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What Psychology Majors Could And Should Be Doing

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I Want To Major In Psychology What Should I Do Next

Should I major in psychology?

Attend an advertised psychology major information session to learn about the requirements of the major. You will be given an opportunity to declare your major at the end of the session. Many sessions are held each semester. These are advertised on the Student Digest and on posters. When you declare your major at one of these sessions, an advisor will be assigned. You will also learn how the major is structured and when you should try to complete the different courses.

The ideal time to declare a major is in late winter/early spring of your first year, so you can participate in our departmental pre-registration. Early in the spring semester, you will receive preregistration materials specially designed for psychology majors. These will allow you priority into psychology courses.

What Do Employers Look For In Psychology Majors They Interview

The items in the three major categories of the following outline are arranged in descending order of importance as rated by a large sample of employers from Midwestern government, nonprofit, and commercial agencies, organizations, and companies that often hire undergraduate psychology majors. Psychology students are urged to take advantage of all their undergraduate opportunities to maximize the attainments of these skills, abilities, knowledge, and personal traits.


  • Tolerance for stress and ambiguity

Youre Interested In Science

Psychology is a science. It relies on the scientific method making hypotheses, carefully testing those hypotheses, and presenting results in order to add knowledge and create more questions.

Related Program

Research in psychology can be tricky, because researchers on people have to deal with problems that other scientists dont have to worry about. You dont have to get informed consent from molecules, bacteria, or even mice. Ecosystems are complex, but they cant be affected by what you say about them. Study data can be ambiguous, because human behavior is not always clear-cut. Figuring out why people act the way they do takes time and patience, but the results are fascinating.

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What To Expect From The Psychology Major

If the career prospects sound promising to you, it’s important to understand some basics about earning a degree in psychology. First off, you should know that psychology majors learn about human behavior by applying scientific research methods. They may also design studies involving theory, clinical work, and qualitative and quantitative research.

It’s also important to know the differences between a bachelor of science in psychology and a bachelor of arts in psychology. A BS in psychology focuses on quantitative skills, while a BA is more theory-based and requires a broader selection of classes in the humanities and social sciences.

The skills gained from analytical thinking, problem-solving, following deadlines, detail-orientation, and communication are relevant to a variety of fields.. Source: Whitney Baker, Academic Advisor at Iowa State University’s Department of Psychology

Some BA programs, like Iowa State’s BA in psychology, require students to add a second major or minor in another area. This type of requirement expands a student’s area of study and provides more opportunities to pursue careers in fields outside of psychology.

Regardless of whether you choose a BA or BS in psychology, the curricula for these programs focus heavily on research. Baker notes that experience gained through conducting research can be applied to many careers:

What Jobs Are There For Psychology Majors

What Psychology Majors Could (and Should) Be Doing: Informal Guide to ...

While an undergraduate psychology degree alone wont qualify you to become a licensed psychologist, it does open the door to many helping professions and entry-level roles in business.

The American Psychological Association identifies the types of jobs you may get with a psychology degree on its website. Here are a few jobs for which a bachelors degree in psychology might prepare you.

Probation and Correctional Treatment Officers

Often, when an individual is released from jail or prison, they must comply with court-ordered supervision. Probation and parole officers provide guidance and help people get the resources they need to successfully reintegrate into society. As a correctional treatment officer, you would help probationers and parolees create and stick to rehabilitation plans. Both roles require critical thinking and decision-making skills, as well as an understanding of substance misuse.

Probation and correctional treatment officers made a median salary of $55,690 in 2020, and the field is expected to grow by 4% through 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics .

Social and Community Service Managers

Social and community service managers work for nonprofit organizations, for-profit social service companies and government agencies. They may focus on providing services to children, the homeless, older adults or veterans, for example.

Human Resources Specialist

Sales Manager

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What Is Unique About The Psychology And Crime Law & Justice Department At Eastern Nazarene College Is That Class Discussions Are Very Interactive And Embrace Students From Many Different Cultures And Backgrounds This Makes For A Broader Richer Learning Experience For Students Andres Medina Psychology Class Of 2023

8. Probation or Parole Officer

Work with adults or minors on probation or with offenders on parole is also supported by psychological study. Like social workers, probation and parole officers help connect offenders with resources to help them succeed in society within the confines of the law.

9. Attorney or Arbitration/Mediation Professional

While a law degree from a law school is necessary to become an attorney, psychology is a useful subject of pre-law studies at the bachelor level. Many types of law from divorce to business contracts involve negotiation. Again, problem solving and strong communication skills are a plus.

