Because psychology integrates areas that span the arts and the sciences, students of the discipline acquire a wide range of practical and professional skills.
The best way to determine how to apply developed skills to a career demands a dual approach to personal and profession exploration. An honest evaluation of an existing GPA will help determine the need for, and the direction of, a higher degree path; and a thorough understanding of personal interests, skills, and values aids in categorizing career options.
While a wide range of interests provides many options, the task of narrowing the focus may be overwhelming and may require the help of a trained counselor and/or specialized interest tests. This will entail library research, online research, onsite personnel shadowing, and long discussions with advisers or professors in the field.
By taking advantage of the aforementioned resources; participating in diverse internships, on-campus extracurricular activities, and volunteerism; complementing your major course work with minor studies in other disciplines; being flexible in your perceptions of “psychological” work; maintaining a positive attitude; and truly putting time and energy into your search, you can realistically expect to secure any of the following positions.
ENTRY-LEVEL POSITIONS FOR B.A. IN PSYCHOLOGY
(Minor in business - helpful for employment in HR, Industrial headquarters, Retail, Consulting firms, Travel agencies/hotels)
advertising trainee or agent
airline reservations clerk
public info officer/PR
sales rep/small business owner
staff training / development
MENTAL HEALTH/SOCIAL SERVICES AREA
(Minor in family/child, justice, health and aging, sociology studies - helpful for employment w/Federal/State/County/Community organizations)
case/child protection worker
family service worker
group home coordinator
mental retardation unit mgr.
day-care center supervisor
volunteer services director
drug/substance abuse counselor
residential youth counselor
social service director
(Various other minors may be helpful)
affirmative action officer
child care worker
college admissions counselor
college admissions recruiter
community recreation worker
community relations officer
dir of college alumni relations
dir of college fund raising
fast food restaurant mgr
hospital patient service rep
park and recreation director
MASTER- AND DOCTORAL-LEVEL CAREERS IN PSYCHOLOGY
- Agency/Community Counseling:
- NOT a school setting but local community human service agencies where tests are administered and work is similar to that accomplished with master’s/doctoral degree in clinical / counseling psychology.
- Educational Psychology:
- School setting where psychologists attempt to understand basic aspects of human learning and to develop materials and strategies for enhancing learning process.
- School Counseling:
- Counselors work with troubled elementary, middle, and high school-level children to function more effectively with peers and teachers, deal with family problems.
- School Psychology:
- Psychologists use testing to help school children diagnose and deal with problems in school.
- Clinical Social Workers:
- These individuals are trained to diagnose and treat psychological problems and work in mental health centers, counseling centers, sheltered workshops, hospitals, and schools.
- Community Psychology:
- Concerned with everyday behavior in natural settings, i.e.; home, workplace, neighborhood.
- Psychiatric Social Workers:
- These provide services to individuals, families and small groups and work in mental health centers, counseling centers, sheltered workshops, hospitals, and schools.
- Family Psychology:
- Concerned with prevention of family conflict, treatment of marital/family problems, maintenance of normal family functioning.
- Opportunities are available for those who wish to share knowledge with undergraduate, master’s and doctoral-level students. To teach on a college level, you need Ph.D. unless a master’s degree gains you entry into a two-year school.
- For individuals desiring to generate information, government agencies such as Centers for Disease Control welcome psychology majors. Private research organizations also use the skills acquired by those studying psychology.
- Applied Work:
- Settings in which majors may apply their knowledge can be found in such field of psychology as clinical, counseling, forensic, health, sports, and industrial/organizational.
APPLIED WORK SETTINGS DEFINED
- Clinical Psych:
- Assess/treat psychological problems as generalist working with wide variety of populations or specific groups with specific disorders in academic settings, hospitals, community health centers, or private practice.
- Counseling Psych:
- Do the same as clinical psychologists with focus more on adjustment problems working in academic settings, college counseling centers, community mental health centers, and private practice.
- Investigates relationship between physical systems [brain cell function] and behavior [function of drug use or biological/genetic root of psychological disorders].
- Psychometrics / Quantitative Psych:
- Revises old intelligence, personality, and aptitude tests and devises new ones.
- Forensic Psych:
- Some psychologists do clinical work in corrections settings, consultant work for lawyers, serve as expert witnesses in jury trials, formulate public policy on psychology and the law.
- Health Psychology:
- Concerned with promotion and maintenance of good health and prevention/treatment of illness through design of programs to stop smoking, lose weight, manage stress, stay physically fit. Work in hospitals, medical schools, public health agencies, rehabilitation centers, academic settings, private practice.
- Rehabilitation Psych:
- Help people overcome physical deprivation or loss at birth and during later development resulting from damage or deterioration of function due to events such as strokes.
- Industrial/Organizational Psych:
- Concerned with relationship between people and their work environments. Develop new ways to increase workplace productivity or be involved in personnel selection through employment in business, government agencies, and academic settings.
- Sports Psychology:
- Look at effects of exercise and physical activity on psychological adjustment and health. Work in academic settings and/or as sports teams consultants.
- Psychology of Women:
- Study of stereotypes, relation of hormones to behavior, science and mathematic achievesments of women, development of gender roles/identity, sexuality, psychological problems and sexual abuse of woment and girls.
WEB SITES OF INTEREST