What are the Disadvantages to Obtaining a Master’s in Psychology?

Looking at Master’s in Psychology disadvantages can help you decide if you want to complete an advanced degree. Finding a job in a psychology-related field with only a Bachelor degree is extremely difficult, but obtaining your Master’s degree doesn’t guarantee that you’ll find a job either. During your program, you’ll choose a concentration, including engineering, occupational or clinical psychology, and you’ll spend two years or longer taking classes and researching that concentration. Before you commit to spending more time in school, find out what problems you might face after graduation.

Lower Job Satisfaction Psychology

People constantly tell you that you should study something you love and enjoy, but in today’s world, you need to study a topic that will give you marketable skills. Those skills will help you amaze employers and showcase your talents. Even if you love psychology, you might find that you aren’t happy with your career choice. Joe Light of The Wall Street Journal found that fewer than 30-percent of working psychologists felt satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs. While you might dream of helping patients, many psychologists spend more time on paperwork and office work than they do with patients.

Higher Costs

Can you afford to spend another two years in school? Graduate school is often much more expensive than an undergraduate program, and it might cost $30,000 or more each year. If you need to take a year off, or it takes you longer than two years to finish the program, you can easily rack up some high student loans. Entry-level psychology jobs start out at around $40,000 a year, and you might find that you can’t afford to live in your hometown or current city and pay back your student loans on that salary. If you do decide to enroll in a graduate program, look for a fellowship or teaching assistant program to cover some of your costs.

High Stress

One of the big Master’s in Psychology disadvantages is the high stress that psychologists feel. Psychologists must remain sympathetic with their patients, but they must also take a step back. It’s easy to feel empathetic about people and actually care about your patients, but those feelings can increase the stress that you feel. You might think that one of your patients made progress in recent months and later discovered that he killed himself, or you might work with patients who dealt with extreme problems, including sexual molestation and drug addiction, in the past. 

Increased Competition

At one point in time, there were more students enrolled in law school than there were practicing lawyers in the country. Graduate school programs are selective about their students because they only want the best and the brightest. When looking at the Master’s in Psychology disadvantages, you need to consider the competition that you face. You’ll vie for an open spot amidst hundreds of other applicants, and you’ll find yourself battling those same students for the few open jobs available after you graduate.

While you might look forward to finishing your degree and working as a psychologist, it is important to be realistic and consider the disadvantages as well as the advantages of the degree. After weighing the Master’s in Psychology disadvantages, you might decide to change your major or skip grad school.