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What Can I Do With A Psych Degree?
What Can You Do With a Bachelor’s in Psychology? 10 Career Paths Worth Pursuing
Social butterfly or not, you can’t deny how interesting you think humans are. Something about the way we behave and interact with each other has always fascinated you. Now, you’re beginning to wonder whether delving into this interest by studying psychology might be a good option.
You’re certainly not alone in thinking about pursuing a psychology degree. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows it’s one of the most popular majors, yet there’s a misconception that studying this discipline doesn’t adequately prepare you for a meaningful career. That couldn’t be further from the truth—there’s a reason why liberal arts institutions[CS1] often weave it into the core curriculum.
So, what can you do with a bachelor’s degree in psychology? It really depends on your particular interests and how far you want to take your education. That said, you have options. Take a look at some of the possibilities.
What can you do with a bachelor’s in psychology?
Whether you have plans to continue your education after earning your undergraduate degree or you’re only interested in earning a bachelor’s in psychology—or perhaps you’re still unsure—it’s worth exploring your options.
5 Psychology careers that will require an advanced degree
Perhaps you already recognize that you want to become a psychologist one day. If so, you’ll need at least a master’s degree and possibly a doctoral degree to pursue roles like the ones below.
1. Clinical psychologist
These mental health professionals diagnose and treat problems ranging from social anxiety to short-term emotional issues. Clinical psychologists use techniques like interviewing, diagnostic testing and psychotherapy when working with patients. Many of these professionals also conduct research. To become a clinical psychologist, you must obtain a doctoral degree and the appropriate licensure.
2. Couple and family psychologist
Couple and family psychologists work with individuals, couples and families who are facing any number of emotional or behavioral issues. They focus on both the individuals as well as their larger environments to improve function and communication. You’ll need at least a master’s degree—and possibly a doctoral degree—to become licensed as a couple and family psychologist.
3. Police and public safety psychologist
One of the newer specializations, police and public safety psychology aims to help law enforcement and other public safety personnel perform their jobs effectively and safely. Professionals in this realm need specific knowledge of the way police and public safety organizations function, common stressors workers in this realm face and normal versus abnormal reactions to stress and trauma. You typically need a doctoral degree to become a police and public safety psychologist.
4. Rehabilitation psychologist
Many people who become disabled due to injury or illness rely on rehabilitation psychologists to help them work through both emotional and functional difficulties. These mental health professionals have distinct knowledge of various disabilities and, through practice and research, aim to help their clients maintain as much independence as possible. While you may qualify for some jobs with a master’s degree, most positions require a doctoral degree.
5. School psychologist
As a school psychologist, you would work with children and their families to provide diagnoses, assessments and interventions to help promote positive learning environments. These psychologists have particular expertise in child development and classroom settings. In addition to collaborating with parents, they often work with educators to ensure they’re meeting students’ needs. School psychologists typically need a master’s degree and the appropriate licensure.
5 Psychology careers for bachelor’s degree holders
Perhaps you’re fascinated by psychology, but aren’t interested in clinical practice. The good news is a bachelor’s degree in this field can prepare you for numerous careers—as an entrepreneur, a manager and more.
So what can you do with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, exactly? An analysis of more than 2 million job postings from the last year indicates the roles listed below are among those seeking candidates with this credential.*
1. Sales representative
These business professionals identify and reach out to potential buyers, explain products or services and ultimately help customers select the appropriate purchases for their needs. The best sales representatives promptly follow up with customers to address issues and work to build lasting professional relationships. While an educational background in marketing or a related field is common for this role, a psychology degree can be incredibly helpful in developing emotional intelligence and other key competencies these business professionals need.
2. Account manager
Often employed by advertising agencies, account managers are essential for maintaining good relationships with clients. They establish budgets, help resolve conflicts, ensure deliverables meet the assigned deadlines and approve payments. Most account managers have a bachelor’s degree in public relations, marketing or another business discipline. That said, many of the skills students begin to build through studying psychology are directly applicable to account management.
3. Social worker
There are numerous types of social workers, but they all aim to help people work through a wide range of problems. They may work with individuals or groups depending on their area of concentration. There’s a considerable amount of overlap between social work and psychology, so both majors are a good choice for students considering this career. Just note that most clinical roles require education beyond a bachelor’s degree.
Part of the human resources department, recruiters are responsible for discovering, screening and interviewing job applicants. Recruiters may find candidates through a variety of tactics, including posting open positions in online platforms and attending job fairs. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to become a recruiter, and psychology is a surprisingly good choice. It can help you better understand what motivates potential hires. Furthermore, there are many quality schools that can prepare you for a robust career as a recruiter that don’t offer a degree in human resources.
5. Insurance agent
Insurance agents effectively sell policies to clients. But there’s a lot of preliminary and follow-up work that needs to be done as well. These sales professionals contact potential clients and speak with them to determine their coverage needs. They then explain different policies, make recommendations on changes or additions and handle renewals. While obtaining a bachelor’s degree isn’t always required to become an insurance agent, it can improve your job prospects. Being successful in this profession really hinges on building and maintaining relationships, so majoring in psychology can provide a solid foundation for future insurance agents.
Pursue your professional calling
You now have a number of concrete examples you can point to the next time someone asks, “What can you do with a bachelor’s in psychology?” Maybe one or more of these careers has even caught your eye.
Regardless of which profession you want to work toward, completing a quality undergraduate program can set you on the right path. At the University of St. Thomas (UST), psychology students have numerous research opportunities as well as the option of gaining practical internship experience.
Find out how you can start on your professional path by visiting UST’s Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program page.
*Source: Burning-glass.com (analysis of 2,077,850 job postings available to candidates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019).
[CS1]Add link to “Appreciating the True Value of a Liberal Arts Education” once published.
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