10. Sales Professional

Speaking of negotiation, this is one of the skills required to be successful in a variety of sales roles. Whatever youre selling from cars to software to real estate assessing a buyers needs, listening carefully to connect concerns with solutions, and clearly communicating approaches to solve problems are also essential skills honed in psychology studies.

11. Market Researcher

If youre interested less in working with customers directly than in the math and science of sales and marketing, a psychology major easily lends itself to this type of work. Many market researchers, those who help determine where best to direct advertising investments, among other tasks, find the analytical side of psychological study very applicable to their work.

Ready To Start Your Journey

  • Psychology majors can be successful in a variety of careers outside the field of psychology.
  • These majors can work in human resources, marketing, education, business, and healthcare.
  • Working as a psychologist, counselor, or therapist will require an advanced degree.

Psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate majors, with more than 100,000 students receiving degrees in the field every year. Despite its popularity, there are many misconceptions about the types of jobs you can get with a major in psychology, and some may wonder whether it’s worth it to get a psychology degree at all.

Some students may not realize that becoming a licensed psychologist in most states requires a doctoral degree in psychology. Others may assume that a bachelor’s alone will not prepare them for careers relevant to their major, or that there are no opportunities outside becoming a psychologist.

There are absolutely career paths for students with a bachelor’s degree in psychology outside of becoming a psychologist.. Source: Whitney Baker, Academic Advisor at Iowa State University’s Department of Psychology

The truth is that a bachelor’s degree in psychology could lead to immediate employment in fields like marketing, teaching, or human resources, or it could be coupled with a graduate degree and lead to careers in counseling, social work, or occupational therapy.

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Becoming A Clinical Mental Health Counselor

When you think of someone with a background in psychology, you may think of a professional who evaluates, treats and follows up with clients struggling with mental health issues. Only those licensed in clinical mental health counseling can provide these services to patients. If your dream is to ultimately work as a clinical mental health counselor, an undergraduate background in psychology may be the first step toward reaching your goal.

For instance, at SNHU, the CACREP-accredited clinical mental health counseling masters degree program requires you to complete 60 academic credits, a 100-hour practicum and two 300-hour internships. However, some states require additional hours for licensure. Potential career outcomes in this program include licensed professional counselor and substance abuse counselor, for example.

Psychology Careers In Research

iDeclare – Why major in Psychology?

Psychology careers in research may be based within research agencies, public and private organizations or in universities. University-based careers vary but tend to combine research and teaching. Research careers within other sectors are even more wide-ranging but could mean contributing to governmental policy development or issues of importance for industry. You could also work for a charity or other non-profit organization, perhaps conducting research to help resolve challenges such as speech impediments, brain damage, child development or the impact of legal and illegal drugs on psychological health.

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What Jobs Can You Get With A Psychology Degree

Like many undergraduates, psychology majors often begin their studies without understanding how that degree can lead to a career. For example, there’s a popular misconception that a bachelor’s degree in psychology alone is useless, which paints an inaccurate picture of a psychology undergraduate’s job prospects.

Whitney Baker, an academic advisor at Iowa State University’s Department of Psychology, notes that this misconception often leads psychology majors to believe they need to attend graduate school to be successful. However, while careers in clinical and mental health counseling, social work, and school counseling often require master’s degrees and becoming a licensed psychologist requires a Ph.D. or Psy.D. options exist for students with only bachelor’s degrees, too.

here’s a popular misconception that a bachelor’s degree in psychology alone is useless, which paints an inaccurate picture of a psychology undergraduate’s job prospects.

The APA offers an extensive list of jobs for psychology bachelor’s degree-holders, which includes psychiatric technicians, correctional officers, and preschool teachers. Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors are also among the fastest growing jobs in the field.

You Like A Good Challenge

A large part of psychology is problem solving. Psychology covers a wide range of subjects, using concepts from philosophy to statistics. Psychology is also all about people, who we all know can be complicated. You might be a student working to understand new ideas in a journal article. You might be a therapist trying to help a client with overwhelming emotional issues or addiction. Or you might be a researcher trying to build an experiment to answer a new question about human behavior. Whatever area of psychology youre interested in, youll face unique challenges that can also be very rewarding.

