HELP, i need direction
I am a freshman in community college, 22 years old, and trying to makeup what I lost when i started back in 07. My ideal career would be sitting down with criminals(serials killers,etc.) and try and figure them out as to why and what caused them to do what they did, and also just deal with people with psychological disorders and help them. My major right now is psychology with the plan to head to Psychiatry. My question is, with my career description, am i going the right direction? If not, what would be the steps to get there?
It sounds like you may be most interested in pursuing a research career which could be in either psychology or psychiatry. It is a very small field that works with trying to understand criminal behavior, as usually criminals are difficult to study due to their dishonesty and manipulative behavior. These types of behaviors generally don't change much with treatment, unless they are caused by a serious mental illness (like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder).
If you would want to spend more time working with people who have psychological disorders and trying to help them, then either clinical psychology or psychiatry would be a good field. You could always choose to work in a jail setting, where you could try to help people with criminal histories. Often, the type of therapy is not focused so much on trying to correct criminal behavior, but instead trying to help other psychological issues that are present, such as serious mental illness or substance abuse.
The paths for psychology and psychiatry are quite different, and there are a few threads here already on what the steps are for becoming a psychiatrist. You can do a search for the phrase "becoming a psychiatrist" and you'll find several good discussions.
If I go towards the Research career, will it be more competitive compared to clinical psychiatry?