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niki's avatar

How to really break-out from the "don't have related Degree, can't have job" trapping dilemma?

Asked by niki (699 points ) December 10th, 2012

How to solve this seemingly entrapping issue/dilemma?

To be more specific: what if I took the wrong (4-years) Degree back at University (and also ‘wrong’ job-experiences in the past years),
and now want to work in a new, completely unrelated field,
where it, unfortunately, often seems to need a related work/education degree (for the “track record”) , while my options are currently, unfortunately again, seems to be limited due to 1) Money and 2) parent’s (especially my father’s) approval?

Or, is another “year(s)-long” uni Degree is actually NOT really required/necessary these days, and I could simply get a sort of a “Certification” short-classes ?

Say, for example, a 3–4 months certification class in Psychology (to get at least a “Certified” certificate, as a Psychologist, so as for the “track record” necessary for me to be able to venture further into for example: doing research, or writing a stimulating book, with enough credibility in the public?)

Hope to hear some good, practical feedback on this entrapping dilemma.
thank you.

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7 Answers

janbb's avatar

I would try to get a low-level job or even internship (apprenticeship) in the field you are trying to break into and possibly if you show your worth, the employer would, at some point, pay for you to get extra schooling or training.

It is hard to be more specific without knowing what field you are coming from or trying to get into.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have been in this position.

The trick is to present the experience you have in a light that fulfills the requirements of the new field. When I did the switch, I did a lot of talking about how I was listening and problem solving.

I was able to show how my liberal arts degree opened my ears to what was genuinely troubling individuals.

For example, I was able to say to people wanting to change something that they could try looking at it through the eyes of a child. What were the elements of fascination? What was difficult? Where were points agreement and others of disagreement?

As @janbb asked, is it possible to tell us what area you’re coming from trying to break into psychology?

cookieman's avatar

My friend Larry was in this same boat a number of years ago. He had a degree in hotel management, which he never used – but was working as an art teacher. He really wanted to be a video producer.

He earned a couple of certifications and was self-taught on many things related to video production.

No joy in landing a job.

Finally he got in touch with a director at a local company and offered to work, for free, as an intern for a year to prove himself. Starting at the bottom. A glorified gofer to start.

It worked. A year later, he was a junior assistant producer and moving up. Today (ten years later), he is a senior producer at ESPN.

Mind you, he did this free internship on top of his teaching job (working for me), while married, with a kid on the way. His wife was very patient and I was very accommodating with his schedule, but he busted his ass for that year and it paid off.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Just a bit on the field of Psychology, from a Psych major…

There’s no certification that will make you a psychologist. A practicing psychologist either has a PhD or a PsyD. A person with a BA or BS in psych is NOT a psychologist. You can become a therapist by getting your Masters degree in counseling or marriage and family therapy and the like, and you can do this with an undergrad in anything, but this would take about two years to do.

Psych undergrads can hardly find jobs in that field, let alone those with no background in it. This is why my minor is in something else.

I’m a little confused by the last part of your question – is the goal to be a psychologist, or to work in research, or to write a book? Or is it something different? If I knew this, I could answer the question better. I’ve done so much research on the psych field that I might have something useful to say if I knew more.

burntbonez's avatar

In a field like psychology, you need specialized training. You’ll really have to get that if you want to work in the field. I don’t think there is any on the job training.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Psychology major with a minor in Business. Strong math skills and interest in foreign cars, I got a job in inventory control / sales at an imported car parts company. At graduation I did not want to go back to school for two years to get a MSW ( Masters in Social Work ) or go on for PhD. You cannot go into engineering or science with a BA and expect a high level starting position.

zenvelo's avatar

To contradict but also reinforce @burntbonez: A psychologist or therapist needs extensive internship hours to get licensed, but that would be part of an accredited course with appropriate supervision.

You can get a certificate as a counselor for things like drug counseling, but it is very basic, does not pay more than minimum wage. To write a book in a psychological field referencing work you really need to be a licensed psychologist or therapist (MFT or LCSW), so mucho schooling and a long slog to get licensed.

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