Careers 101: Psychology in Malaysia
Editor’s note: This is the first of a series of articles on education and career-building from the writers of Dear Chereen. We hope that these guides will inspire our readers to pursue their own passions despite any obstacles.
Written by: Nadrah
I am currently a freelance psychologist based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I have been working in the education sector for the past 7 years since graduating with my post-graduate degree, an M.S. in Psychotherapy Studies.
While focusing on my children’s’ development on a day-to-day basis, I also work from home as a Behavioral Scientist for hafta.co, a start-up company that gathers psychometric data to facilitate organisations’ operations. Apart from that, I give talks and provide training to play schools and school teachers about children’s development and their emotional and mental well-being. I was also briefly part of an Islamic online university as a tutor for a psychology course.
My Bachelor’s Degree was a B.S. from the Upper Iowa University satellite campus in Kuala Lumpur. This was a 4-year program under the American Degree Program with admission depending on a candidate’s previous educational background (i.e. SPM/O-Level/SATs and similar qualifications).
After earning my B.S., I continued to a Master’s of Science program in Psychotherapy Studies in the UK that lasted for a year. The minimum requirement for this program was a psychology degree or its equivalent.
With a psychology degree in Malaysia, you can do so much.
You can choose to be a civil servant or plunge in the private sector. I have worked in both sectors.
To become a civil servant with your degree, all you need to do is register yourself on the Public Service Commission of Malaysia and keep an eye out for job openings.
If you are looking at the private sector, networking, researching, and googling are your best friends.
Knowing which sector to be working at is one thing, but finding out which specific industry interests you is key.
There are so many industries in which psychology is useful. You could work in marketing, corporate offices, social welfare, and so forth. I know quite a number of psychology graduates who practice ABA Therapy for autistic children. You may also branch out to the education sector as a teacher or lecturer, or take a management role where you plan out education syllabi for the students. You could also be a psychology advocate if you have an interest in writing, photography, or videography. Researching and finding out which industry suits you will go a long way towards identifying the right place to apply.
With so much positive growth and change in the psychology realm in Malaysia, the future is looking bright. But there is always room more improvement and growth. And this is the very reason why we need more talented and passionate enthusiasts like you!