Forensic Psychology
July 10, 2009 8:59 AM   Subscribe

What are the job prospects for someone with a masters' degree in forensic psychology?

Those of you in the legal field, what work do you do with psychologists? What do they do?

Is the field being flooded with recent grads?

More specifically, I am looking at CUNY-John Jay's program, if you know anything about that please share.
posted by kathrineg to Education (5 answers total)
 
I would encourage you to direct these questions to the people in the program you're considering. What kind of work do forensic psych folks do in general? What kind of work do their graduates do, specifically? What are typical career paths for people who've finished their program?

I am not a lawyer or in the forensic field. However, I was a science teacher and taught intro forensic science (to non-scientists) for a few years, in collaboration with criminal justice faculty, and I made several professional connections in the field. My observation is that there is a LOT of interest among students today in forensic fields, and that psychology is popular choice for people who aren't hard science students.

My suspicion is that student interest far outstrips actual professional demand. Definitely ask your program about graduate placement to see if in fact the field is absorbing recent grads.
posted by Sublimity at 2:57 PM on July 10, 2009


I would strongly encourage you to thoroughly explore the relevant requirements for obtaining a license in the State(s) in which you hope to work. My experience is that Masters in Psychology tend to be a dead end occupationally and professionally. Unless grandfathered an MA will get you almost nothing. If you are really interested in becoming a psychologist it is usually best to commit yourself to a PhD program and the appropriate clinical supervision. Look carefully at the qualifications to be a "counselor", "therapist", "social worker" or "psychologist" in the States in which you want to work. Many MA programs are driven much more by the needs of the educational institution that those of the market place. If you are interested in Master's program you are almost always better off getting a Masters in Social Work from an accredited institution as these have nationally recognized curriculum.
Please note this phrase in the FAQ from John Jay "As in most careers, graduates often must endure a rigorous job application search before finding suitable employment.". If you want a career in Law Enforcement there are better degrees. If you want a career with clinical applications there are better degrees.
posted by rmhsinc at 10:57 AM on July 11, 2009


My suspicion is that student interest far outstrips actual professional demand. Definitely ask your program about graduate placement to see if in fact the field is absorbing recent grads.

Many MA programs are driven much more by the needs of the educational institution that those of the market place.

This is what I was hoping to hear confirmed or denied. Contacting people in universities in NYC in July is proving to be difficult, of course.

I am interested in clinical psychology as it pertains to criminal psychopathology but I do want to work in law enforcement. It might be better to go for the doctorate or find an alternative path to law enforcement. I have already ruled out law school and social work but will take another look at social work. I have a career that I enjoy now so I want to make sure that I'm committing to something that will really help me move towards my goals.

Thanks!
posted by kathrineg at 11:45 AM on July 11, 2009


Katherine--I have spent many years working in MH and Court/Corrections--I ran an organization with forensic components ( evaluation, treatment and emergency intervention) and have worked very closely with law enforcement--please feel free to email me if you think I might be helpful.
Frank
posted by rmhsinc at 3:18 PM on July 11, 2009


My suspicion is that student interest far outstrips actual professional demand.

I'd have to second that on the basis of a little personal experience. I know two people who received degrees in forensic sciences. One is now a stay-at-home mom, and the other's a bartender.
posted by rokusan at 4:31 PM on July 25, 2009


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