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Is 33 too old to start psychology school?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Candylicious, Apr 16, 2018 at 8:36 AM.

  1. Candylicious

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    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.
     
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  3. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
    Psychologist

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    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

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    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

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    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.
     
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  6. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist
    Psychologist Faculty

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    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

    Classifieds Approved

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    I started grad school at 28 and I don't regret it

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

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    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.
     
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  9. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist

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    you guys got any worhter's originals?
     
  10. artsyann

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    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.
     
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  11. artsyann

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    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.
     
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  12. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National

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    I think I keep those on the bureau next to the chesterfield...over behind the divan.
     
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  13. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist

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    pretty sure you think of a Jawbreaker song when you say chesterfield.
     
  14. Meteora

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    aw god that made me choke on my drink
     
  15. smalltownpsych

    Psychologist

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    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]
     
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  17. AbnormalPsych

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    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.
     
  18. psyguy83

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    Not too old but are you competitive enough to get in next year? If not, tack on another 1-3 years.
     
  19. SaraLance

    Psychologist

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    "Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."
     

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