Interview: A successful career after a degree in Psychology

On Friday, 27 September 2013, newspaper "Espresso" published an interview with the Managing Director of ICPS, Mr. Constantinos Pappas, entitled: ‘‘A successful career after a degree in Psychology“.

The interview is as follows:

Psychological studies offer a variety of career opportunities and valuable knowledge in a wide range of job positions. This is pinpointed, inter alia, by Mr. Constantinos Pappas, Managing Director of the College for Humanistic Sciences - ICPS and also member of the Department of Organisational Psychology of the British Psychological Society; Mr. Pappas, in the special  inlaid issue of  the newspaper "Espresso" referred to the career opportunities and perspectives granted by a degree in this science. 
Q: Psychology is one of the most popular specialisations offered by Colleges. For which reasons do the students prefer it?
A: Psychology is the science which focuses on the human behaviour and tries to predict it and explain it. This fact could be enough to lure a student. Who would not want to be able to perceive and understand precisely the thoughts, intentions, emotions and pursuits of other people around him/her? Or even more, to be able to discern when someone is telling the truth or is lying; or to be able to predict what would be the next move of the person in front of him/her. It is a science of high prestige and worldwide recognition, investigating ‘the cause and effect‘, but also a science offering studies with a variety of career opportunities.

Q: What are the advantages offered by such a degree in human sciences amid the economic crisis?

A: Occasionally parents ask me‚‘‘Why would someone study psychology in the midst of the economic crisis"? An analysis of the revenues, on a European level, deriving from future wages compared to the cost of studies, clearly reveals the economic benefits from the acquisition of such a degree. Consequently, the question “Why would someone want to study psychology?" becomes “Why wouldn’t someone want to study psychology"? Psychology graduates can cover a variety of positions in a wide range of organizations thanks to the capacity of “transferring“  the skills they have developed during theis studies. A degree in Psychology, additionally to the specialising knowledge, equipes people with efficient communication skills, and enables them to handle modern technologies,  to work either independently or as a member of a group and basically gives them the ability to comprehend a range of behaviors, including their causes and their effects. Via the Bachelor (B.Sc) in Psychology of the UCLan offered at ICPS, for example, we aim not only at developing the knowledge on psychological theories, but also at equipping our students with the skills that will allow them to apply this knowledge in a wide range of job positions. Simultaneously, the acquisition of a British degree which is followed by global recognition coupled with the capability of registering in the greatest professional association of psychologists enables our graduates to launch a career “without frontiers”.
Q: What are the career prospects opening up for graduates?
A:  The human factor will always continue to exist within organisations (private or state, larger or smaller), regardless of the developments in political - economic terms. Thus, knowledge gained via a powerful first degree in Psychology or via a high standard master can apply in a diveristy of jobs and professions which might be really different from that of the typical psychologist. Some of these are related to decision making, organisation management and human resources management as well as to the protection of mental and physical health of the people, to the planning of an advertising campaign, handling a communication crisis and tackling with the behavior of a tax evader.  As a result, the graduate of a psychology course can be a valuable “multifunctional” asset in any organisation.

Q: In Greece, all fields are plagued by unemployment. What about psychologists?

A: Apparently, the crisis has affected all professional fields, including psychologists. This presents, however, a dominant challenge, as the market has been saturated with typical specialisations such as "clinical psychology", for many years; hence competition soared. Nonetheless, at the same time, other specialisations were totally ignored or even unknown given the Greek standards, so the public demand in these fields nowadays is quite high and it will certainly increase in the coming years. Typical examples include forensic psychology, child psychology and health psychology. For example, reducing the cost for the health of citizens will inevitably lead to the state funding of prevention and this is exactly where the role of the health psychologist will be critical.

Q: Is the first degree adequate or is a master‘s absolutely necessary?

A: Specialisation via a high quality postgraduate training is needed in this area. No professional can establish himself without a postgraduate specialisation. ICPS has been the pioneer in this area for 24 years offering Master’s degrees in Person-Centered Counselling & Psychotherapy, in Child Psychology as well as in Psychology of Health. 
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