Sharpen Your Writing Skills
Being able to write well is essential for passing virtually any psychology course. From writing a formal research paper, lab reports, and case studies to completing essay questions on your exams, it is essential to communicate effectively. Writing can be daunting, especially for students who are unsure of how to find topics, conduct research, and structure their papers. If you need a little extra help, check to see if your school offers a writing lab where you can get advice, editorial reviews, and constructive criticism.
An Intro To Psychology Class
You might be expected to take one introductory psychology class, which can be a great way to get a basic grounding in the topic. In an introductory class, you will learn about a range of topics including:
Sometimes your major might require you to take a class such as abnormal psychology or developmental psychology as part of your core requirements. Health majors, in particular, can benefit from taking such classes.
These topics can help prepare you to work with individuals who are experiencing some form of mental illness and teach you more about human behavior and development. By learning more about the symptoms and treatments of such disorders, you can develop greater empathy and understanding when working with people experiencing psychological problems.
Of course, knowing why your university requires you to take a psychology class doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. If you know little about the topic, or if you’re struggling in your class, there are a number of things you can do to find help.
Many universities offer free tutoring centers or academic assistance labs, but you can also turn to online resources to help you make sense of the subject.
What The Courses Are Like
The first thing you need to be prepared for when studying psychology is that you are going to have to do a fair bit of statistics. Assuming you are doing a bachelor of science , you will be approaching psychology as a scientific degree and that means youll be learning about how to conduct research and analyse data as well as how the mind works.
Most psychology courses then will have a research methods component which will involve conducting research and then analysing the data and writing it up. This can be fun when youre out on campus with a clipboard, but expect to do a fair amount of maths, to work in teams and generally for things to get pretty dry and boring .
You should also be aware that youre going to go over a lot of the same things in a lot of detail. When your lecturer tells you what youre going to be studying next in cognitive psychology, you may well be pleased and think it sounds like a thrilling subject. Only once youve looked at the millionth study into it, and once youve looked at the question through all the various different psychological perspectives , you may find that the joy is somewhat sapped out of it. And it doesnt help that you have to remember so many names and dates either.
Note as well that youll get to choose the areas you study more as you progress in the course, so if you hate developmental psychology as much as I did you can drop it!
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What Can You Do With A Bachelors In Psychology
Psychology ranks among the most popular undergraduate majors in the US . Since the Bachelor of Psychology serves as a generalist degree , itâs a good choice if youâd like to explore your interests while keeping your career options open. While broadly applicable, the knowledge and skills you develop as a psychology major may be particularly useful in these industries.
What Can I Do With A Bachelors In Psychology
Psychology means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Often, peoples perceptions of the field are based on a narrow understanding of the discipline and sometimes, it can be influenced by outdated, stereotypical and even glamorized views of psychology portrayed by the media. Psychology is a fascinating field of study and it draws the interest of many students if you are one of them and have found yourself wondering, What can I do with a bachelors in psychology? the answer is: probably more than you think.
Ask any layperson about what psychology means, and they will almost certainly reference the therapeutic role of the psychologist. They may be influenced by their own personal experiences of counseling or by popular media personalities in the field, such as Phillip McGraw, Dr. Phil, a television mainstay.
The media is often responsible for portraying psychology in a somewhat confusing light. In the realm of fiction, psychologists are everywhere from the quirky animations of Comedy Centrals Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, to the smooth-talking radio host, Dr. Frasier Crane, from the hit TV show Frasier. Psychologists also feature heavily in the realms of science fiction and the paranormal, in series like the X-Files , Ghostbusters , and The X-men . And there are no shortages of cartoons and memes featuring hapless souls on the psychologists couch.
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Psychology Could Be The Major For You
Psychology majors dont just go on to become therapists. They can work in research, human resources, marketing, social work, sports psychology, real estate, and so much more. I wanted to work in education, but classroom teaching wasnt the best fit for me. When I switched to majoring in psychology, I knew that I could work in education, but in many more ways than just traditional teaching.
Classes To Take In High School For Psychology Majors
As a psychology major, youre going to need a strong foundation of college preparatory-level classes upon which to build the new knowledge you gain in college. In addition to a general college prep curriculum, there are certain high school subjects you may want to focus on as an aspiring psychology major, starting with psychology.
