Essay on Career Goals in Psychology

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I am Lenson Russell, a second-year psychology student from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Those halcyon days in my high school years were the most important events in my life in terms of choosing my career. I have always said that I want to help people in the medical field in any type of way to use the acumen within me, but psychology just stuck out to me from a life-changing standpoint. I’ve naturally had an affinity with sports such as basketball, football, soccer, etc. I thought to myself how psychology can contribute to sports through research, I found my curiosity in sports psychology. Knowing that time is a finite resource, my senior year, I decided to major in psychology at the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University with a bachelor’s degree and then move on to graduate school to earn my master’s degree in sports psychology. Sports psychology is a high-demand career with several new opportunities available to research. Trends such as equality for women psychologists, sports needing more sports psychologists, and psychology having a greater role in nutritional health.

To begin, one of the more important trends is the fair share of equality for women psychologists. The future may look auspicious for women in the psychology field, but statistics prove otherwise. According to Heather Stringer, “Women who earn their computer and math doctoral degrees earn an estimate of 84% of the male’s wages” (84). Stringer went on and mention “those with doctoral psychology degree earn about 77%, 8 percent lower than in 1993” (84). Stringer’s research offers an eclectic mix of information on why fewer women of psychology attain top professorship than men. Stringer reported, “The rate in which women are getting jobs at an academic institution increased by 250 while the men decreased by 1,800 between 1995 and 2014” (84). Even though this is too good to be true, the truth cannot be equivocated as “women will more than likely secure the assistant professor level while men obtain the professor level” (Stringer). All those inequalities involved will lead to the emergence of the Association for Women in Psychology or AWP. Their goals and mission correlate with having a world without sexism and oppression, thus leading to great support for the well-being of all people. Such chicanery is present in the oppression of women in the psychology field through discrimination of sexuality, age, race, religion, etc. This association won’t back down from its beliefs and will do whatever it takes to eliminate those pernicious effects of inequality.

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Moreover, another trend that needs more attention is the greater demand for sports psychologists. A sports psychologist deals with helping athletes increase their performance levels and help athletes overcome mental problems like bipolar disorders, becoming less abstemious, anxiety, etc. According to Dr. Yvonne Bell, “self-introspection” is key as she chortled with delight (Bell). Dr. Bell then expresses her regards that having “the confidence and being able to do what you love” is the most important aspect of finding yourself (Bell). She even goes on and mention how she accepts jobs but also moves from place to place due to the joy of her career not being found. Her “impact” on an environment with her skillsets in psychology was her goal as she finally found her home at FAMU in 1978 (Bell).” This source can also correlate with some athletes moving from one team to another, resulting in dilatory movements and this creates an increased chance of mental concerns and stress. A sports psychologist by the name of Sari Fine Sheppard describes the demand for more sports psychologists as “growing” even among youth athletes and serious amateurs (Weir). Weir goes on and mention Courtney Albinson’s research on how pro sports teams in the Major League Baseball or MLB have more access to performance psychology in modern years. Weir states, “In 2018, a record of 27 of 30 MLB teams employed mental skill coaches to help players deal with the mental challenges of the game” (9). Popular athletes like Kevin Love, Michael Phelps, and others have spread the attention of mental health in sports. Superstar athletes, who are the wealthy patricians of pro sports, are just as prone as nonathletes when it comes to mental problems despite their plenary superstar status. Weir added how athletic organizations understand the importance of mental health and mindset. Weir said,” The National Basketball Players Association launched a new Mental Health and Wellness Program, headed by a psychologist, to assist players with mental health challenges” (9). These moments where athletes speak up about their mental problems are not fortuitous or banal at all. It’s a stepping stone in providing more awareness of mental health to athletes. Besides sports, other professional fields are starting to recognize the prosperity of sports psychology. Occupations such as paramedics and military officers need to react fast and be able to manage in an intense environment. Weir provided examples like “The Julliard School having a sports psychologist to help singers and actors overcome performance anxiety”, and the “U.S. Army providing soldiers with mental skills training” (9). AASP or the Association for Sports Psychology is an international organization that consists of sports psychology consultants and pros who help athletes, nonathletes, and strategic occupations in enhancing their performance from a mental standpoint. Founded in 1985, their values include respect, which entitles less pejorative manners, service, integrity, collaboration, excellence, and diversity. Their mission is to focus on human performance, research, and providing certifications and services to the professional field of sports psychology.

Furthermore, another eye-opening trend is psychology plays a greater role in nutritional health. Greenbaum states in her article that studies have shown to be linked to “diets high in processed meat, fast food and sugar to depression and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD (Greenbaum). Vaidya and Gordon stated that ADHD occurs in “8.6% of 8- to 15-year-old children in the United States and 4% of adults worldwide (106). In retrospect, the chances of getting ADHD are very exiguous and adults need to watch what their children are eating. Leanne Mauriello, director of behavioral science and lifestyle management mentions how psychologists are a “crucial part of the interdisciplinary effort to improve diet quality “(Greenbaum). One of the prominent brands in nutritional health is Spectrum Health. Their culinary medicine program helps clinicians, dietitians, psychologists, and nurses with cooking and how to apply those cooking habits in a healthy, which will obviate the need for other methods. From implementing programs such as the Spectrum Health culinary medicine program and the Illinois Junior Chefs program, which teaches kids ranging from the age levels of 8 to 13, how to cook and maintain a healthy diet, psychology plays a role with psychologists helping patients overcome their barriers and commit to the journey in supporting them through their behavioral change. Clinical psychologists, dietitians, et cetera will appreciate the patient’s forbearance in taking the challenge head-on and believe in a change. The Center of Nutritional Psychology is an organization founded by Ephimia Morphew-Lu and their objective is to discover, create, and promote the field of nutritional psychology.

In conclusion, trends such as equality in women psychologists, sports needing more sports psychologists, and psychology playing a greater role in nutritional health are important in acquiring more knowledge to improve the social aspect of society. These trends will serve as a gateway to more research and improving our society.

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Essay on Career Goals in Psychology. (2024, February 23). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from
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