I want to be a psychologist

I am a student of Class 11 with the subjects PCM. I want to be a psychologist but had never studied it as a subject before. What should I do after Std 12 so as to pursue Psychology as a career? I also want to try for the Civil Services. What are the courses (so as to become eligible to give the Civil Services exams, too), job opportunities and scope in this field? Also is there any exam I need to do so as to work in foreign countries?

You can still study Psychology during graduation, even if you do not have Psychology as a subject in 10+2. But before taking this decision, you should carefully think about your seriousness about the subject and available options. Borrow books on Psychology from your friends and read to have an idea about the subject.

During graduation, the studies will be of a higher level. Psychology graduates have knowledge of the assessment of personality, intelligence and attitudes, interviewing techniques, questionnaire design and analysis, child development, and methods of teaching and learning. This knowledge can be applied to an enormous number of occupations and professions like market research, social work, personnel management and career guidance. They may also be involved in investigations such as crime detection and lie detection. Psychology is a popular subject in competitive examinations like the civil services.

Indian Civil Services are the most powerful, glamorous and coveted of all Indian services. Officers have a wide variety of duties and responsibilities ranging from maintenance of law and order, collection of taxes, to developmental work within State and Central areas of jurisdiction, implementation of social welfare activities, etc.

Recruitment to these offices is through the All India Combined Competitive Examination for the Civil Services, conducted by UPSC.

The examination consists of three levels: Preliminary Examination (two papers of multiple-choice questions), Main Examination (nine papers of essay type questions) and interview. This is truly an intense competitive examination and requires at least one year of dedicated preparation. To appear in this examination one should have completed graduation in any stream. However, the standard of questions is usually an inter-mix of both graduate and post graduate level of study.


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What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist? Can a person become either one of them with subjects PCM in Std XII? Are psychologists or psychiatrists needed in the defence forces?

Psychologists and psychiatrists both study the brain, emotions, feelings and thoughts, and work with people suffering from grief, trauma or mental disorders. Though they both work in the same field, the job description, education and training are very different.

Psychologists study the human mind through lab tests, surveys and interviews. They use this information to counsel patients suffering from mental disorders, grief or trauma. Their primary focus is on the patient’s thoughts, feelings and general mental health.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors. They specialize in the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of mental health problems. They may write prescriptions to help patients manage disorders such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or bipolar disorder.

To become a psychologist, you would begin your education with graduation in Psychology, for which eligibility is 10+2 in any stream. Graduation should be followed by a master’s degree as well as a doctorate degree in Psychology. But if you want to become a Psychiatrist, you should go for MBBS for which 10+2 with PCB is the requirement. Later on, a specialization in Psychiatry should be done. Both are very well needed in the armed forces.


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