Careers in Psychology without an MA or PhD

The following information was presented during a Psi Chi Colloquium session in spring 2001. The speakers were Dr. Sussman, who was the head of the Applied Psychology Track at IUP, and Vicki Gold of the Alice Paul House.

Applied Psychology Track

Three major things that psychologists do:

  1. Teach/Research
  2. Clinical/Counseling
  3. Apply psychology to a field not related to counseling

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

  • Work Situations
  • Leadership
  • Supervision
  • Human Resources
  • Hiring
  • Training

Evaluation work is a large aspect of Industrial/Organizational Psychology. This can be applied to areas such as

  • Community work
  • Administration
  • Designing programs such as for juvenile delinquents
  • Conducting surveys
  • Obtaining a job with only a Bachelor's degree in psychology largely relates to one's level of motivation and personal initiative.
  • Some IUP graduates of the Applied Psychology Track now work in fields such as
  • Mental health administration
  • Labor relations
  • Student services at colleges and universities

Counseling without a Higher Degree

Alice Paul House is an example of an agency that one may get involved in counseling without a graduate school degree. Alice Paul House serves victims of abuse and domestic violence of all ages and both sexes. The following information is based on the workings of the Alice Paul House in Indiana Pennsylvania.

Two types of counseling conducted at Alice Paul:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling

The qualifications needed to be a counselor at this agency are usually:

  • A Bachelor's degree in psychology, sociology, or a related field
  • Counseling experience

Experience is very importantwhen trying to obtain a counseling job without a higher degree. Experience can be gained through:

  • Completing a psychology practicum
  • Completing an internship
  • Volunteer work

Other Options in Counseling Work

  • Drug and Alcohol Counselor
    • In order to become a drug and alcohol counselor, one has to become a Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC). Obtaining this certification can take 2-2.5 years to complete.
  • Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS)
    • A TSS can work with children by accompanying them to school to help out with their work, and they help the family at their home.