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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I am at a crossroad and have to decide a career. There are two options, i) Accountancy & Business, and ii) Psychology.
Accountancy takes just 3 years, Psychology takes 7 years.
Now, as to why I am asking this, its so because my parents usually expect me to start earning in 3-4 years and though they try to appear as idealists they just go hell's way when there's the time to pay up. Although they might pay but they never talk to me and my earlier tries to talk with them usually led to family confrontation and drama and I really don't want that, last time it drove me into depression and after recovering, there's no way I want to go back.

also, the career avenues for psychology are less developed and pay is usually 50% of the one with accountancy/business option.

So, my question is :

i) although my parents are not supportive should I pursue a course with longer time though I'm interested more in the longer one.

p.s., no there is no way to earn while studying.
 

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Choose the career that you are more likely to be successful in. I see lots of people make choices for the wrong reasons and they fail despite taking the correct steps. Success meaning you want to go to work each day, you make a suitable income to support yourself and build for a future, and work in a field that will be able to keep you employed on a regular basis.

Some facets of the mental health industry pay terribly low wages, and require a high degree of education, so the payback is very long, and the constant financial strain takes away from the benefits of working on helping people.

Working in an an accounting field when you aren't suited to the work will lead to a high degree of word stress and general dissatisfaction. It will be hard to get and keep good employment if you aren't happy doing the work.

Don't make a choice based on potential income without being true to yourself and your abilities and weak areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Choose the career that you are more likely to be successful in. I see lots of people make choices for the wrong reasons and they fail despite taking the correct steps. Success meaning you want to go to work each day, you make a suitable income to support yourself and build for a future, and work in a field that will be able to keep you employed on a regular basis.

Some facets of the mental health industry pay terribly low wages, and require a high degree of education, so the payback is very long, and the constant financial strain takes away from the benefits of working on helping people.

Working in an an accounting field when you aren't suited to the work will lead to a high degree of word stress and general dissatisfaction. It will be hard to get and keep good employment if you aren't happy doing the work.

Don't make a choice based on potential income without being true to yourself and your abilities and weak areas.
Thanks a lot, I like both of them, accounting is a darling too, as you said, its better to go with one which adds up to a better life and I think accounting would be better.. the prospects of psychology are unstable and unpredictable here. Plus Accounting provides health cover and I'm kinda sure I would fall seriously ill sometime soon, haha.

I like accounting, studying it for 2 years and it suits me. Psychology is more like a fantasy.

Thanks for your advice :).
 

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So, I am at a crossroad and have to decide a career. There are two options, i) Accountancy & Business, and ii) Psychology.
Accountancy takes just 3 years, Psychology takes 7 years.
Now, as to why I am asking this, its so because my parents usually expect me to start earning in 3-4 years and though they try to appear as idealists they just go hell's way when there's the time to pay up. Although they might pay but they never talk to me and my earlier tries to talk with them usually led to family confrontation and drama and I really don't want that, last time it drove me into depression and after recovering, there's no way I want to go back.

also, the career avenues for psychology are less developed and pay is usually 50% of the one with accountancy/business option.

So, my question is :

i) although my parents are not supportive should I pursue a course with longer time though I'm interested more in the longer one.

p.s., no there is no way to earn while studying.
after reading your fairly brief post, i would say go with accounting & business. i think the field of psychology may take a more, not exactly self-assured or assertive, type. you seem hesitant and unsure and looking to others for guidance to me says stick with facts and figures rather than a field where you may need to rely on quick judgement and assessment. plus, you will have your parents praise and support which is always helpful and accounting and business is a lucrative field with less schooling. of course i don't know you well or even at all, so i could be off-base and also suggest you go with whichever field you think would make you feel happier to be in. whatever you choose will determine what doors open for you, so think hard what you want to see behind those doors.
 

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Senior staff account on average make 78k a year. You could potentially become a comptroller which is the head of an accounting department and break 100k a year. From there you could potentially become a companies next cfo which makes millions. You in America? Some schools offer a 5 year route for masters, which will allow you to go up quicker.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
after reading your fairly brief post, i would say go with accounting & business. i think the field of psychology may take a more, not exactly self-assured or assertive, type. you seem hesitant and unsure and looking to others for guidance to me says stick with facts and figures rather than a field where you may need to rely on quick judgement and assessment. plus, you will have your parents praise and support which is always helpful and accounting and business is a lucrative field with less schooling. of course i don't know you well or even at all, so i could be off-base and also suggest you go with whichever field you think would make you feel happier to be in. whatever you choose will determine what doors open for you, so think hard what you want to see behind those doors.
Thanks, I really think I would prefer a structure and stable work. Psychology is much more like a hobby. And I really am not much assertive.

