Should I Become a Clinical Psychologist?

What is Clinical Psychology?

Clinical Psychology combines theory, science and practice. As a clinical psychologist, you would deal with the cause, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of those with psychological problems. These problems can very greatly in severity and seriousness, from disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and substance abuse to problems related to stress, career planning and family.

If you don’t like school – it may be time to consider another career. Job opportunities are limited for those with a bachelor’s clinical psychology degree. If you want to work in your own private practice, then you will need to become licensed. This is done to ensure “quality” that is equivalent across clinical practitioners.

A doctorate degree is usually required for independent practice as a clinical psychologist as well as many other career options such as academic and research. A master’s degree will allow you sufficient choice in careers, but it will also limit you in career advancement. A master’s clinical psychology degree program requires 2 years of full time study and it may be best if you think about it as allows you to start off your career and ease into a doctoral degree program.

Where do Clinical Psychologist Work?

With a clinical psychology degree you could work in a:

  • private practice
  • school or college
  • hospital
  • physical rehabilitation centers
  • mental health facilitates

Careers with a Clinical Psychology Degree

With a clinical psychology degree you could choose among a vast number of careers. You could focus:

Research – focus on assessment and testing of therapies, drug treatments or patient interventions.

Counseling – advise individuals in group or family settings or conduct one to one meetings with patients. This type of career is perfect if you like giving advice and helping people.

Faculty – you could decide to share your knowledge with other aspiring clinical psychologist and become a member of the faculty team. In this role you would train students in providing mental health services to a wide range of clients.

According to the US Department of Labor, jobs for psychologists are expected to grow 15% from 2006-2016. This is faster than average for all other occupations. Given the raise in health care costs, prevention and treatment have become more critical. According to the same source, median annual earnings for clinical psychologist were $59,440 (data from May 2006).

Home-Schooled Students Can Use CLEP Tests to Earn College Credits

Home-schooled students are probably some of the best candidates to take CLEP (College Level Examination Program) exams. These students have already proven that they are motivated and that they are self starters based on the simple fact that they obtain their education at home. Many home-schooled students that decide to take CLEP tests have the opportunity to finish their high school degree a step ahead of many of their peers who attend public or private high schools. CLEP exams, which allow students to earn college credits by taking examinations, can jumpstart a college career and allow the homeschooled student to be well on the way to earning a college degree before he or she graduates from high school.

CLEP tests cover material taught in general education courses that students typically take in the first two years of college. These exams, which are available in subjects such as history, social sciences, composition, literature, and mathematics, each allow students the ability to earn between three and six college credits. Home-schooled students can often transfer their knowledge of what they are currently studying in order to successfully pass their CLEP tests. Even if the CLEP exam subject is unfamiliar to the homeschooler, a few weeks of independent studying is often sufficient to equip him with the knowledge he needs to know to pass the CLEP. Most home-schooled students are far more disciplined than average students and are often self-starters, self-taught learners, and have numerous intrinsic motivators; all of these factors will greatly assist the homeschooler who wishes to use CLEP to begin earning college credits.

Even if home-schooled families are unfamiliar with how to utilize CLEP tests, other families in their social network or home-school program can often offer input and advice about this amazing educational program. Between networking and a bit of Internet research, families can gain valuable insight on how to maximize the use of CLEP exams. Students may find it helpful to speak with their home-schooled peers to learn their experiences and receive helpful advice.

Parents of homeschoolers often play a vital role in helping their children benefit from CLEP test. Parents can help their children develop realistic study plans and goals, provide their children with adequate CLEP preparation resources, help their children to remain motivated. Parents of home-schooled students can also assist their children by researching higher education options. Several well-know, accredited colleges and universities allow students to earn most of their general education degree requirements using CLEP and other credit-by-examination programs.

