Mention the study of psychology to lots of people and the vision of Sigmund Freud will come to mind, including the endless hours of lying on a couch describing dreams while the good doctor listens intently, taking good notes and puffing on a musky-smelling pipe.
If that's the kind of work you have in mind, then you'll certainly find the means to establish a similar career by graduating from psychology school after many, many years of study, research, writing, practicing, and licensing exams. Educational and licensing credentials have changed quite a bit since the good doctor made a name for himself way back when the 20th century was dawning over Austria.
Today's psychology school offers all that and more. In fact, the entire occupation of psychology has expanded and specialized in so many ways that Dr. Freud may be amazed to see how the medical profession he made so famous has evolved over time.
In psychology school today, a student needs to determine what he or she wants to do upon graduation. Many jobs are dependent upon specific levels of college degree, without which a person simply can't work. This issue must be weighed thoroughly when enrolling in such schools.
For example, graduating from psychology school with a bachelor's degree doesn't qualify a person to work as a psychologist at all, except for some positions within the federal government. Instead the graduate qualifies for assistant positions helping licensed psychologists or work as a high school psychology teacher if education credentials can be earned, too.
Even a master's degree from psychology school most often leads to jobs as psychologist's assistants, except for working as a psychologist in a corporate or industrial environment. It's the graduates with the doctorate degrees who get to spend time with the patients, the pipe, and the couch.
Psychology in the schools? The workplace? The government, for goodness' sake?
Would Dr. Freud feel comfortable in the field of psychology as we practice it today? Probably not. Not even in his own wildest dreams.