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Can I Complete A Psychology Major And Study Off

Absolutely — in fact, approximately 60% of psychology majors participate in a global education experience for one or more semesters during their four years at Gettysburg. You simply need to plan carefully for this experience. This is what is important to remember for studying abroad:

  • After completing Psychology 101, you need a minimum of 4 semesters on campus to complete 205, 206, and 2 advanced labs .
  • Each of these courses must be taken in separate semesters. These courses are the essential elements of a psychology major at Gettysburg and thus cannot be transferred in from other institutions.
  • If you plan to have 4 semesters on campus for the psychology major and another semester free, then you should be able to study off-campus or spend a semester student teaching . Your psychology advisor will help you plan these types of experiences while you complete the major.

Do You Prepare For Graduate School And A Job In The Same Way

What Psychology Majors Could (and Should) Be Doing: An Informal Guide ...

The two most common options available to college graduates are finding a job or going to graduate school. Therefore, a question they often ask their academic advisers is: “How do I get into graduate school?” or “How do I get a job?” These questions should be addressed early in an undergraduate’s college career because the answers are often very unpleasant if the student has not engaged in appropriate career-planning activities during the freshman and sophomore years and carried through on these plans as a junior and senior.

The first step in this process involves the student’s decision to pursue:

  • a career that requires a graduate degree, or
  • a job in a field for which graduate education is unnecessary.
  • The second step is to determine the set of factors that will in crease the probability of success in that career plan. The third step is to maximize these factors.


  • Nature of non-college jobs
  • Affirmative action needs
  • Undergraduates should study these lists during the early stages of their college careers when they are engaged in initial career-planning activities. Their willingness and ability to successfully attain these factors will have a profound effect upon their chances of post-graduate success!

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    Psychology Is So Interesting

    One of the best reasons to major in psychology is that you truly enjoy the subject, plain and simple. Human behavior is always fascinating, and were discovering new things about it every day. If you love learning about why we do what we do, then a psychology major is a great path for you. Its a practical path, too. Many of the skills you acquire apply to all sorts of jobs. This is especially important now that social changes happen very fast and most people can expect to change careers several times in their lives. Those skills are also just as useful in your personal journey and relationships.

    Psychology Careers In Healthcare And Therapy

    Chartered psychologist

    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.

    Social worker


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    Job Skills Possessed By Psychology Majors

    “When people consider the question ‘What am I able to do with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology?’, they are usually thinking about what kind of job they might get. But there is another way of looking at this question that you should consider as part of your career planning. That is, you should seriously think about what you are able to do in terms of the skills you may have acquired while majoring in psychology” . These wise words are the introduction to the following lists of skills that Edwards compiled for his students at Loyola University which have been modified and expanded to fit Indiana State University.

    Students should realize that they may not develop these skills if they do not take full advantage of all their undergraduate opportunities . It is also equally important to obtain a broad, liberal education in addition to these specific skills. Because job markets are shifting constantly, it is crucial to avoid overspecialization and to strive for flexibility.


    These are skills necessary for successful employment in situations where direct services are provided to individuals who are in need of help.


    These are some of the types of skills essential to jobs in which information based on basic or applied research is provided to assist decision making.

    Is A Psychology Degree Worth It

    Cognitive Psychology explained in less than 5 minutes

    According to the American Psychological Association , the number of people earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology has declined slightly since 2013. However, the overall number of psychology degrees awarded has increased from about 87,000 in 2004 to 124,497 in 2017. In 2015, 3.4 million people in the United States held a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with 57% reporting it as their highest degree.

    Even though psychology is a popular major, some students may wonder whether a bachelor’s in psychology alone can lead to a rewarding career that is actually relevant to their degree. In 2015, the APA reported that 64% of American workers who held a bachelor’s degree in psychology as their highest degree worked in jobs related to that degree. That number jumped to 87% for those with a master’s degree and 96% for those with a doctorate in psychology.

    Although a 2017 APA survey suggests that 85% of professionals with a bachelor’s degree in psychology are satisfied with their jobs, this figure lags slightly behind job satisfaction in other fields. However, reported job satisfaction was higher among those with doctoral degrees in psychology compared to other fields. Professionals with a master’s degree reported satisfaction with certain aspects of their jobs, like their level of responsibility, but were less satisfied with their salaries and benefits.

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    You Want To Learn More About Yourself And Others

    Studying psychology helps you learn a lot about your thought patterns, emotions, and motivations. As you gain a better understanding of human nature, youll also gain a better understanding of yourself. Self knowledge is a powerful life skill. It helps you guard against magical thinking and unrealistic expectations. Understanding of what makes people do certain things is also a very marketable skill for many jobs. Those include social services, advertising, marketing, education, health care, management, law and politics.

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