Talking about being happy, I think it includes both passion for work and a reasonable standard of life as mentioned by @chad86tsi too.

I would be happy with both maybe a bit more with psychology but it would be really impractical to do... and I'm sure it would take work but I love accounting too.

your insight helps to make a better decision, thank you :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Senior staff account on average make 78k a year. You could potentially become a comptroller which is the head of an accounting department and break 100k a year. From there you could potentially become a companies next cfo which makes millions. You in America? Some schools offer a 5 year route for masters, which will allow you to go up quicker.
Thanks @maenad. Accounting does look like a stable and well paying field.

I'm not in US, though Chartered Accountants are well paid here and well respected too.

Thanks :)
 

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So, I am at a crossroad and have to decide a career. There are two options, i) Accountancy & Business, and ii) Psychology.
Accountancy takes just 3 years, Psychology takes 7 years.
Now, as to why I am asking this, its so because my parents usually expect me to start earning in 3-4 years and though they try to appear as idealists they just go hell's way when there's the time to pay up. Although they might pay but they never talk to me and my earlier tries to talk with them usually led to family confrontation and drama and I really don't want that, last time it drove me into depression and after recovering, there's no way I want to go back.

also, the career avenues for psychology are less developed and pay is usually 50% of the one with accountancy/business option.

So, my question is :

i) although my parents are not supportive should I pursue a course with longer time though I'm interested more in the longer one.

p.s., no there is no way to earn while studying.
In order to determine which is objectively better, it depends a lot on your objectives. I don't really know from reading what you think an objectively better career would be.

If your objective is better earnings, then I would go with accounting and business. They tend to make good amounts of money, particularly for how much schooling they receive. In contrast, psychology careers trend towards being a lower-paying career, particularly given how much schooling they receive. In all honesty, I can't think of another career where you put in so much work for so little pay. Literature professors, maybe. For an undergraduate degree and graduate degree which include clinicals, licensure exams, supervision hours for licensure, and continuing education, a mental health practitioner who works in a community health mental agency would make between $30-$40k. Inpatient psychiatric therapists can make about $40-$55k. Clinical psychologists can get upwards of $70-$80k, but that includes post-doctoral work and a lot of extra-practice responsibilities (research, more substantial amounts of continuing education and post-doctoral studying, etc). Mental health as a field pays shit for the work you put into it.

If you go beyond mental health, it can be better and worse. If you go into cognitive or behavioral psychology, you're probably going to be a professor. Psychology professors make less than $30k starting their careers out, then can get upwards of $50k-$80k if they get tenured. Getting tenured requires a lot of teaching with good student reviews, a lot of research that needs to get published, a lot of academic politics to survive the bloodbath, and so on. The highest paying psychology specialty is Industrial-Organizational psychology, where decent careers can get you upwards of $100k. At the same time, you're basically human resources on steroids. You're going to work in office buildings, you're going to work with a very specific group of people (employees of businesses), and you're going to have to have professional clout to sell yourself to companies.

If your objective is to have a fulfilling career where the experiences you have are more important than the pay you receive, I'd suggest psychology. Accounting isn't the most emotionally or morally fulfilling work. It's tedious, it's monotonous, and you know what every day is going to be like before you start it. Mental health is the exact opposite of that. You never know what you're going to see or be doing in a given day, but you know you're going to be directly involved with people who need your help. It can have hard days and can lead to burnout at the same pace as veterinarians, ER workers, and paramedics, but I've never had a single day where I didn't feel like I did some kind of good for the world. I love going in to work every day. But to reiterate, you won't get paid shit for the work you do. I aspire to get paid a shit-level amount. At the same time, I wouldn't trade it for the world because you can't put a price on helping people.

after reading your fairly brief post, i would say go with accounting & business. i think the field of psychology may take a more, not exactly self-assured or assertive, type. you seem hesitant and unsure and looking to others for guidance to me says stick with facts and figures rather than a field where you may need to rely on quick judgement and assessment. plus, you will have your parents praise and support which is always helpful and accounting and business is a lucrative field with less schooling. of course i don't know you well or even at all, so i could be off-base and also suggest you go with whichever field you think would make you feel happier to be in. whatever you choose will determine what doors open for you, so think hard what you want to see behind those doors.
This isn't necessarily true. You do need to have a level of ability to quickly assess and judge situations, but that comes after a lot of practice and training and supervision. I've yet to meet a mental health practitioner who was confident starting out. On average, most get drawn to the field because of a humble desire to help others. There's exceptions to that, but you can tell those exceptions based on their approach and orientation.

