What do William James and Sigmund Freud have in common with Natalie Portman and Hugh Hefner? Strangely enough, they all majored in psychology. People with a degree in psychology find work in various fields. The American Psychological Association has almost 60 internal divisions that represent topics ranging from environmentalism to consumerism.
Students who study psychology have a wide range of skills that can be applied to several fields. These skills include understanding individual differences, writing skills, research methods and analysis, interpersonal skills, gathering information, and problem solving, among several others.
Several different fields of work employ students who study psychology. Even Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, employs doctorate graduates in psychology. Here is a list of some areas of work for students who study psychology to consider:
- Human Services (Direct care, Administration): Examples – psychotherapy, advocacy, grant writing
- Research: Examples – market research, experimental psychology
- Education: Examples – teaching, higher education administration and student support services
- Human Resources: Examples – employment and recruitment, labor relations
- Business and Industry: Examples – sales, public relations, insurance, real estate
With all of these career options, one of the major factors to consider is whether or not you desire to pursue a bachelor degree in psychology or various types of advanced degrees (i.e. master, doctorate) in psychology.
For example, if you desire to work as a therapist, an advanced degree will be required.
Additionally, you will have to consider ways to gain certain skills and experiences that will make a psychology degree more valuable in different fields. For example, if you are studying psychology and aspire to work in business and industry or human resources, it is essential that you pursue related internships and employment opportunities prior to graduating.
It is important to consider the level of your degree and the career you desire to pursue in order to make the best decisions about graduate school and about opportunities you seek while in college.
Here are a few resources for students majoring in psychology:
- University of Tennessee – What Can I Do with This Major?: Psychology
- UW-Whitewater – What to Do with a Major In… Psychology
- American Psychological Association – Careers in Psychology
- About.com – Career Options with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology
And as always, if you are considering graduate school options in psychology or thinking about you can gain experience, such as internships or employment, contact Career and Leadership Development to make an appointment.
Photo by David Webb/Psychology Pictures.