CASE SCENARIOS

CaseScenarios

Casescenarios

Section1

Case1: Denise

Deniseis a young psychology student with special interests in counselingchildren. Although she has modest interest in reading researchfinding relevant to her field of interest, especially children andyouth psychology, she does not have huge interest in conducting herown primary research. There are several academic options that Denisecan undertake at post graduate level. It is important to look at thepros and cons of the programs verses the career interests andpersonal strength before making the final decision. This will ensurethat the post graduate program is in line with the career prospectsand she is comfortable pursing the program. Some of the programsDenise can pursue include

Table 1: Pros and Cons of programs

Program

Pros

Cons

Master of Arts/Master of Science in Clinical Psychology

  • The program equips the student with ability to provide help to people in problem. That is, there is satisfaction in improving the lives of people.

  • There are a wide range of careers in clinical psychology, which includes self employment.

  • Clinical psychology is a demanding program, which leads to a demanding career.

  • The program requires a person with person and dedication to the program and the demands of the career.

Master of Arts/ Master of Science in Counseling Psychology

  • The program and career in counseling psychology is satisfying.

  • Majority of people who have pursued this course have flourished.

  • The lengthy program results into a career with long working hours.

  • Risk of losing professional reputation is very high.

Master of Education in Counseling Psychology

  • The program is more focused on children and youth needs in the education setting.

  • Leads to a satisfying career.

  • The program is specialized in education psychology, which limits the individual to educational setting.

  • May require background in education, although no compulsory.

Master of Social Work

  • Careers in social work are booming and are expected to grown in the near future.

  • The program leads to satisfying and fulfilling career.

  • Poor working environment associated with social work.

  • The program and resulting career has high emotional demands.

Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling

  • Addressing pertinent issues in the modern society, psycho-spiritual.

  • Fewer individuals are pursuing the program thus less competitive.

  • Integrated within a specific religious and traditional religious training.

  • Career options are limited by religion.

Master of Science in Counseling.

  • A wide range of career choices after the program.

  • Student in this program have an opting of specializing.

  • It is a more general post graduate program.

Case2: Raul

Raulis a senior undergraduate student in psychology. Initially, he hadinterest in clinical or counseling psychology. However, after talkingto counselors and his experiences in the psychiatric clinic whileworking as a volunteer, he considers changing his career prospects.Although he has interest in research, starting a graduate programimmediately after graduation may not be a viable option for Raul. Itis important to note that graduate programs in psychology are bothdemanding and competitive. Also, Raul has a young family which heneeds to support financially. There are many advantages that Raul islikely to accrue if he opts to get a job and work for some timebefore enrolling for a masters program. First, he will be able tosupport his wife and two children financially. A graduate program isexpensive and financial demanding considering that he has otherresponsibilities. Secondly, Raul has not yet made a decision on whatfield of psychology he would like to pursue as a career or graduatelevel. By practicing psychology, he will be able to make a betterdecision on what he would like to specialize in. For example, itcould have been useless to discover that he is not into clinicalpsychology after pursuing a Master of Arts or Master of Science inClinical Psychology.

Case3: John

Johnhas been working in the corporate but he intends to pursue furthereducation after being laid off due to down sizing. He would like topursue a graduate program in psychology which will have an impact onthe corporate world. Therefore, industrial or organizationalpsychology is his best option. Industrial or organizationalpsychology is a branch of psychology that deals with the study theworkplaces in relation to human behaviors. The field of study aims atapplying different psychological theories in the industrial andorganizational environment. Industrial or organizational psychologyaims at enhancing employees’ performance, wellbeing, satisfactionand safety. Despite the academic demands especially at post graduatelevel, it is one of the fastest growing professions in the moderncorporate world. While competition in the job market is relativelylow, the careers are rewarding in terms of salaries and remuneration.

Section2

Table2: “High importance” ratings for postgraduate degree programadmission

Doctorate Programs

Masters Program

Admissions criterion

Percent rated high importance

Admissions criterion

Percent rated high importance

Letters of recommendation

86.7%

Letters of recommendation

72.8%

Statement of goals and objectives

83.3%

GPA

68.7%

GPA

70.9%

Statement of goals and objectives

63.7%

Research experience

69.2%

Interview

47.0%

Interview

63.1%

GRE/MAT scores

39.3%

GRE/MAT scores

53.1%

Research experience

30.6%

Clinically related public service

16.4%

Clinically related public service

20.4%

Work experience

15.1%

Work experience

19.9%

Extracurricular activity

3.8%

Extracurricular activity

3.0%

Source:Landrum and Clark (2005)

Accordingto my own rating, I will rate my self high in terms some of theimportant admission criterion which are high rates. From the tableabove, some of the most important admission criterions to a mastersprogram include letters of recommendation from trusted individuals orinstitutions, GPA at undergraduate level and statement goals andobjectives. However, other admission criterions are equallyimportant. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology with a strongGPA as well as six years working experience as a basic skills trainerand six months training experience in psychosocialrehabilitation. Therefore, I would rate myself high in terms of work experience andclinically related public service. In my undergraduate program, I wasable to gain experience in research. Although I have not beeninvolved in formal research in my six years of work in basic skillstraining, I have great passion in research and writing papers. Iwould therefore rate my self high in that regard. My experience as abasic skills trainer has opened up my view of the field ofpsychology. I would therefore be able to develop a strong andrelevant goal and objective statement. I will also be able to obtainletters of recommendation from my professors at undergraduate levelas well as my mentors in psychology practice.

Table 3: My self evaluation

Masters Program

Admissions criterion

Percent rated high importance

Letters of recommendation

70.%

GPA

73.0%

Statement of goals and objectives

75.0%

Interview

65.0%

GRE/MAT scores

70.0%

Research experience

80.0%

Clinically related public service

80.0%

Work experience

80.0%

Extracurricular activity

60.0%

References

ApplyingPsychology: To Workplace, to Life,Chapter 8, pp 229-260.

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