From communication and critical thinking skills to a deeper understanding of people, studying psychology offers rewards that can positively change your life.
They say that knowledge is power, and indeed it’s true that studying certain subjects gives you an edge over others, and in life in general. Psychology is one of these. While a career in psychology offers many advantages, including a range of work environments, employment prospects all over the world and, of course, incredible job satisfaction, simply studying this fascinating field offers rewards in and of itself.
From skills that are relevant in the business world to insight into people and how to effectively manage relationships, a psychology degree is one that will change your life positively forever. Here are five skills you’ll gain that you may not have even considered…
1. Communication skills
One of the first things every potential psychologist learns in the classroom is the beauty of effective communication and just how much of a mastery it truly is. When you gain a deeper understanding of how individuals express themselves, you also develop a greater awareness of your own speech patterns and communication skills. You then can strive to become a more powerful speaker – and a better listener. Plus, you can avoid any pitfalls of poor communication, like misunderstandings, assumptions, and more. You will find this study carries over into interviews, relationships, and later on, to when you raise children.
2. Critical thinking
Imagine a lawyer, doctor, or CEO who does not think critically. The psychologist’s greatest asset is his or her brain and how it processes information. Psychologists train themselves to look at every issue from myriad different angles. Within that training, critical thinking is honed to be more accurate and reliable. When you have a sharp mind that can react and process information quickly, you can overcome any challenge that comes your way. In the future, critical thinking will help keep you afloat during trying times.
3. Insight into people’s behaviour
People do some pretty inexplicable things that, without psychology, could never be explained. By studying psychology, you gain a deeper access to the human mind that gives new meaning to how people express emotions, handle stress, give and receive love, and, indeed, why certain situations affect some people more than others. Gaining insight into the actions and thought processes of those around you helps you form better relationships and, since healthy relationships are key to our emotional wellbeing, so too should be the study of psychology.
There will come a point in your employment when it will no longer matter what you majored in. One thing that will matter, however, is how you manage time and how effectively you’re able to conduct research. When you study psychology, you are asked to look at everything that has been published with a critical lens. This means understanding what is real and substantial versus what is false. The findings reported in publications and peer-reviewed journals inevitably become your best friend, teaching you the importance of thorough investigation. After all, research is what fills the gaps between what you know and what you don’t know.
This goes beyond the third benefit. Psychology simply opens the mind to possibility. Not only that, but by learning the function of the brain, you can understand how yours works – and why. Through the study of psychology, you begin to realise that you are not alone in your thoughts, or your problems. Resolutions thus become simplified because you can look at the situation you find yourself in both clinically and emotionally. From there, you can better handle those emotions or negative circumstances more rationally. Imagine how useful a skill that will be in the workplace.
The mind is a powerful tool, and psychological insight can hone it into something invincible. If you’d like to learn about the inner workings of the mind and develop a greater understanding of how to navigate society, why not consider studying psychology at SACAP? The South African College of Applied Psychology offers a range of courses in the subject, from a vocational Higher Certificate in Counselling and Communications Skills to a professional Bachelor of Psychology Degree. To find out more, enquire now.