Studying to requalify in business psychology?

(2 Posts)
crazyhead Mon 11-Apr-16 17:51:43

Bit of background - am 40 this year, two preschool kids, and am considering studying to retraining in organisational/business psychology.

To work towards a formal org psych title, I'd need to do both a graduate basis for conversion diploma/MSc followed by a specialist MSc.

My current role is in communications - fairly senior and I manage quite a lot of people. Among all the usual corporate comms disciplines a lot of work in training/recruiting staff in my area, and would like to develop this aspect of my career, and in coaching.

I was reasonably academic back in the day (2.1 from Cambridge in unrelated subject) but obviously this is ages ago and probably irrelevant.

Has anyone any thoughts or experience of this? Do I sound insane? Am currently trying to research answers to all sorts of questions, like whether I need to formally charter, how this route relates to coaching or CIPR qualifications, and whether I should be trying to further exploit my current job to gain transferrable skills (eg more experience in recruitment, training, induction, coaching).

Also have questions about whether full or part time study best in my circs - obviously time is an issue.

massively grateful for any thoughts.

tava63 Wed 13-Apr-16 01:02:40

The title 'Chartered Psychologist' is protected by the British Psychological Society and the title Registered Occupational Psychologist, or Practitioner Occupational Psychologist is protected legally by the HCPC.

There are many experienced people like yourself who are working in the area of business or organisational psychology who do not have any of these protected titles.
The current undergraduate syllabus in psychology does not require that students complete any modules in occupational psychology and therefore the Master's qualification is where their training now often begins.

The Master's degree in Birkbeck has a long track record of having experienced individuals like yourself being the majority of their student body and I would suggest that you contact them. They also offer a Master's that is well suited to people juggling other responsibilities. Currently one of their lecturers, Duncan Jackson, is a lead player in the area of selection. Do make sure that the Master's you do is recognised by the British Psychological Society in that way if you do wish to progress you have kept the door open.

The major consultancies in this area recognise the value of past experience and their consultants will tend to be a mix of people who have a heavy psychology background and those who have worked in business and then completed a related Master's later in life. Your alma mater has had a long tradition and is a world leader in the area of Psychometrics - Professor Fiona Paterson at Cambridge focuses on selection processes heavily in her work. Professor Stephen Palmer lead the establishment of the British Psychological Society's Special Group in Coaching Psychology - he runs many fantastic short courses that combined with practical work can lead to a Diploma in Coaching Psychology predominantly in the area of Cognitive Behavioural Coaching. So no you are not insane (though terminology like that best avoided if you progress in this area!! LOL) and No you do not need to formally be chartered. One other suggestion is to check out the Association of Business Psychologists.

The CIPD is a great organisation, their route to being chartered is as a Human Resources Professional so you will not get detailed training in selection methodology or coaching and would likely want to get more training in other ways to pursue these work interests. Saying that there are a wider range of career options in the world of HR. Many occupational psychologists are self employed.

All the best in your next career step.

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