they had taken the time to thoughtfully explore their own career ambitions/determined *what* they wanted to *do* in their lives. They also spent a lot of time thinking about various factors related to age/time; money/debt; supply-and-demand; marketability, etc. Following these personal considerations, they eventually pursued the graduate degree that matched with their professional career goal.

Thank you.
 
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Didn't get licensed until 44 myself. I was about 30 when I decided this was what I wanted to do. For me, the time it took wasn't as important as accomplishing the goal. I was not always clear what type of psychologist I wanted to be and at times have wanted to be all of the above. Nevertheless, I have always been more clear as to what a psychologist is and that is what I wanted to be and now am. Today I am still figuring out what kind of psychologist I am going to be next because it is ever-evolving. Basic research, teaching, clinical supervision, applied research, expertise in mental health diagnosis and treatment, working with brain injuries, sex problems, school problems, severe trauma, grief, health problems, health systems, outcome research, program development, collaborating and consulting with other professionals, personal awareness and growth, working with kids, adolescents, adults, families, transgender. More than half of this list comes from my appointments and work just this week and it's only Wednesday. Being a psychologist can at times be hard to define because we do so many things. That's one reason that I chose it.
 

Spydra

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Aug 16, 2014
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Thank you for all of your responses! I appreciate the advice. I understand it seems like I am angling for "shortcuts" but I don't want shortcuts in my education I guess my biggest concern is will I be too old, if I were to go for a PsyD, after completion to be taken seriously as a job candidate versus finishing with just a master's? After completing my Masters I will be, at least in my best estimate, about 37-38 if I go on to compleye a PsyD I would be over 40. Thanks again!
There is no age that is ever too old to pursue an education. Will you be older than most of your cohort? Yes. Does that mean you shouldn't do it? No. So maybe you'll skip some of the social outings with your cohort (or maybe you won't!), but when it comes to navigating the unknowns in terms of classes, internships, etc you'll all be quite similar.