Maninder Kaur

I want to know which degrees are essential for a good career as a psychologist.

What are the important degrees to be an established psychologist and how long does the whole process take? After graduation and post graduation, is it a must to for doctorate as well?

by Maninder Kaur
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RE: I want to know which degrees are essential for a good career as a psychologist.

Dr. K.V. Anand
Dr. K.V. Anand
Verified Career Expert
Career Guide, Educationist, Author and Clinical Psychologist
  • Palakkad

Dear Career aspirant
I am very glad that you want to choose psychology is a career.
I am sure that your choice is great.

Being a clinical and health educational psychologist, I can clearly and categorically appraise you that we, in India, have a shortage of quality clinical psychologists and professionals in other psychology fields as education, marketing, organization, military, cyber, forensic etc. The vast requirement in this field makes it more and more lucrative. The future also is supposed to throw a lot of opportunities. By the time you become a professional, there shall be a galore of opportunities in India and abroad.


Psychology is a science which studies human behavior. Human behavior is so complex and it includes visible and invisible aspects (thinking). Psychology is a broad field. Broad psychology is termed general psychology. Then psychology is divided into fields in which the psychology principles are applied. As I explained earlier, Clinical, educational, marketing etc considered as the sub fields. When we study deeply about any of the subfields, then it is called applied psychology.

To be called as a psychologist and to practice or be a professional, you need to be a graduate for now. To practice as a health psychologist and counseling psychologist you need a post graduation in psychology (though no specific terms are set in law). To be a rehabilitation psychologist, you need a degree accredited by rehabilitation council of India (RCI) and registration with rehabilitation council of India.

Degree and Post graduation in clinical psychology is considered as medical equivalents where the student studies about psychiatric aspects of psychology. Clinical psychologist uses various psychometric career Assessment tests to determine the depth and breadth of the mental disorders and submit report to the psychiatrists and then psychiatrists prescribe medicines based on the report submitted by the clinical psychologists. In western countries, every hospital hires a clinical psychologist. Indian hospitals also are understanding the requirements and in near future it is on the cards. After completion of MA in Clinical Psychology, you can practice privately as a Clinical Psychologist. National institute of Mental Health and Nuero Sciences (NIMHANS), is the premier institution which provides Clinical psychology programs. You can check www.nimhans.kar.nic.in. other premier institutions include Amity Institute of Psychology and IGNOU.


Other applied fields are also of equal importance. If you want to work with an organisation, then you can opt for organization psychology, consumer psychology etc. in the field of crime and policing, you have forensic psychology and criminal psychology. As human service you have counseling psychology and health psychology. In the field of education you have education psychology. You can choose your field and there are universities across India to help you fulfill your dreams.

You get PhD when you research on a certain aspect on any of the above fields. PhD gives you exposure and more and more knowledge. But it is not necessary for practicing as a psychologist. As you know already, to complete a post graduation, there is a set process 10+2+3+2. Then another 2 years or so for MPhil. Hope you are clear.

I am available for more in case you need any clarifications.
Very good luck in your endeavor.
God Bless you.




RE: I want to know which degrees are essential for a good career as a psychologist.

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