Can studying psychology help you understand people?

Is Psychology the Right Degree for Me?

After the Abitur or the Matura there comes a very important but also particularly difficult time for everyone, in which decisions about their own future must be made. Many of them have absolutely no plan which degree or which profession to choose and are overwhelmed with the many choices. Since psychology sounds interesting to some people, it is not uncommon that this subject is chosen as a course of study without further ado. But if you study psychology to learn “what makes people tick” and to be able to “look into the heads of others”, you will quickly be disappointed. In the psychology studies and especially in the psychology bachelor's degree, clinical psychology is only one sub-area of ​​many and is only dealt with in one or two semesters.

Instead, topics such as statistics, biological psychology and work, organizational and business psychology are added. After the basic subjects have been covered in the Bachelor, you only specialize in a certain subject area in the Master. So psychology is a very broad area and goes far beyond the original ideas.

Perspectives and career opportunities

Accordingly, studying psychology also brings with it many different career opportunities. Not only in healthcare, but also in management, law, market research, education, basic research and much more. psychologists are in demand.

Misconceptions about studying

So that you don't start your psychology degree with wrong ideas, we will now clarify the most common questions and misconceptions!

  1. Can I analyze people after studying psychology?
    While studying psychology you learn a lot about human behavior and experience, but many other topics are also dealt with. In addition, psychoanalysis rarely appears in the curriculum at the University of Vienna, unless one decides on the appropriate extension curriculum. However, even as a psychoanalyst one cannot read minds.
  2. As a psychologist, can I prescribe medication?
    No, because a medical degree is required to be able to prescribe medication. Clinical psychologists can only carry out diagnoses, non-drug treatments and counseling, while psychiatrists are also allowed to treat with drugs. In addition, after studying psychology, you must also complete training in order to be able to be a clinical psychologist or psychotherapist.
  3. Do I have to be particularly empathetic to study psychology?
    If you want to work a lot with people and especially in the healthcare sector, it is of course particularly important to be sensitive and empathetic in order to understand the patients and be able to help them. However, studying psychology also offers many other career opportunities, for example in business, research or education, in which this character trait is not absolutely necessary.
    Do I really have that much statistics and biology in my psychology degree?
    Just like clinical psychology, statistics and biology are only part of the course and are dealt with in one or two semesters. If you have difficulties with these subjects you may have to invest more time and work for the exams, but that is absolutely feasible and should not deter you from studying psychology. After the rather dry basic subjects have been covered in the bachelor's degree, the master specializes in a certain subject area that you can choose according to your own interests. The University of Vienna focuses on the following:
    • Work, economy and society
    • Development and education
    • Mind and brain
    • Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology

Should i study psychology?

If you are still wondering whether psychology is the right course for you, then you should ask yourself for the first time which profession you would like to pursue. Does this job require a degree in psychology? If so, in the next step you should inform yourself about the curriculum and the individual subjects in order to be able to assess what to expect. It is clear in advance that you will not like every topic and that it will be quite dry, especially at the beginning. But after all, studying is only the way to a job and if you absolutely want to work in the field you want, then yes, psychology is the right degree for you. But even if you are interested in the subjects and you do not yet have an exact dream job, you should not let yourself be deterred.
If you are interested in starting your psychology degree in Vienna, you can find a link to the curriculum and study plan here to get an idea: pdf.