Photo from The British Psychological Society

The Highly Educated but Needs Experience Paradox

This article has been revised to another citation format. If you’d like to see Part 2, please click here.

I fall into the “highly educated but needs more experience paradox”. I pursued a Masters in Psychology in order to see if I could get a Doctorate in the field to become a psychologist.

  • Where I live, you must get a Doctorate in a clinical stream to become a psychologist. This is contingent on you getting your Bachelors and Masters in the same industry.
  • While it wasn’t easy to stay in the discipline, I did so while many of my undergraduate and graduate-level peers left the field to pursue other interests.

Looking back on things, self-discipline hasn’t been easy. But with careful time management and a goal to succeed, I have at least done the Masters, all in one piece. I even have some working research experience under my belt!

How we all feel sometimes — Photo from Stanford: Graduate School of Education

As a contingency, I decided to work in HR. Why? Because once you get a Ph.D., you might find yourself struggling to find regular employment.

  • First, I got a post-graduate certification in Human Resources Management. I still like it here.
  • If my original plan to be a Psychologist doesn’t pan out — in about 10 years or so, I can hope to work in a position that allows me to combine Psychology and Human Resources, such as through Organizational Development.

After getting that postgraduate training in Human Resources, I was able to quickly find contract roles related to the industry as did my peers in the same program!

I didn’t study here but the logo looked nice. Photo from Leadership Institute of Tanzania

However, the goal of working as a Psychologist still stands but has been revised. I will work in the corporate world for the time being, most likely in Human Resources. However, I will be taking additional coursework to possibly become a Registered Psychotherapist on the interim.

  • Where I live, registered Psychotherapists required an accredited Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology or related.

To summarize:

  • My ongoing and somewhat short term goal is reliable employ-ability through Human Resources.
  • My medium term goal is to become a Registered Psychotherapist after completing my additional coursework.
  • My long-term goal is to eventually work towards a PhD in Clinical Psychology (or related, such as School Psychology).
  • If my long-term goal doesn’t pan out, I have Human Resources to fall back on and will continue working in the field (or related). I hope the future is promising!
Photo from Frontiers: Science News



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Synthia Stark

Synthia Stark


Canadian Therapist & Former Researcher | 5x Top Writer | Writing about mental health, psychology, science, etc.