Should I do a PhD? - no interest in becoming an academic


Hello, this is my first post on here, so sorry if it is edited wrongly.

First off, I am a guy in mid-20s, graduated psychology first class at a non-russel group, currently doing mres research methods at a russel group. Unemployed (on ESA, don't judge) but volunteer for a charity. Now I have been offered two non-funded PhDs in psych, one at Mancs, one at Sheffield. The one at Sheffield I'd love because I have the same mentalhealth conditions that the research is based on, but it'd mean moving to another city which I probs couldn't afford, so I'd probably have to do Mancs as I live near to there. I have not much interest in the project, but I figured I could do it just to progress. I will apply for other funded projects throughout 2015 up till the next academic year, but I have been rejected to all my applications from last year hence self-funding. I have no interest in a job in academia and aim to be a clinical or possibly health psychologist. I would have liked to be a physician going back but that ship has passed already. In any event, I would do a PhD to increase my chances of getting onto clinical psychology (if I can make the research from a mental health angle). Once I finish my master's I see nothing to do apart from a PhD as I am unemployed and highly unlikely to get a job as I don't have much experience. Part of the reason for no experience is due to my health (pm for details). I do not want to become an academic and would not like to be a lecturer. So PhD seems the only thing to do because I have no alternatives. It is the best choice of a bad bunch.


You are in your mid 20s so you are still quite young, and still have a reasonable chance of getting onto entry level jobs.


For your career interest you need to do a professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a registered provider. I'd not see much point putting yourself through a traditional PhD. Take advice on researching an area so close to home. For example counselling courses advise you can't become a trained counsellor in an area you've has counselling in unless that area of your life has been under control for a certain period of time. You are still very young, you have time for a few career changes :)


Even if you were talking about a funded PhD I'd say think twice as it doesn't seem to be the best way to get into your chosen career. With it being unfunded I wouldn't even think about it, getting yourself into a huge amount of debt for no guaranteed career benefits is a dangerous game. I'd hold out for funding or keep looking for employment (remember the average is about 50 applications to get a job nowadays). If your health is stopping you maybe volunteer part-time to get some experience, you may not be earning but at least you aren't paying huge fees to get the experience.


My advice would be to look for more information about the clinical psychology route. As wowzers said, the qualification for this career path is a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, and doing a PhD first would be a very roundabout way (as well as expensive!) to get into that. When I graduated in Psychology (which is a good few years ago now, so I would advise you to get up to date info), the best way into clinical psychology was to look for graduate level Assistant Psychologist jobs and get experience first. I would get some careers advice to make sure you go about this the right way.