5 Fast-Growing Careers in Psychology

5 Fast-Growing Careers in Psychology

It’s no surprise that psychologists are in high-demand. Their abilities to analyze and explain human behavior is beneficial in industries ranging from marketing to mental health. From helping families cope with relationship issues to boosting office productivity to testifying in court, the roles psychologists can play continue to grow and expand. Below are five careers in psychology that have a positive outlook for future growth.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

Industrial-organizational psychologists study human behavior in organizations and the workplace. Corporations value I/O psychologists for their ability to identify problems and create solutions, as well as improve both employees’ effectiveness and overall happiness in the workplace. I/O psychologists further employee development by creating and implementing employee training programs and providing coaching services. Some industrial-organizational psychologists also help companies create criteria with which to assess the effectiveness of their employees. Industrial-organizational psychologists are also valued for their ability to identify consumer preferences and evaluate the effectiveness of marketing and advertising campaigns.

Of all the fields in psychology, industrial-organizational psychology has the brightest outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupation of industrial-organizational psychologists is expected to experience a growth rate of 53% by 2022 – meaning there is plenty of opportunity for future psychologists. If you’re interested in joining the field of industrial-organizational psychology, we encourage you to check out Alliant’s many organizational psychology degree programs.

Substance Abuse Counselors

Substance abuse isn’t a new phenomenon, but it is a problem that continues to grow. As acceptance of seeking mental health services grows – and as the Affordable Care Act now mandates the treatment of mental health issues to be covered by health insurance – the opportunities for licensed substance abuse counselors is on the rise. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors help children, teens and adults manage drug or alcohol addiction, behavioral issues such as eating disorders, and other control disorders. Some specialize in a particular disorder, while others provide broader group counseling services as part of an overall treatment plan. They may work at addiction treatment centers, mental health organizations, clinics and even prisons. The BLS predicts that employment for substance abuse counselors will grow 31 percent by 2022, faster than average for all careers.

Geropsychologist

Geropsychologists help people manage and cope with the challenges of aging. They evaluate people for mental and emotional disorders, provide psychotherapy and offer treatment and care advice for clients and their families. They also have a hand in creating policies to better the lives of seniors, their families and caregivers. Geropsychologists may work in nursing homes, clinics and other settings depending on their employer.

As the baby boomer generation ages, the need for geropsychologists will continue to rise. In fact, the American Psychological Association predicts that by 2030, older adults will compromise 20 percent of the population, as opposed to just 13 percent in 2001. In order to meet this growing need, the National Institute on Aging estimates that the country will need 5,000 doctoral trained geropsychologists by 2020.

If you are currently a licensed psychologist or doctoral psychology student and are interested in furthering your expertise to include geropsychology, we encourage you to check out Alliant’s Gerontology certificate program.

Marriage and Family Therapists

Growing insurance coverage, decreasing stigma over seeing a therapist and increased value on family life are all helping contribute to the occupational growth rate for marriage and family therapists. By 2022 the BLS predicts that employment in this field will experience a 29 percent growth rate, faster than average for all occupations. Marriage and family therapists do more than help couples and families work through relationship issues; they also treat clinical problems such as depression and anxiety. Like all therapists, marriage and family therapists must have strong listening and interpersonal skills.

If you are interested in joining the field of marriage and family therapy, we encourage you to check out Alliant’s program. Alliant’s California School of Professional Psychology offers two COAMFTE-accredited graduate degree programs in this subject matter: a Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy, and a Doctor of Psychology in Marital and Family Therapy.

Forensic Psychologists

A recent addition to the field of psychology, forensic psychology did not earn recognition as an official field of practice until 1962, and didn’t become an APA-approved specialty until 2001. Although interest in the field has likely been fueled by television shows, the need for forensic psychologists is being fueled by growing awareness of the profession – and the legal system’s continued dedication to using the knowledge and expertise of forensic psychologists in new ways.

The main function that forensic psychologists perform is evaluation. They can determine if a defendant is fit to stand trial, or if they might be guilty by way of insanity. They can also evaluate and assess the mental distress of children in abuse cases, or plaintiffs in class-action and personal injury lawsuits. For many psychologists, forensic work starts as a side venture – one that is unencumbered by the hassles of insurance – and grows into a full-time career over time.