It is quite difficult to imagine that a teenager between 15 and 18 would understand the requirements of becoming a Clinical Psychologist, the benefits of being one, what it would take to find jobs in the area, what their day to day would look like, or how much they would get paid.
Most likely their thought process when it comes to career exploration involves being rich, famous, successful, walking on red carpets, under the continued flashing of the cameras and the sound of their names by the crowds. Or maybe the thought process revolves around scoring the winning point of the game while being acclaimed by very excited fans wearing shirts with their names and numbers.
When coaching our kids through their career exploration it is very important to complete the picture for them, so they can align what they like to learn or what they enjoy doing with what is required of a career. It is also important to set the expectations regarding the requirements for each specific career.
For instance, a Clinical Psychologist needs to have completed an undergraduate degree, usually in Psychology. A Clinical Psychologist also needs a master’s or doctoral degree, with a possible one year internship. A master’s degree is the minimum requirement. Most Clinical Psychologists are also need a license or a certificate to be able to practice. So in order to be able to practice as a Clinical Psychology between 6 and 12 years of college education are required.
It is also very useful to help them understand what their day would be like as a Clinical Psychologist. How they would be seeing patients in their private practices, discussing the patient’s personal challenges. How listening skills are very important when treating patients. Or maybe they join teams at hospitals to help patients dealing with difficult illnesses, and how compassion may be very important in such cases.
In addition to understanding the required education and the typical work day, it is key to include employment and salary data in the empowering of our kids to get them ready for a career. In the case of a Clinical Psychologist, the median annual pay is around $77K as of May of 2017, and the job outlook is positive, expecting a 14% growth in the number of positions.
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