Therapists also tend to not have the slightest clue what they're really doing. Again, that changes with experience. But there's a large component of therapy where therapists are guessing and hoping. Unlike medicine, therapy never has an obectively correct answer that can be known beforehand. Every person is different, every symptom cluster is different, every set of factors is different. You have to be constantly assessing, hypothesizing, trying, and changing. In that sense, being self-assured can actually be a hindrance. You should have a level of critical self-doubt to be assessing your approach and efficacy. The worst therapists are the one-trick-ponies who walk in with their model, throw it at you, and then if you don't respond well to it say you're just resistant.

So while it's true to an extent, particularly in crisis situations where you need to be able to recognize what's going on, deescalate the situation, and have the confidence to move decisively when necessary, assertiveness is bad when you're starting, and is something you develop in a healthy way with training.

Thanks, I really think I would prefer a structure and stable work. Psychology is much more like a hobby. And I really am not much assertive.

Talking about being happy, I think it includes both passion for work and a reasonable standard of life as mentioned by @chad86tsi too.

I would be happy with both maybe a bit more with psychology but it would be really impractical to do... and I'm sure it would take work but I love accounting too.

your insight helps to make a better decision, thank you :)
See what I said above about assertiveness. It's not the most necessary thing for the field. There are plenty of unassertive therapists and psychologists. If anything, you want to learn a tempered kind of assertiveness. If you just come bulling in assertively telling people their problems and the solutions, you're going to be a shit therapist.

But if you you want structure, you don't want mental health. I started in outpatient, where every day is like a wave of barbarians crashing at the gates. We saw upwards of 50+ different people per day, each with their own problems and symptoms and drama they're bringing through the doors. I've seen crisis situations play out in the parking lot and lobby, I've seen therapy ducks be snuck into the building, I've seen actively psychotic patients tell about their CIA experience in Vietnam... you NEVER know what a day is going to be like. If you don't do well in chaos, you will not do well in outpatient.

Inpatient is different. It's highly structured, but the diagnoses are more severe. When shit hits the fan, IT HITS THE FAN. There's restraints, screaming, wall punching, door kicking, chair throwing... they're pretty short-lived periods of crisis (since thorazine works fast), but it comes with the territory. Even though it's highly structured, you still have to be comfortable working in chaos.

I will say that if you're talking about stable work in the sense of job availability, mental health work is very stable. There's a lot of crazy out there and a high rate of burnout. The pay may not be great, but there's a wide job availability.
 

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@Tkae Like i said, it's not exactly assertive or self-assured, the word i'm looking for. i guess the words would be maybe staunch and decisive. sorry i couldn't think of them earlier. decisive as in sometimes you need to make quick decisions based on personal observation or intuition, ( i mean, of course you want to consult or rely on expert knowledge when doing this also but mostly you would be the one who needed to be the expert) i suppose i am thinking more along the lines of psychiatry here rather than psychology. and staunch as in not letting confrontation and drama affect you negatively emotionally. i know he says it was personal drama that sent him into a depression but how will he fare if other people's dramas become his problem? these are the reasons i was really thinking of why psychology might not be a great field for him. but again i am going just off the first post and am speculating.
 

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Thanks, I really think I would prefer a structure and stable work. Psychology is much more like a hobby. And I really am not much assertive.

Talking about being happy, I think it includes both passion for work and a reasonable standard of life as mentioned by @chad86tsi too.

I would be happy with both maybe a bit more with psychology but it would be really impractical to do... and I'm sure it would take work but I love accounting too.

your insight helps to make a better decision, thank you :)
you are welcome! whatever you choose i hope you have a bright and lucrative future!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In order to determine which is objectively better, it depends a lot on your objectives. I don't really know from reading what you think an objectively better career would be.

If your objective is better earnings, then I would go with accounting and business. They tend to make good amounts of money, particularly for how much schooling they receive. In contrast, psychology careers trend towards being a lower-paying career, particularly given how much schooling they receive. In all honesty, I can't think of another career where you put in so much work for so little pay. Literature professors, maybe. For an undergraduate degree and graduate degree which include clinicals, licensure exams, supervision hours for licensure, and continuing education, a mental health practitioner who works in a community health mental agency would make between $30-$40k. Inpatient psychiatric therapists can make about $40-$55k. Clinical psychologists can get upwards of $70-$80k, but that includes post-doctoral work and a lot of extra-practice responsibilities (research, more substantial amounts of continuing education and post-doctoral studying, etc). Mental health as a field pays shit for the work you put into it.

If you go beyond mental health, it can be better and worse. If you go into cognitive or behavioral psychology, you're probably going to be a professor. Psychology professors make less than $30k starting their careers out, then can get upwards of $50k-$80k if they get tenured. Getting tenured requires a lot of teaching with good student reviews, a lot of research that needs to get published, a lot of academic politics to survive the bloodbath, and so on. The highest paying psychology specialty is Industrial-Organizational psychology, where decent careers can get you upwards of $100k. At the same time, you're basically human resources on steroids. You're going to work in office buildings, you're going to work with a very specific group of people (employees of businesses), and you're going to have to have professional clout to sell yourself to companies.

