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School Psychology programs


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I recently started a Ph.D. program in my home state, about 2 1/2 hours from home.

I had no idea what school psychology was until I started determining which programs to apply for. I had no prior research experience, only a lot of passion for psychology, a great GPA/GRE score, and a love for kids. However, I seem to be in turmoil about whether I have chosen the right program. I know I just started, but research is NOT my area of interest. That being said, I am required to write a thesis, and dissertation, and participate in lab research studies each semester. 4 years of this chaos is a long time to suffer. While that all sucks, I love the applied opportunities I already have.

My concern is whether I've chosen the right program. I would love to work with children and adults, but I don't plan to continue any research once I have my degree. All I want is a good paying job that I love. It's difficult to get respect in the field of psychology with only the letters M.A. beside your name. I am fully capable of completing the Ph.D, but it just seems like a pain to complete this research I have no interest in. I guess my question is if my job opportunities/salary would really suffer that much if I switched from a school psych Ph.D. program to some applied psychology M.A. program.

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If your idea it to just WORK in the field, you seriously should have gone for your Master's degree first. Because if you go for your Ph.D. you can actually be overqualified for the positions and you'll be unhire-able by most companies/schools. And that's not just a scare tactic they use. I currently work in mental health and my company won't look twice at doctoral candidates because they do not have the budget allocation/funding for Ph.D.'s. Where as their funding agencies give them money for certified master's degrees.

While the masters is less prestigious, it's also typically less academia directed and can get you the type of applied experience that, not only do you love, but make you more versatile in the working community. And if you really want the PhD for namesake, first get into a job you love and THEN return to your PhD. Tuition reimbursement is an excellent incentive ;-)

Edited by psychkita
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I agree. For school psych, getting your Ph.D. isn't really even necessary. I'm not even sure if it's worth it--> your salary won't increase that much plus all of the time used to finish your Ph.D., you could have been working and making money. School psychologists are in high demand right now and if you have your masters+, you should have no problem finding a job. Personally, I'm applying to masters+ programs in school psych for the upcoming year.

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