While studying for and taking a CLEP exam that is not part of the curriculum required for graduation may not appeal to a normal high school student, many homeschoolers are eager to jumpstart their college career using CLEP tests. Although in the short term, some sacrifices are required, the long term benefits of CLEP exams are tremendous. Just imagine the freedom and opportunities to be gained by graduating from college in one or two years instead of four or give! With CLEP exams, it is possible for …

Education in Pakistan

Education in Pakistan

Education in Pakistan is divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate); and university programs leading to graduate (undergraduate) and advanced (post-graduate) degrees.

All academic education institutions are the responsibility of the provincial governments. The federal government mostly assists in curriculum development, accreditation and some financing of research.

Pre-school

A child may begin his/her schooling at a pre-school at the age of 3. Over the last few years, many new kindergarten (sometimes called montessori) schools have sprung up in Pakistan.

Primary Education

Formal education in Pakistan starts from around age 5. The first 5 years of school are referred to as Primary. Thereafter, the next 3 are referred to as Middle and the 2 after as Highschool.

Secondary Education

At the completion of Highschool or 10 years of schooling, students are required to sit for board examinations referred to as Secondary School Certificate examinations or more commonly as ‘Matric’. These are administered by area boards. Those that receive passing marks (normally 33%) on this examination are awarded a Secondary School Certificate or SSC. Students may then choose to undergo 2 years of additional schooling (offered both a school and some colleges) after which they sit for the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC), more commonly referred to as ‘Intermediate’ exams. There is a wide choice of subjects that students can choose from during their ‘intermediate’ years many of which are technical subjects. Students normally read about 5 subjects in a chosen stream such as pre-medical, science, humanities, pre-engineering etc. and then sit for the Higher Secondary School Certificate exam in those subjects which are also administered by area boards. Those that receive passing marks (normally 33% of all subjects cummulative) are awarded a Higher Secondary School Certificate or HSSC.

Technical Education

Students can enter a plethora of technical institutes for technical certificates and degrees. The entrance requirements for these courses vary greatly with some such as carpentry requiring the applicant to be literate whereas others such as B.Tech in automation require HSSC.

Post-Secondary

Pakistani education system

Students can then precede to a College or University for Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Science (BSc) or Commerce/Business Administration (BCom/BBA) degree courses. There are two types of Bachelor courses in Pakistan namely Pass or Honours. Pass constitutes two years of study and students normally read three optional subjects (such as Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics, Statistics) in addition to almost equal number of compulsory subjects (such as English, Pakistan Studies and Islamic Studies) whereas Honours are three or four years and students normally specialize in a chosen field of study such as Biochemistry (BSc Hons. Biochemistry). It is important to note that Pass Bachelors is now slowly being phased out for Honours throughout the country. Students may also after earning their HSSC may study for professional Bachelor degree courses such as engineering (B Engg), …

Beyond Estimation: the Value of a College Degree

If you’re looking to change careers or start a new career, you’ve probably considered heading back to school. But with college tuitions expanding and job markets shrinking, you wonder: is it really worth it? The latest research sheds some light on the tough questions that you should ask before heading back to school.

Many high school guidance counselors may tell you that a college education is worth about $1 million over the course of a working life. While that may have once been the case, a recent study by Skidmore economist Sandy Baum and the College Board estimates the real value of a college degree at about $300,000. While the drop in value is significant, there are good reasons.

According to Baum’s research, college graduates on average earn $20,000 more annually than workers with only high school diplomas. Over a forty-year career, that adds up to about $800,000. Since that figure represents lifetime earnings, an adjustment for inflation brings the figure down to about $450,000. Finally, the cost of tuition and books at a public university ($30,000 if you don’t qualify for any financial aid or scholarships) drops the figure to $300,000.

If the numbers look grim, don’t throw up your hands just yet. Despite the gap between the older and newer appraisals, a college degree may still be one of the wisest investments you can make.

