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Career switch in late thirties


Shanti A
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Hi everyone! I just joined this forum today and I’m ready to get started! 

Background: I am a female in my late thirties. I have a Masters degree in Computer Science and I have been in the semi conductor industry for 15 years. Due to personal experiences leading to a better sense of what I want to spend the rest of my life doing, I would like to pursue my education in Psychology to gain subject matter expertise before I build my startup to fulfill some ideas I have. I have my SOP and thesis proposal practically done (in my head) although I realize they might evolve as I learn more. My point is, I am serious about this path. :) 

Questions: 1. Where can I find the list of course pre-requisites? Is this a standard list or does it vary per school? 2. Do I need RA experience in spite of my non-relevant but extensive industry experience? 3. If the answer to #2 is a yes, do you folks have any ideas on how to pursue an RA job while working full time still?

Many, many thanks! This means a lot to me! 

Edited by Shanti A
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What degree are you looking into? A masters degree is going to be different from a PhD. Also, a clinical degree is going to be different from a research-only PhD such as social psych or developmental psych. Answers will definitely change depending on what type of degree you're aiming for but for the sake of answering your questions, I will answer based on clinical psych PhDs, which are also the most competitive. 

Pre-reqs will be program-dependent but they are typically some combination of research methods, statistics, abnormal psych, and lifespan development. You should be looking at programs based on research match of available faculty.

You need research experience. Whether that is from a formal RA position or volunteering or through work is a little more variable. Faculty want to know you have a grasp on the fundamentals of research, and products (conference posters/presentations and/or publications) to show that you can take initiative on a project. Additionally, many people spend years honing their applications with research directly related to their interest area. Some faculty prefer non-traditional students, so your background may be appealing, especially if your CS experience includes a lot of stats/modeling and the use of programs like R. 

 

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