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What Can You Do With A Psychology Degree? Here Are 10 Careers To Consider

09 MAY 2022

Psychology is the most popular undergraduate degree worldwide and the fourth most popular major in the United States. But what is a psychology degree, and what are the employment opportunities for students with this popular major? 


What is a Psychology Degree?

Psychology is the scientific study of human behavior that focuses on our minds’ conscious and unconscious areas. Psychology majors study a wide range of academic courses, including courses in life and social sciences. These courses focus on biology and the scientific make-up of the human brain, general psychology, and various scientific research methods. The history of psychology is an integral part of this major, so students learn about famous psychologists like Sigmund Freud and Ivan Pavlov.

What’s the difference between a BA and BS in Psychology?

The majority of top universities offer Bachelor of Arts (BA) and/or Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees for students interested in studying psychology. The most significant difference between a BA and a BS in psychology is the academic options available in each degree path. While very similar, there are some critical differences between the two.

What is a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology?

The bachelor of arts in psychology focuses on practical skills. If you choose this degree, you’ll have more elective options than if you choose a bachelor of science. A BA in Psychology is also a good choice if you want to pursue careers closely related to psychology, including journalism, social work, or counseling. While a BA focuses on practical study over scientific research, the rigor of a BA and a BS curriculum is relatively equal.

What is a Bachelor of Science in Psychology?

The bachelor of science in psychology includes additional math and science coursework. Students aiming for a BS in psychology will study the scientific parts of human biology and how they relate to the mind and spend more time working in a science lab. Students who choose the BS degree may be interested in pursuing careers in academia or research.

A bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts in psychology are very similar, and both are suitable options for students planning on graduate school. It’s up to the student to determine which degree best suits their career plan.


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Is Psychology a Good Major?

A degree in psychology can open you to many opportunities, even if the long-term career goal is not directly in the field. Here are some of the reasons a psychology degree is a great choice:

  • Diverse Career Paths. Students with psychology degrees have countless in-demand career options when they graduate. We’ll address the top career options for psychology majors later in the blog.
  • Graduate Study. There are various graduate degrees available to students with a psychology degree. A bachelor’s degree is often the first step for students looking to further their education!
  • Excellent Job Outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for clinical mental health counselors and substance abuse counselors should increase up to 25% over the next few years.
  • Opportunity to Make a Difference. Those who earn a psychology degree have the opportunity to make a difference in an impactful way. But, working one-on-one with others through therapy/counseling is not the only way to make a difference. Many psychology graduates choose academia or research and might even teach the next counselor or help discover something new within the field.

A day in the life of a Psychology student at Stanford


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Top 10 Careers in Psychology

Clinical Psychologists

A clinical psychologist is an expert in human behavior who uses psychological methods to understand and help people overcome problems that interfere with their ability to function effectively.

A clinical psychologist is an expert in human behavior who uses psychological methods to understand and help people overcome problems that interfere with their ability to function effectively. They work directly with patients, diagnosing conditions and helping them determine the best course of treatment.

Clinical psychologists can diagnose mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, personality disorders, and addictions. They may also provide counseling services, including psychotherapy (talk therapy), cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, family therapy, group therapy, life coaching, marital counseling, and couples counseling.

Therapist/Counselor

A therapist will usually have some kind of education and training in psychology, counselling, social work, or another related field.

Like a psychologist, a therapist will typically be able to provide emotional support and guidance throughout the process of getting diagnosed and managing life changes. They may offer advice on coping strategies, stress management techniques, and dealing with anxiety, depression, and trauma.

In addition to providing emotional support, therapists can help people develop healthy eating habits and manage cravings. They may teach them how to cope with difficult emotions, improve communication skills, and deal with relationship issues. Therapists can also assist people who struggle with addiction by teaching them how to avoid triggers and build healthier relationships.

A therapist will usually have some kind of education and training in psychology, counselling, social work, or another related field. They may also have additional qualifications in areas like nutrition, exercise, or mindfulness.

Social Worker

A social worker helps individuals, families, and groups navigate social issues, identifying and utilizing support structures.

A social worker helps individuals, families, and groups navigate social issues, identifying and utilizing support structures. They will often work with clients who have experienced trauma, abuse, neglect, poverty, homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, or any number of other challenges. They may also provide counseling services to those experiencing grief, divorce, or other life transitions.

Social work is different from other professions in its emphasis on helping people make decisions about how to live, think, act, relate, and create meaning in their lives. Social workers are uniquely positioned to deal with issues that cut across disciplines, such as family stress, mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness. They often work closely with other professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, counselors, physicians, pharmacists, clergy members, teachers, lawyers, judges, police officers, probation officers, parole officers, human services administrators, parents, educators, youth counselors, social service providers, and others.

