There are not enough psychologists in the regions – specialists are attracted by the private sector

The number of places in the departments of psychology at the universities of the country has been constantly increasing in recent years. There are more psychology graduates in Finland than retiring specialists.
Caucasian ethnicity female lying in couch during therapy

Starting this fall, it is possible to study psychology at the University of Oulu. One of the reasons for opening a new department in Oulu was the desire to solve the problem of the lack of psychologists in Northern Finland.

– The training, which starts in September, will be of great importance for the entire northern region. There is a constant shortage of psychologists here, says Kati Myakitalo , Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Oulu.

Myakitalo hopes that future graduates will stay in the region.

In addition to Oulu, Master’s degrees in Psychology are available from the University of Helsinki, the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Turku, Abo Akademi, the University of Tampere and the University of Eastern Finland. In Fall 2020, a total of 272 new students were enrolled, and 345 students will start their studies this fall.

Solo work and poor salaries do not attract young professionals

The constant shortage of psychologists is especially hard on the public sector : in hospitals, clinics and schools.

Young professionals prefer to work in large cities. In addition, graduates are attracted by the private sector, where salaries are higher and there is support from colleagues.

– One of the main reasons is regional division. This is the case not only among psychologists, but also in the entire social sphere and health care. In other words, the further from university cities, the more obvious the problems with recruiting will be. It is increasingly difficult to find psychologists for these sparsely populated regions, – notes Jari Lipsanen , vice-chairman of the Union of Psychologists.