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A Step Up The Career Ladder
For many National University students, a bachelors degree in psychology represents a desire to climb the career ladder. They might have entered the workplace at the ground level with minimal qualifications and limited opportunities to progress. Achieving their bachelors degree is the first step towards improving their chances of promotion and demonstrating that they have the transferable skills that employers require for more senior positions, such as communication, critical thinking, analyzing, independent learning, and the ability to work in teams and collaborate.
One area where National University has seen particular success in helping graduates create new career opportunities for themselves in the field of psychology is in the transition from military service into civilian roles.
National Universitys close ties to the military , make it a popular choice for veterans transitioning back into civilian life. The flexible nature of the online programs also makes Nationals programs accessible to military personnel in active service creating better employment opportunities for them following their military careers.
The success of its military students is just one aspect of National Universitys reach and appeal that Tilley is exceptionally proud of.
But this path isnt unique to military veterans.
Following A Calling To Therapy
According to Tilley, students who want to pursue a career in therapy are often drawn to psychology through their own personal experiences.
Many students may come from family backgrounds where maybe there was a divorce that was particularly traumatic or something that happened like a death in the family where the student wound up getting some therapy, says Tilley.
Maybe it was just in their own marriage weve had students come in and say, I went to a marriage and family therapist and I realized I want to be in the other chair, I want to be the person doing this therapy, this is really appealing to me.
According to Tilley, beyond personal experience, there is usually a calling to the career.
Most students come in with this idea that not only have they had a positive experience with therapy, but people keep telling them Youre so good with people, you understand, and you really listen, and you seem like you care, and the message sinks in at some point, says Tilley.
This moment of enlightenment can happen at any time.
They suddenly start asking themselves Why am I doing whatever job Im doing right now? says Tilley. I should be doing something that I feel good at, that I feel confident in, that everybody seems to think would be an excellent job for me.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay earned by licensed psychologists nationally in 2019 was $80,370 per year.
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Get Started In Psychology
Experience a university-level psychology course for yourself to see if psychology might be a good fit for you.
Study the fundamentals in the Introduction to Psychology from Yale, learn about human behavior in Social Psychology from Wesleyan, or browse a variety of popular psychology online courses. If youâre thinking about furthering your education, explore a certificate in Foundations of Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvaniaâall available on Coursera.
Icipate In Psychology Research
One great way to learn more about psychology is to participate in research opportunities at your school. Many psychology programs allow undergraduate students to get involved in research, either by volunteering to participate in experiments or even acting as a research assistant to earn credits toward a degree.
Contact the psychology department at your school to learn about your options and to see if any professors are looking for students to help with research projects or experiments. It is a great way to get some firsthand experience working in the field of psychology and an excellent way to discover which areas of psychology interest you the most.
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Cognitive And Affective Bases Of Behavior
The cognition and affect of humans is wrapped up in how we learn. This class is a little bit meta, since youre going to spend your time learning about how you learn. The introductory level coursework will hit all the major learning theories and study how we learn to regulate our behaviors and organize our emotional experiences for reference.
Volunteer Outside The Classroom
A high schoolers preparation for studying psychology in college shouldnt end in the classroom. Formal studies arent the only way to gain an education during high school. Students can learn valuable skills and life lessons outside the classroom through extracurricular activities and volunteer experience in their community.
Volunteering can help you gain experience working with and helping troubled peers or community members facing mental health issues. One way to begin gaining experience in psychology, especially if you have an interest in counseling psychology, is through peer counseling. Peer counselors are high school students who undergo training that allows them to help fellow students talk about their problems and find resources to help. While a peer counselor is no substitute for therapy or medication for mental illness, this role gives you a rewarding opportunity to help your peers with issues when they just need someone to listen and understand, as well as to help them get help for more serious mental health concerns.
Volunteering in mental health facilities is another option, one that may be ideal for aspiring clinical psychologists. Hospitals and clinics are often looking for volunteers that can assist with administrative functions, community education and outreach functions and client-contact functions.
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The Structure Of My Class
For years, I taught a psychology class to our high school students. I focused in one semester on individual psychology and in the next on social psychology. Students were hungry to understand themselves. They were tired of being perceived as problems and desperately wanted to engage in the study of the human mind and behavior so they could better understand how peopleincluding themselvesthink, make decisions, and behave the way they do.
