Becoming a psychologist, no matter what the specialty, requires advanced education, often with either a graduate degree in general psychology or a doctorate degree in general psychology, along with at least two years of full-time study and internship experience. Many students are now deciding to compete for military training opportunities and enter a career as a military psychologist. Along with top-notch education, military interns and fellows get the opportunity to experience military life and to serve the country.
Internship Opportunities for Psychology Students
Successful students in military internships come from a variety of psychology graduate schools. Navy, Army, and Air Force interns receive training in military life and administration. They also gain exposure to specialty areas within psychology, including health and sport psychology and pediatrics. Military internships emphasize a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, allowing interns to interact with psychiatrists, other physicians, and other members of the healthcare team. Students from psychology graduate schools may apply to two Navy locations in Bethesda, MD or San Diego; three Air Force locations in Maryland, San Antonio, and Dayton, OH; and three Army locations in Honolulu, Washington, DC, or Augusta, GA.
Fellowship Opportunities for Psychology Students
In addition to internships, the military also offers fellowships for doctorate students. Programs exist in a variety of subjects, such as neuropsychology, children’s mental health, developmental disabilities, and even a new program with a post-9/11 emphasis. Fellowships take place at prestigious universities, such as Yale and Harvard and, like the internships, involve competition among some of the nation’s best psychology graduate degree students
More Information on Military Education and Careers for Psychologists
The Society for Military Psychology, Division 19 of the American Psychological Association, is the professional organization of military psychologists. Its membership is made of military psychologists along with researchers and educators. Students looking for information on a career, or for training opportunities with the military, may join a special mentor network for free advice from professionals already in the field.
Job Outlook for Psychologists
Psychologists in general are expected to see job growth of 18 to 26% through the year 2018. Employment is expected to grow faster than average due to increased awareness of mental health issues and more willingness by the public to seek out help. However, psychologists with only a bachelor’s degree in psychology are expected to have difficulties finding relevant positions within psychology. A graduate degree in general psychology or a doctorate degree in general psychology is strongly recommended according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In order to become a military psychologist, advanced education is essential. Online psychology graduate schools, such as Capella University, offer several Master of Science in Psychology programs as well as PhD in Psychology programs. Students may search for additional programs through College-Pages.com, an education resource website with an extensive list of available programs and education information.