M.A. vs PsyD

Posted on November 22,2010 by sburnsmspp

Some of you may be wondering why I chose the MA Counseling Program instead of the PsyD Program. In case you didn’t know already, I am actually a transfer student. I originally started a PsyD program down in Florida after I graduated from college, but during my first week many of my professors spoke about how master’s leveled clinicians can open private practices, and in fact were “stealing” jobs away from licensed psychologists because managed care was more willing to hire them and pay slightly less for their services.

Because I knew that I did not want to do assessments, which require a doctorate, and I also never had a previous desire to teach at a university, I thought it made more sense to earn my master’s degree, get licensed, and open a private practice…unless I felt that I needed more education, in which case I could always go back to school for a PsyD. Right now, I am eager to graduate and start working and gaining additional field experience. I also know that I will continue my education no matter what because it is a requirement to take a certain number of Continuing Education credits per year to maintain a license. These CE credits are also a great way to stay updated with current knowledge. So, in a nutshell that is why I decided to do the MSPP M.A. Counseling Program!

I interviewed some of my M.A. peers, and this is what they had to say:

Sylvia Rodrigues said, “ I am currently considering applying to the PsyD program in order to enhance my career opportunities and be able to do assessments, which require a doctoral degree. I am interested in serving the Portuguese population and community, as well as working with children and adolescents. Applying to the PsyD program will help me to build my skills within the profession. I chose to attend the MA Counseling Program first as a stepping stone in preparing me for the doctoral program.”

Samantha Spagnuolo reported, “I originally picked the MA Counseling Program to better my chances of being accepted into the PsyD program, which is a goal I have always had because it will open up my future career options when I look for employment. So far, I have enjoyed MSPP and I want to continue my education here.”

Alexandra Haney said, “I had some training in the field working at a residential unit, but I wasn't a psychology major so I wanted the theoretical education to go along with my work experience! Now I am applying to the PsyD because I don’t ever want to be limited in what I can and can’t do. I want to be able to conduct assessments. I also don’t think that two years taught me enough—I still have a lot about which I am curious.”

Although I provided interviews with people who want to continue on with the PsyD program, I also want to stress that many of my peers feel satisfied with their M.A. education and are looking forward to getting jobs and working in the field next year! Some of these peers also feel the same as I do, which is that they don’t want to do assessments or teach, they are confident they will find work with only a master’s degree, they want to open a private practice in the future, and they are interested in consulting jobs, which pay good money (which I just learned about in class today)!