If your objective is to have a fulfilling career where the experiences you have are more important than the pay you receive, I'd suggest psychology. Accounting isn't the most emotionally or morally fulfilling work. It's tedious, it's monotonous, and you know what every day is going to be like before you start it. Mental health is the exact opposite of that. You never know what you're going to see or be doing in a given day, but you know you're going to be directly involved with people who need your help. It can have hard days and can lead to burnout at the same pace as veterinarians, ER workers, and paramedics, but I've never had a single day where I didn't feel like I did some kind of good for the world. I love going in to work every day. But to reiterate, you won't get paid shit for the work you do. I aspire to get paid a shit-level amount. At the same time, I wouldn't trade it for the world because you can't put a price on helping people.



This isn't necessarily true. You do need to have a level of ability to quickly assess and judge situations, but that comes after a lot of practice and training and supervision. I've yet to meet a mental health practitioner who was confident starting out. On average, most get drawn to the field because of a humble desire to help others. There's exceptions to that, but you can tell those exceptions based on their approach and orientation.

Therapists also tend to not have the slightest clue what they're really doing. Again, that changes with experience. But there's a large component of therapy where therapists are guessing and hoping. Unlike medicine, therapy never has an obectively correct answer that can be known beforehand. Every person is different, every symptom cluster is different, every set of factors is different. You have to be constantly assessing, hypothesizing, trying, and changing. In that sense, being self-assured can actually be a hindrance. You should have a level of critical self-doubt to be assessing your approach and efficacy. The worst therapists are the one-trick-ponies who walk in with their model, throw it at you, and then if you don't respond well to it say you're just resistant.

So while it's true to an extent, particularly in crisis situations where you need to be able to recognize what's going on, deescalate the situation, and have the confidence to move decisively when necessary, assertiveness is bad when you're starting, and is something you develop in a healthy way with training.



See what I said above about assertiveness. It's not the most necessary thing for the field. There are plenty of unassertive therapists and psychologists. If anything, you want to learn a tempered kind of assertiveness. If you just come bulling in assertively telling people their problems and the solutions, you're going to be a shit therapist.

But if you you want structure, you don't want mental health. I started in outpatient, where every day is like a wave of barbarians crashing at the gates. We saw upwards of 50+ different people per day, each with their own problems and symptoms and drama they're bringing through the doors. I've seen crisis situations play out in the parking lot and lobby, I've seen therapy ducks be snuck into the building, I've seen actively psychotic patients tell about their CIA experience in Vietnam... you NEVER know what a day is going to be like. If you don't do well in chaos, you will not do well in outpatient.

Inpatient is different. It's highly structured, but the diagnoses are more severe. When shit hits the fan, IT HITS THE FAN. There's restraints, screaming, wall punching, door kicking, chair throwing... they're pretty short-lived periods of crisis (since thorazine works fast), but it comes with the territory. Even though it's highly structured, you still have to be comfortable working in chaos.

I will say that if you're talking about stable work in the sense of job availability, mental health work is very stable. There's a lot of crazy out there and a high rate of burnout. The pay may not be great, but there's a wide job availability.
@Tkae, I'm really thankful you gave so much thought to my problem. I must say you've laid it out so clear and simple that its much easier to ponder over it and decide. Although I'm at the pondering part right now.

A fellow INFP as well, hehe, though I'm *really* not sure if I'm INFP, the 16personalities test did say so and I think The profile desribes me perfectly.

Your insights into american mental-health practice provide a great picture of how it is. I'm from India though.

The situation is bit different, mainly cultural factors and so on, where manning up is the mental health solution mostly.
The beginners pay is really peanuts here.

Job availability is not too bad, but with the pay I dont think I would be able to support even a single person other than me.

The jobs are available only in metropolitan cities and this really effects the net cash flow. For instance let's say, after Bachelors and Masters degree (5 years), the pay is 20k-25k INR per month. The rent in these cities is 10-15k per month for a 2 bedroom house in suburbs. Independent practitioners do make more money but that would take another 5-10 years at least to have bare essentials covered.

I'm sorry for rambling about the problems to be faced and all. Now when I think of it, it really seems to go for accounting and allied fields, because, it might suck my soul a little but at least I would be better off in some way.

I do love the work of a counselor. It is a dream job indeed, but I won't be able to pull it off.

Thanks Tkae, for thinking it through and for such a detailed response. Thanks a lot.
 

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I've considered becoming cfa because here in America it pays 131-148k annually and is a hot ticket to CEO or CFO.
 
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