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Psychology & Social Work Majors and Degrees

Are you interested in exploring careers in social work, counseling and psychology? These jobs often require similar skills but different credentials.

Psychology

Are you interested in how the brain plays a role in behavior? Understanding mental illness? Exploring issues of attraction? Conflict and conflict mediation? How science is used to understand personality and social behavior? The psychology major may be for you!

Social Work

Are you passionate about social justice and social change? Do you want a rewarding career working with the disenfranchised, vulnerable, and oppressed? Are you interested in providing assistance and support to diverse individuals, groups, and communities? A social work degree will help you accomplish these academic and professional goals.

Psychology & Social Work

Although social workers and clinical psychologists are both in professions that try to help people deal with problems, there are considerable differences between the two. A social worker can work in direct services, helping people cope with problems related to poverty, legal issues or human rights. Or, they can work in the clinical field, where they diagnose and treat mental, behavioral or emotional health issues. Psychologists study human behavior and the ways in which the human mind works. The work of clinical social workers is more similar to that of a psychologist.

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Psychology & Social Work Majors and Degrees

 Psychology versus Social Work

Clinical psychology includes the scientific study and application of psychology for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. Central to its practice are psychological assessment and psychotherapy, although clinical psychologists also engage in research, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration.

Licensed clinical social worker: A social worker trained in psychotherapy who helps individuals deal with a variety of mental health and daily living problems to improve overall functioning. A social worker usually has a master's degree in social work and has studied sociology, growth and development, mental health theory and practice, human behavior/social environment, psychology, research methods.

 

Career Outlook for Psychology and Social Work

With a degree in psychology, you'll be well prepared for an exciting variety of career opportunities, including psychology, social work, counseling, business, education, research and many more.

Employment of psychologists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be best for those who have a doctoral degree in an applied specialty and those with a specialist or doctoral degree in school psychology. The median annual wage for psychologists was $69,280 in May 2012.

Employment of social workers is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increased demand for health care and social services, but will vary by specialty. The median annual wage for social workers was $44,200 in May 2012.

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