Fringe Benefits
Although you may not end up earning the $50,000 annual salary (according to Baum’s research, the average for graduates of bachelor’s degree programs), you may find additional benefits that offset your costs. Bachelor’s degree holders are more likely to land a job with health insurance–a valuable commodity with rising healthcare costs.

Also, because the job market places such importance on college education, you may have an easier time finding and holding a job with a degree than without. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among students with a bachelor’s degree stood at 2.2 percent in 2007–compared to 3 percent for associate’s degree-holders and 4.4 percent for those who only have a high school diploma.

If your career aspirations include advanced degrees (in business, law, or medicine, for example), holding a bachelor’s degree is usually the first step to more advanced education, which can mean significantly higher earnings.

Benefits of Not Earning a College Degree
While research suggests college education is important, it would be unwise to bill a college degree as the golden ticket to success–Bill Gates is a shining example of what one college dropout can achieve. The most obvious benefit of bypassing college degree is avoiding the expense. By starting a career right away, you could be $30,000 richer in the immediate term. Many potentially lucrative careers offer paid on-the-job training and apprenticeships, resulting in pay comparable to the average for bachelor’s degree holders. A radiological technician, for example, can land a job with a two-year associate’s degree. According to the BLS, in May 2007, median annual earnings for radiologists and radiologic technicians were …

Teach For America Reduces the Achievement Gap For Thousands of Students in Los Angeles Schools

After bidding adieu to the Bush era, many parents and concerned citizens experience lingering indignation toward the ineffectualness of the No Child Left Behind Act. Fortunately, institutions like Teach for America target twenty-nine urban and rural areas where educational inequality has hit the hardest. With only 45.3 percent of high school graduating seniors, the Los Angeles Metropolitan area is one of the nation’s most prominent regions of educational disparity. One of the goals of Teach for America is to ensure that a child’s birthplace does not determine his or her education and life prospects. For the 2008 school year, Teach for America has employed 350 teachers to alleviate the education gap in underserved schools in Los Angeles. As there has been a 42 percent increase in Teach for America applicants for the 2009 school year, Teach for America staff will continue to improve students’ performances in Los Angeles schools in 2009.

For applications due February 13th, Los Angeles candidates had the choice to sign up for several interview dates and locations throughout Los Angeles. Applicants signed up for interviews at three venues including McKinsey & Company in downtown Los Angeles. They attended interviews consisting of a five minute teaching presentation, problem solving activities, a group activity, and a personal interview. These rigorous evaluations were designed to provide interviewers with a way assess the dedication, preparedness, and stamina of future teachers and educational leaders in underfunded Los Angeles communities. Such communities include Baldwin Park, Compton, Los Angeles, Lynwood, and Pasadena.

In the five minute teaching presentation, applicants demonstrated their organizational aptitude and ability to teach key academic subjects. The subjects and grade levels chosen for five minute teaching presentations reflected the subjects taught most by corps members in LA , including: Secondary English, Secondary Science, and Secondary Math. To ensure successful funding for these grades and subject levels, twenty-eight percentage of Teach for America’s budget is used for corps member’s professional development. Twenty percent is devoted to pre-service training; eighteen percent for recruitment and selection; sixteen percent for national support; six percent for alumni support and development; and five percent is dedicated to local program administration.

Without support from corporate and public foundations, Teach for America would be unable to fulfill its increasing budget demands. The organization receives corporate and public support from such companies as The Ahmanson Foundation, The Eisner Foundation, MSST Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, State Farm Insurance, Symantec Corporation, and The Weingart Foundation. These contributions make it possible for Teach for America to extend its services to new regions such as the Mississippi Delta and Greater New Orleans, in addition to expanding the corps’ population in Los Angeles.

You may wonder why Teach for America generates such a colossal impact on students’ lives. Why are so many organizations donating funds to support a non-profit organization when there are qualified teachers who already exist? Do schools in Los Angeles really need Teach for America or is the corps’ presence in Southern California superfluous, especially during a time …