Why Study Psychology?
Psychology is both an interesting and challenging discipline which is very rewarding to study. There are so many reasons why you should study it – even if you don’t want to work in a psychology-related area. If you find it interesting, then choosing to do a degree in it could open the door to many career prospects.
If you’re not sure whether Psychology is right for you then, hopefully, these five reasons to study it will help you make up your mind.
1. It helps you to understand your own and others’ behaviour
Psychology is all about people. If you choose to study it, you’ll have the opportunity to learn all about human behaviour and interactions. This will help you to understand your own actions, and perhaps even how to improve them. You’ll also learn about others and be able to understand their behaviour in a way that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. This may help you communicate and interact with others better, which can be useful even in your everyday life, as well as professionally in the workplace.
Studying psychology will also help you to better understand different mental illnesses. This is important because so many people will go through a mental illness at some point in their lives, and this could include someone you know. Even if you aren’t planning to go into a career relating to mental illnesses, having an insight into them will help you better support anyone who has one. It will also help you to make sure your own mental wellbeing is at its best.
2. The brain is really cool
If you agree with this statement, you should study psychology. The brain is such a complicated and interesting organ. In fact, it is so complex that there is still so much about it that we don’t even understand yet. So, if you’d like to learn more about the brain, and about our development, cognition, and perception – all in relation to the brain – then psychology could be the right option for you.
You could even go into research after your degree and carry out research on those questions we don’t yet have answers to.
If you’d like to read an article about something cool the brain does, you could the article Are you one person or two? which talks about hemispheric specialisation.
3. You want to become a psychologist
This one is probably pretty self-explanatory, but if you’d like to become a psychologist, you’ll need to complete a BPS accredited degree in psychology. After, this you’ll then also need to go on to do further studies.
Undergraduate psychology is very broad, which will give you the opportunity to explore your options before specialising after your degree. Psychologists specialise in many different areas. For example, this could be clinical, occupational, health or forensic psychology.
Psychologists specialise in many different areas. For example, this could be clinical, occupational, health or forensic psychology.
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a psychologist, and what different types there are, the article What can I do with a psychology degree? explains this all in a bit more detail.
4. It teaches you transferrable skills
Not everyone who studies psychology will go on to become a psychologist. And, if becoming a psychologist is not for you, studying psychology will still equip you with transferable skills which will be useful for many different career paths.
Studying a psychology degree will improve your communication skills. You learn all about people’s behaviour, and so be able to understand and interact with them more effectively. You will also work on forming arguments for essays and exams. This will teach you to communicate information concisely and present your point in a persuasive manner. These skills will make you a better team worker, leader or manager. Communication is so important for so many careers!
As well as this, you will also learn about how to record and analyse data. Research methods and statistics are an important part of every psychology degree; you need to know how psychologists effectively conduct research, and then how results are interpreted. This skill will also be useful for many different jobs. Research skills may help you in marketing or advertising while analysing data will give you an evaluative outlook which could be useful in many areas.
A psychology degree will equip you with a diverse skill set that will give you great career prospects. And, the overall understanding of people and empathy you will gain from a psychology degree makes you a valuable employee.
5. You enjoy it!
Ultimately, the main reason you should study Psychology is that you love the subject. Perhaps you enjoy reading psychology articles or books, watching documentaries, or it’s your favourite subject at school. If you enjoy learning about people’s behaviour and the brain, then that reason alone is good enough to study it.
If you’re still thinking about studying psychology, here are some resources which you might find interesting, or might help you to decide if it’s right for you.
Rachel is an undergraduate Psychology student at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, with a particular interest in perception. She believes that Psychology is an important science, as much of the human brain remains a mystery that we have yet to solve. She is excited to keep you up to date with the latest research in this field! In her spare time, she enjoys drawing, painting, and cooking all sorts of pasta dishes.