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A Psychology Degree Offers A Vast Array Of Career Choices

Dr. Dawn Graham is a career expert, recruiter and a licensed psychologist. She has worked with AT&T, Arthur Andersen, Korn Ferry/PDI and Lee Hecht Harrison. She is currently the director of management at The Wharton School for the Executive MBA Program.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Dawn Graham)

What continuing education is required for your role?

"The requirements to become a licensed psychologist (LP) typically include earning a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited program and also completing a one-year post-doctoral internship under a licensed supervisor. In addition, applicants must successfully complete a national exam called the EPPP and also pass a state-specific exam to demonstrate knowledge of local laws related to psychology practice and ethics."

Can you describe your duties as a psychologist?

"Psychologists are employed in a variety of arenas based on specialty. While many pursue a career in traditional mental health counseling, what attracted me to the field is the vast array of available paths. For example, when pursuing my doctorate, I focused on career coaching as an expertise and combined this training with my background as a corporate recruiter to now coach executive MBAs at The Wharton School. Prior to that, I led executive selection assessments for a global talent management firm. Other psychologists work as professors, school counselors, researchers and industrial-organizational professionals in corporations."

How has education prepared you for your career in psychology?

"The preparation to become a licensed psychologist is rigorous and one of the greatest benefits of pursuing the training is learning about human interaction and patterns of relating. These skills are the hallmarks of psychologists, but also very important in any profession that involves working with others. In the business world, the understanding of human behavior influences how effective employees are at managing others, negotiating, collaborating and making decisions."

What advice would you give someone who is pursuing a career in psychology?

"Psychology is a diverse field with endless specialties, so do your research and figure out what's of most interest to you. Speaking to people in the field is a great way to get this information. To become a licensed psychologist, be prepared for a long road with several years of post-baccalaureate education, internships and post-doctoral work. However, there are also many options available in psychology with a 2-year master's degree such as a marriage and family therapist (MFT) or a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), so don't overlook these possibilities. In the end, an education in psychology will only help you in your career if you are working with others."

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. She reports on various topics such as: Social Media, Local Events, Entertainment, Food and Drink and more. Her work can be found at

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