Police Officer

A degree in psychology teaches officers the best ways to deal with these stresses so they don’t break down and become ineffective.

Police officers with psychology degrees understand the mind and human behavior, better preparing them for a career in police work. Such training provides insights into how people think and behave, which helps them make decisions quickly.

Police officers must learn to handle the stress of being under pressure and the pressures of dealing with people who break the law. A degree in psychology teaches officers the best ways to deal with these stresses so they don’t break down and become ineffective. It also gives them an understanding of why people act the way they act. This knowledge can help officers identify problems in their own departments and solve them quickly and effectively.

Case Manager

Case managers often work within the social work field. They typically work with children and teens displaced from their homes or facing complex life challenges. Case managers help individuals navigate their situations and help them meet their basic needs.  Case management is a growing field. It has grown since the 1980s as more people were given access to services they needed. Many case managers work in non-profits, helping people get government assistance, disability benefits, food stamps, health care and other forms of aid. Some professionals specialize in certain areas such as child welfare, mental health, addiction recovery and homelessness.

Case managers often work within the social work field. They typically work with children and teens displaced from their homes or facing complex life challenges. Case managers help individuals navigate their situations and help them meet their basic needs.

Case management is a growing field. It has grown since the 1980s as more people were given access to the services they needed. Many case managers work in non-profits, helping people get government assistance, disability benefits, food stamps, health care and other forms of aid. Some professionals specialize in certain areas such as child welfare, mental health, addiction recovery and homelessness.


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Human Resource Manager

A psychology degree is a great way to start a career in human resources.

A psychology degree is a great way to start a career in human resources. Understanding human behavior before entering into employee management has many benefits. Learning about personality traits such as assertiveness, honesty, and empathy are just some examples.

There are several reasons why a psychology degree may be useful in HR, including understanding when employees need help, being aware of what motivates people, recognizing personality differences, and understanding how to best manage different personalities. In addition, psychology teaches methods for measuring and improving performance. This gives HR professionals a valuable skill set that can also apply to business decisions outside of employment.

Writer

Writers focus on many topics, and there are numerous writing jobs with a psychological focus.

Writers focus on many topics, and there are numerous writing jobs with a psychological focus. Even if psychology is not the focus, the education gained with a psychology degree helps writers understand human behavior and how to write for all types of audiences.

A psychology degree will give you a better understanding of the world around you. Psychology majors are educated to think critically and analytically. They study the workings of the mind through observation and experimentation which makes them great writers!

Community Service Manager

A community service manager (CSM) is a person who provides services to the public that are not provided by municipal government agencies.

A community service manager (CSM) is a person who provides services to the public that are not provided by municipal government agencies. These may include youth sports programs, neighborhood improvement projects, or daycare centers. CSMs are usually hired by city governments and provide support for community needs.

CSMs are responsible for assisting people with disabilities to participate in everyday activities like shopping, traveling, or using public transportation. They work closely with local businesses and organizations to inform them about disability access issues and help find solutions. It is another area of psychology work in high demand.

Sports Psychologists

A sports psychologist works with sports teams, helping them keep their mental health as sharp as their physical health.

A sports psychologist works with sports teams, helping them keep their mental health as sharp as their physical health. Sports psychology is a rapidly growing field.

Athletes often suffer from stress, anxiety and depression when they aren’t winning games. These issues can affect performance and increase injury rates. Sports Psychologists help athletes manage those problems by working with them to figure out why they feel bad and then design ways to make sure they don’t experience such feelings again.

Medical/Health Services Manager

Managing health services is an essential part of ensuring the delivery of psychological services.

A Health Service Manager is responsible for the management and organization of all health services in the hospital, while ensuring that these services meet patient needs. They are the first point of contact with patients and their families.

In addition to managing clinical services within the medical centre, a Health Services Manager will also develop new ways to improve patient care and provide additional services. This could include providing advice on healthy lifestyles, developing innovative initiatives to prevent ill health and helping to ensure that staff receive appropriate training.

Managing health services is an essential part of ensuring the delivery of psychological services.

Graduate Degree Options for Psychology Majors

There are many graduate degree programs for those looking to further their education beyond the bachelor’s degree. Students who pursue graduate-level education also increase the odds of career advancement and earning potential. While a master’s in psychology may seem like a straightforward choice, many students with a bachelor’s in psychology pursue the following graduate programs:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Counseling
  • Social Work
  • Education
  • Health Sciences

Final Thoughts: Is a Psychology Degree Worth It?

Psychology is a popular degree with many career options. This versatile degree is worth it because it provides excellent foundational knowledge and offers students countless career options. Psychology graduates can enter into a field of work with a bachelor’s degree or continue graduate coursework. Psychology may be rigorous for some students, but it’s a high-demand degree worth the extra effort.

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