Psychology is one of the most popular college majors today, with more than 118,000 students earning bachelor’s degrees in psychology in 2015, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Despite the popularity of the major, many graduates question what to do with the degree they earned. According to Psychology Today, less than 27 percent of recent psychology graduates end up working jobs they describe as being “closely related” to their major. Is there a problem?
The problem is one of licensure. The minimum requirement to work as a licensed therapist, school counselor, or enter private practice is to have a master’s in psychology and pass a state licensing exam. The reason so few graduates work in psychology is that only 45.3% of bachelor’s graduates in psychology go on to earn graduate degrees. (Incidentally, those with a master’s degree earn an average of 33% more than with a bachelor’s, so the payoff for the master’s is obvious.)
Here’s another “wow” statistic: in the 2016 academic year, there were 6,532 psychology doctorates (PhD and PsyD) granted from U.S. colleges and universities, and of these, 1,568 were clinical doctorates (Doctor of Psychology) designed for practicing therapists, and an astounding 74% or 1,160 PsyD degrees were earned by women. Obviously, women dominate the helping professions of licensed therapist and psychologist! Bravo to all you newly minted Doctors!
Since we are exploring numbers, here’s one we at CalSouthern are proud to display: as of mid-May 2019, California Southern University had 1,686 men and women enrolled in our online Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program and another 478 enrolled it our online master’s programs. More than the total doctoral graduates from all other reporting colleges. (Don’t be confused, the numbers are correct. CalSouthern does not report its enrollments and graduation rates to the National Center for Education Statistics.)
And a big congratulations to Dr. Beebout and Dr. Boling who are both Learners from the California Southern University School of Behavioral Sciences! My best wishes for your future career success!
University Founder & President Emeritus
About Dr. Donald “Doc” Hecht — Doc is an Educator, University Founder, and President Emeritus writing and discussing the trends and challenges facing higher, online, and distance education, among other topics. Please feel free to comment, make suggestions, or ask any questions! You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.