Making a Mid-Career Switch to Psychology

Switching careers can be tough. It is venturing into uncharted waters; it is facing a steep learning curve; it is taking a potential pay cut. Good news is: it brings along more meaning, opportunities, and growth. Best of all, it is not impossible. This article is directed at my fellow aspiring psychologists out there, who are toying with the idea of a career switch, but not sure how, amidst the current uncertainty. Given the recent pandemic, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) have rolled out two initiatives relevant for mid-career switching: SGUnited Skills Programme and SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme.


SGUnited Skills Programme

The SGUnited Skills Programme is a full-time modular training programme, lasting from 6 to 12 months. Through providing relevant courses and certificates, it prepares jobseekers for incoming jobs produced from our recovering economy.

While I was browsing the MySkillsFuture website, one particular course that caught my eye was the SGUS Specialist Diploma in Applied Drama and Psychology in Youth Work, offered by Singapore Polytechnic. From the course objective, it seems comprehensive and a good starting point for Psychology students – as it teaches the fundamentals of Psychology, research, and even covers the art of counselling. However, if you are looking for something more short-term, you can also opt for several-day courses, such as the Certificate in Practical Counselling (Basic), offered by the Academy of Human Development.

Image credit: Singapore Counselling Centre

This programme is specially designed to help trainees acquire industry-relevant skills to upgrade themselves and enhance employability. Hence, on top of a monthly $1,200 training allowance, trainees also enjoy heavily subsidised course fees, capped at $500 nett for a 6-month programme, and $1000 nett for a 12-month programme. These remaining amounts can be covered using SkillsFuture Credit.

So, who can sign up for this programme? As long as, you are a Singapore Citizen or a Permanent Resident, have two or more years of working experience, and have been impacted by COVID-19, you are eligible!


SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme – Company Attachments

Next, the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme acts to support mid-career individuals in expanding their professional networks and gaining new industry-relevant skills, through attachments with host organizations.

To browse the available attachment opportunities, you just have to visit the MyCareersFuture website and search under the hashtag #SGUP, or select “For Workplace Attachment; If you are mid-career seeking attachment" under the government support filter. Some job positions that particularly stood out to me were: Executive, at the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association, and Community Services Executive, at Mount Carmel Bible-Presbyterian Church.

Image credit: Credits to Ministry of Home Affairs

Such attachment programmes can last up to 9 months, and provide an estimated training allowance of $1,400 to $3,000 per month (depending on the scope of the attachment). To be eligible, applicants for this attachment programme have to be Singaporeans or Permanent Residents. While it is targeted to assist the unemployed, those who are employed (be it on a contract, full-time, or part-time basis) may also apply, as long as they are able to commit on a full-time basis.


SkillsFuture Singapore. (2020). Jobs & skills: SGUnited skills programme. Retrieved from

Workforce Singapore. (2020). SGUnited mid-career pathways programme: Company attachments for mid-career individuals. Retrieved from


Written by Ng Jia Ying. Jia Ying is a 3rd year undergraduate from SMU, pursuing Psychology and Marketing. A believer of lifelong learning, she aims to constantly educate herself and others around her on the importance of mental health and to reduce society’s stigmatization of mental illnesses.