How Hard is Psychology?

Matt Michaels

Matt Michaels Google+

It seems to me that there are two main reasons for a person to ask, “how hard is psychology?”
1. Thinking about majoring in psychology
2. Looking for a challenge
3. Looking for a cake class/major
#1. Ok, I’ll assume that you’re not the slacker type (If you are, skip down to #3). If you’re thinking about majoring in psychology, then you’ve come to the right place. This site contains various articles with useful information for students wanting to major in psychology or take a class in psychology. Psychology is fairly easy and interesting. There are many exciting research innovations happening all the time in psychology, which has led to the field growing rapidly and encompassing a wide variety of topics. Too, there is a positive job outlook for many job fields related to psychology. Although the courses are fairly easy, there are plenty of opportunities to challenge yourself.
#2. If you’re looking to challenge yourself, you can actually get involved in research yourself. Don’t worry, you won’t be a test subject in some weird experiment! Many faculty members are active researchers in addition to teaching several classes. So, they’re insanely busy all the time, which means they usually have graduate and undergraduate students help out throughout the process. Be on the lookout for ways to get involved in research. If you help out for several semesters, they may be willing to write you a letter of recommendation or supervise a senior thesis. Check the psychology website at your university for opportunities. Better yet, talk with your instructors after class—they are usually more than happy to chat about their work. If the timing seems right, drop a hint that you would be interested in being a research assistant. Don’t be disappointed if they don’t have anything available—it takes a lot of time to train a student to be a productive member of a lab group. However, it is one of the expectations for faculty members, so chances are good that at least a few faculty members at your institution are in need of research assistants.
#3. Psychology major for slackers: It seems like a great deal all around! Party every night, roll out of bed for a 12:50pm lecture on Freudian sexual repression, cruise through in 4 years with a 3.5 GPA, and have a great job outlook ahead of you. Psychology is a fairly easy major and all of that is certainly possible… Except the last one. The job outlook for a graduate degree in psychology is great. It’s awful for a bachelor’s degree. So it seems that the student who spent all those hours in the lab and their weekends volunteer really does know something the rest don’t know. They’re gaining the experience and great letters of recommendation to get into grad school while the slackers end up as a psych tech on a lockdown mental health ward working 12 hour night shifts and making $25,000/year.