SGPsychStud's reflections: Getting a psychological-related career in Singapore

This is purely my own thoughts and views about the type of work and opportunities of getting psychological-related work in Singapore.  This is something I feel that you as students and budding psychologists should have a thought about it as well, as it affects your own career pathways.

In my opinion, there are only three categories of psychological-related work in Singapore:  (a) Counselling / Psychotherapy / Consultation / similar types where it is one-to-one or one-to-group type of consultation,  (b) Research, and (c) Teaching / Lecturing.  For most students, they are studying to get into jobs that involve (a) Counselling / Psychotherapy / Consultation, and/or (b) Research.

For those interesting in (a) Counselling / Psychotherapy / Consultation types of work, it has already been discussed previously that you will need to get a postgraduate degree and it takes you at least 5 to 6 years of training to become a psychologist, regardless of the country you are in.
And for those considering to do (b) Research work, you will also need a postgraduate degree (more commonly a PhD) to become a full-fledged researcher doing research as a full-time job.
Lastly for those interested in (c) Teaching / Lecturing psychology, you will need at least a Masters (or PhD) degree; though it is not uncommon to see lecturers with only undergraduate degrees and teaching the diploma courses.  According to the Private Education Act 2009 Part VI Regulation 26 Paragraph 3, you need to have at least 5 years of working experience in the related field, or "qualifications in that field which are at least a level higher than the level of the course" if not equipped with 5 years of experience.
Though having the goals and aspirations to get into these careers, this may not be the case in reality.

My Advice:
1)  If you plan to get into psychological-related work, do know which category or categories of work (your work might be a mixture of two categories) you would like to do and/or good at.  Focus and invest your time and energy whenever possible.
2)  Opportunities beget experience, which in turn beget opportunities.  Although work opportunities may be hard to come by and most people would grab whatever that comes by, do think carefully of whether or not you want that job.  From my experience, from taking up a job, this may lead to other future jobs in the same category, which may be good if you plan to have a career in that category.  However, if you are not considering a career in that category, this might be limiting your career in certain ways.
3)  Without the required academic qualifications, most often than not, you may be stuck in a certain level at work; however no matter the situations, you should still work hard!! These work experiences will prepare you for the next stages of your career.   

To conclude, in order to plan your psychological career pathway, you should know and choose your choice of job category well, and invest your effort in getting a related job, and work hard at it!!

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