The individual psychology semester started with child development. Studying the development of babies, toddlers, and children offered many teachable moments. The overarching theme of nature versus nurture encouraged students to look at the complexities of genetics and environment, and moved them from black-and-white, rigid forms of thinking to grayer, more flexible perspectives. It also empowered them to see the control they could have over their own development.
Next came a unit on adolescence. After covering hormones, individuation, and identity development, we dove into learning about the brain. Studying neuroscience is an effective way to discuss executive functioning development, substance abuse, and learning differences because it makes teaching less about preaching and more about empowering teens to apply science and research to their own preferences, actions, and decisions.
Psychology Careers In Healthcare And Therapy
With further study and training youll be able to gain qualification as a chartered psychologist. Within this highly specialized role, youll work with people of all backgrounds, both patients and clients. Youll analyze behaviors, thoughts and emotions in order to better understand and advise on certain actions and/or psychological issues. As a chartered psychologist, youll have the option to specialize in a number of areas, including occupational psychology, educational psychology, sport and mental health.
A psychotherapist will work with individuals, couples, groups or families, to help their clients overcome psychological issues, including emotional and relationship-related issues, stress and even addiction.
Depending on what you choose to specialize in during your degree, as well as your personal interests, you can choose to act as a psychotherapist using a number of approaches. These include cognitive behavioral methods, psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies, as well as art therapy, drama therapy, humanistic and integrative psychotherapy, hypno-psychotherapy and experiential therapy.
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Psychology Helps You Understand People
Despite what some may think about their future careers, all professionals must interact with other people, whether they be customers, patients, clients, or other professionals. Understanding how and why people act can give a new perspective on communication and human relations. Understanding how large groups of people tend to think and feel is also useful in many aspects of the professional world. Principles in psychology can be used to understand conformity, willingness to follow authority, cognitive dissonance, and other aspects of group dynamics that exist in the workplace as well as in the rest of society.
Improving Critical Thinking Skills
Psychology classes help you learn the scientific method, how to evaluate sources of information, and how to think critically about the information you encounter every day. These classes can help you hone these skills, which prove useful in a variety of careers and different areas of life.
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Graduate Psychology Degree Jobs: 5 Careers In Psychology
Psychology graduates often go on to earn a higher-level psychology degree as the first step toward becoming a professional psychologist. In most states, youâll have to get licensed to call yourself a psychologist. Licensure requirements generally include a masterâs or doctoral degree in psychology. As you pursue a higher degree, consider these fields as possible specialties.
Psychology Courses Psych Majors Should Take
If you’re a psychology student, you will need to take a number of courses that focus on the science of human behavior. Your goal as a student is not only to fulfill the course requirements of your program department, but to also develop critical thinking skills, research competence, and in-depth knowledge of psychology that will serve you well as you advance in your academic and career pursuits.
Here are some of the top courses you should consider when selecting classes to take as an undergraduate psychology major. You should also keep in mind your coursework if you are minoring in a related area.
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Delve Deeper Into The Subject
As you get further into the semester, you will find yourself learning more and more about many topics in psychology. As you study each new chapter, focus on learning as much as you can about each topic. For example, when you start learning about human development in your class, spend some time exploring online sites devoted to the developmental process. By reinforcing your class lectures and readings with supplemental information, you’ll be able to gain a much deeper and richer understanding of the subject.
You can start by exploring some of the topics that are frequently covered in an introductory psychology class, including behavioral psychology, personality psychology, social psychology, and cognitive psychology.
Psychology Major Alumni Survey
Psychology alumni from Ohio State pursue many different types of careers! We encourage our current and prospective psychology majors to explore the varied paths of our psychology alumni.
In 2017, the Psychology Undergraduate Advising Office conducted a survey of over 7500 Ohio State psychology graduates who received a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree between 1997 and 2016. These alumni were sent an email invitation to complete an online survey regarding their academic and professional experiences. The data from 820 Psychology alumni are compiled below to address frequently asked questions about careers in psychology.
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Electives For Psychology Majors
Many students choose to take elective courses that are related to their future career goals. For example, a student with an interest in consumer psychology might focus on electives in areas like marketing, advertising, social psychology, experimental design, and statistics.
Other students might opt to take some elective courses in psychology along with classes in other interest areas. For example, a student interested in pursuing a career in art therapy might take fine arts classes as part of her undergraduate electives.
Some of the electives that might be of interest to psychology majors include courses in: