COVID-19 Creates More Professional Jobs in Psychology

The ongoing pandemic is affecting the physical and mental well-being of individuals of all ages and walks of life. Lost income, sick family members, isolation, social distancing, business closures, and remote learning have negatively impacted a person’s mental health. While most will recover from feelings of depression and anxiety, others will develop severe chronic symptoms that qualify as mental illness.

Results from a recent survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on adults throughout the country revealed that 31% have experienced anxiety or depression symptoms, 13% have started or increased substance use, 26% reported stress-related symptoms, and 11% have had serious thoughts of suicide in the past 30 days.

Elevated levels of mental health issues prompt more people to seek treatment. In fact, one in five Americans sought help with mental health issues during the pandemic. Greater demand for mental health treatment increases the need for professionals in psychology to deliver services. Individuals holding bachelor’s or advanced degrees in psychology can find opportunities to support those with mental health issues. Below are professional jobs in psychology that are in greater demand due to the pandemic.

Crisis intervention specialist

Crisis intervention provides immediate assistance to those with critical emotional and psychological issues. As more people seek help for mental health issues created by the pandemic, crisis intervention services are reporting substantial volume increases, reports the National Institute of Mental Health.

Crisis interventional specialists serve as counselors to help people through psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, or even suicidal thoughts. In addition to working on helplines, crisis intervention service specialists work in schools, hospitals, clinics, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Individuals in these roles typically need a bachelor’s degree, preferably in psychology or a related field. One-on-one counseling requires a master’s degree in psychology or social work. No formal licensing or training requirements are required to work in this field.

Research assistant

Understanding the ongoing mental health effects related to the pandemic requires research. According to the American Psychology Association, psychology researchers are conducting studies in greater numbers on the immediate and long-term mental health effects of the pandemic, often putting aside other long-term studies. A COVID 19 Social Science Research Tracker lists more than 250 new research projects related to COVID.

Psychology research assistants help organize studies, prepare interview questions, gather data, and summarize results. Most have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. Those with prior experience in research projects, data collection, and analysis are most qualified to get positions in this field. Students earning a degree in psychology often can gain these credentials by serving as research assistants on studies conducted by their universities.

Mental health providers

Mental health providers encompass a range of professional roles that help with a person’s psychological, emotional, and social state. Some specialize in specific disorders such as anxiety, grief, anger, addiction, and depression, while others work with defined populations such as children.

As the pandemic moves into its second year, the demand for mental health professionals increases along with the rates of depression, anxiety, and insomnia experienced by Americans.

In a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, nearly 75% of psychologists who treat anxiety disorders noted an increase in demand. Greater demand will create more psychology professional jobs in different areas including:

  • Therapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counseling Psychologists
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Nurse psychotherapists
  • Mental health nurse practitioner
  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Licensed professional counselor

Professionals in these fields can build on a bachelor’s degree in psychology and work towards and a master’s and doctorate-level degree. Often, a residency program and licensing are required to practice.

Youth Counseling

As with adults, children are experiencing anxiety, poor sleep, and an increased onset of mental health issues due to the pandemic. School counselors are busy during the pandemic. Some school districts in different states are hiring more psychologists, social workers, and counselors to address student mental health due to the pandemic.

Sometimes, school counselors refer children to a specific therapist or practice. The shortage of child therapists is causing long delays in treatment. Medical Xpress reports that only 8,000 to 9,000 psychiatrists are available to the estimated 15 million children and adolescents needing therapy.

The shortage opens the door for more professionals in youth counseling. While school psychiatrists must complete a graduate program and internship in school psychology, social workers commonly need a bachelor’s degree in psychology or sociology.logo for rcsj

Start with a Psychology Degree

Professional careers in psychology start with an undergraduate degree. Rowan University, in partnership with Rowan College of South Jersey, offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology that provides the foundation to pursue a variety of careers. Costing a fraction of the cost of a traditional degree, this unique online program awards students an associate’s degree after completing four semesters of classes and an undergraduate degree at program culmination. Students can choose electives that match career goals and complete the degree faster as many courses are offered in an accelerated seven-week format.

For information on Rowan University’s online Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and other programs, visit Psychology Degree | Rowan Partnerships Online or apply now at Apply Now | Rowan Partnerships Online.

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