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Business/Careers: Unique question for those familiar with career counseling.


Posts: 13
 JPA
Community Member
Topic starter
(@jpa)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago

A few years ago, my wife decided to go back to college and change careers around the age of 40.  She just graduated college this year and is settling into her new career path.  Man, I'm so proud and happy for her.  

She graduated with a degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology with a 4.0 GPA (top of class).  I believe Industrial Organizational Psychology is similar to Work and Organizational Psychology in Europe.  She is thinking of going for her Masters as well.  She has a strong interest in career counseling or career coaching.  

Our question is for those who are in touch with the European workforce.   Is this degree or career field something that is in demand in Europe or even Portugal?  Language and culture could be a barrier until she gets further integrated. Is career counseling something done for the students in the international schools there in Portugal?   
 
We will not be moving for the next 3 or 4 years, but she is currently career planning so we can move to Portugal and she can keep working either remote or local.
 
Thanks in advance,
John and Sarah
 
2 Replies




Posts: 469
Admin
(@thomasribatejo)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago

These points don't address all of yours, sorry, but may be of some use?

  • "Psicologia Social e das Organizações" seems to be the closest thing in Portugal, and is a Masters level qualification following on from Psychology degrees, offered by several higher education institutions.  So, in that sense, it is "a thing" here.
  • Degrees must be officially recognised in Portugal, in almost every circumstance (short of informal work, or employment by someone you know well, where effectively they're taking your qualification for granted).  Information about whether recognition is possible, and how to do it, is here: https://www.dges.gov.pt/en/pagina/degree-and-diploma-recognition
    Note that there are costs and complications to doing this, so I would check this out before embarking on any further courses of study outside of Portugal - each qualification needs to be separately recognised!
  • Professional recognition/membership may be required to practice officially in Portugal - I do not know enough about this field to be sure, however it's common for professional membership to be required in order for a professional to be able to practice (in some/many/all circumstances).  I am guessing the relevant body is likely to be https://www.ordemdospsicologos.pt/pt (there is limited English translation via a slightly hidden button top right)

Unlike the US and the UK (amongst other countries), career paths in Portugal (and much of Europe) are often highly regulated, with pathways through education and internships leading to professional memberships, prior to professionals practising independently/being hired.  There are pros and cons to this approach, however it is a cause of frustration for people moving from countries with a more flexible approach.

As a concrete example from another field, a fully qualified, experienced architect with a history of practice in another country would need to get their qualifications recognised, and then join the Ordem dos Arquitectos (which could require additional courses/work experience, potentially - and a large fee), before being able to officially work as an architect in Portugal.  Without this, of course the architect could prepare plans for people, advise them, etc... but they could not submit planning applications, or appear as a licensed professional in connection with any project/works - and this in turn significantly reduces their earning potential and possibility of being hired.  We know people in precisely this situation, working two jobs of the supermarket checkout kind, to be able to afford conversion courses and professional memberships, after years being practising architects in their countries of origin.

The point here is not to be negative - but please do thorough research starting from "what is needed to practice professionally in Portugal?" or "who might hire me, and what do they need me to have?".  Personally, unless you can identify specific employers, I'd start by seeing if the Ordem are at all helpful!

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1 Reply
 JPA
Community Member
(@jpa)
Joined: 7 months ago

Active Member
Posts: 13

@thomasribatejo This is a great help, thank you!   It's not negative at all, just helps her set expectations.   She can decide if it is worthwhile to go this route or find remote work in the US.   Thanks again.

 

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