1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice

Is 33 too old to start psychology school?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Candylicious, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Candylicious

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2017
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    I am thinking about becoming a psychologist. But would 33 be too old to start? I know it takes at least 6 years to finish. So I would probably be in my early 40's when I complete the program.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
    Psychologist 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,350
    Likes Received:
    6,452
    Status:
    Psychologist
    I've seen people start older than that. Just depends on your long-term goals and plans. Also, it also really depends on what your CV/resume looks like at the moment. Some people need one to several years to beef up their background to get into a reputable program that is fully funded. So, you may be starting later than you had originally anticipated. You'll also have to be ok with essentially having only enough income to live on for those 6+ years before you're making an actual salary. So, retirement is going to be pushed back quite a bit. Additionally, if you go to an unfunded or partially funded program, which is something most of us would strongly advise against, you're looking at 6 figures of loan debt, which would alter your retirement plan to an even greater extent.
     
  4. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
    Psychologist 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1,662
    Status:
    Psychologist
    What are your career goals?

    I've known folks who started a doctoral program in their early to mid 30s. It didn't seem to hurt them. In fact, the focus and drive that second-career seekers often have can be an asset. Are you willing to live on a small graduate stipend? Delay saving for retirement? Delay starting a career until you are at an age when most psychologists are mid-career? Is psychology the best fit for what you want to do in your career? All of these are questions you should be asking.
     
  5. smalltownpsych

    Psychologist 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    4,411
    Likes Received:
    3,841
    Status:
    Psychologist
    I was 43 when I obtained licensure and I have been working for more than 9 years as a licensed psychologist and am looking at working for about 15 more years. Just interviewed over the weekend for a position that could be the place I stay till I retire. I have absolutely no regrets about the career other than taking on a bit too much debt :(. Just added the last part because sometimes the older students are more likely to take on the debt as opposed to taking the year or two to pad the CV enough to get into the funded program. From my perspective, the year or two would have been completely worth it as I start eyeing retirement.
     
    Mad Jack and briarcliff like this.
  6. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist
    Psychologist Faculty 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    783
    I started graduate school around 30 (having worked for a bit before). As others have said, I don't regret entering the field when I did (all things considered and being equal, I would have of course loved to have entered it sooner and been contributing to retirement longer, but still). My previous work allowed me to have a comfortable life in graduate school and contribute some to retirement, but to do that I made choices which balanced cost/opportunity. Like WisNeuro said, some will depend on how competitive you are now and what your life has looked like up til this point with respect to work, academic preparedness, etc. How mobile you are will also matter and that can impact a lot of training decisions (family responsibilities, significant other/children, etc). Resulting from my choices, I'm happy. Each person's goals and needs may differ.
     
  7. Magick91683

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2016
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    121
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    I started grad school at 28 and I don't regret it

    Sent from my SM-G950U using SDN mobile
     
  8. WorkLifeBalance

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Psychologist
    I started grad school at 40... it's not ideal for everyone, but there are some perks. You've had more life experiences, you may be more settled in your personal life, etc. I finished up just fine and am now employed as a psychologist.
     
    artsyann likes this.
  9. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    1,581
    you guys got any worhter's originals?
     
  10. artsyann

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    49
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    I’m 40 and just starting my master’s with the intent of a doctorate after. One of my mentors told me time is going to pass no matter what so if you can do what you want, you should. I am lucky in that my spouse makes a very good income so I don’t have financial worries.
     
    Magick91683 likes this.
  11. artsyann

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    49
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    I am 40 and starting this Fall. I think my age is actually an asset. My critical thinking skills are better now than when I was 25, and I think I bring more to the table. I don’t even regret not doing it earlier.
     
    procrastin8r and WorkLifeBalance like this.
  12. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    9,539
    Likes Received:
    3,139
    Status:
    Psychologist
    I think I keep those on the bureau next to the chesterfield...over behind the divan.
     
    Mad Jack and WorkLifeBalance like this.
  13. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    1,581
    pretty sure you think of a Jawbreaker song when you say chesterfield.
     
  14. Meteora

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    58
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    aw god that made me choke on my drink
     
  15. smalltownpsych

    Psychologist 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    4,411
    Likes Received:
    3,841
    Status:
    Psychologist
    I'm so old I have a nap during my 3:00's. Patients don't mind, they like to talk to an old man while he's nodding off. Brings back fond memories of grandpa during holidays.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. AbnormalPsych

    AbnormalPsych Clinical Psychologist
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    77
    Status:
    Psychologist
    Ages in my grad program ranged pretty drastically. I don't think it is too old. In fact, as you said there may be some advantages. I think assessing what your priorities are in life and being honest with yourself about the sacrifices you may or may not need to make will be important.
     
  17. psyguy83

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    20
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    Not too old but are you competitive enough to get in next year? If not, tack on another 1-3 years.
     
  18. SaraLance

    Psychologist

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Psychologist
    "Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."
     
  19. theSteppenwolf

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    68
    Status:
    Psychology Student
    Just finished year one of my doctoral program at 45. I've seen many doc students in my age range, so no.
     
  20. Jegg

    Jegg I don't know, it must have been the roses
    Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    44
    Status:
    Post Doc
    I started at 37 and finished last year. It depends on what else is going on in your life. I was married with three kids. Now divorced, with girlfriend and three kids.
     
    master-dissertations likes this.
  21. master-dissertations

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    DO/PhD Student
    It's never too late to start studying...
     

Share This Page