Oftentimes, majoring in psychology does not provide a clear-cut pathway to a specific career. Because of this, the psychology student may feel confused or lost about what type of job to pursue after graduation. However, because the degree is not attached to a specific career, majoring in psychology is a perfect option for one who is unsure about his or her career goals.
Here are eight occupations that demonstrate the versatility of the psychology major:
1. Sales Representative
While many careers stemming from psychology require advanced education beyond that of a bachelor's, being a sales representative does not! Possessing stellar communication and writing skills is important for this job, and the psychology major definitely provides students with ample opportunities to acquire and develop these! Knowledge obtained regarding human behavior is very beneficial to have when trying to market a product. Courses the psychology major may want to take to prepare for this career are marketing, social psychology, and communications classes.
2. Psychiatric Technician
Interested in the clinical side of psychology, but not in obtaining a master's, Ph.D., or Psy.D. degree? If so, the psychiatric technician career may be a good choice! Oftentimes under the supervision of physicians, psychiatric technicians will care for those with mental illnesses, assisting them in their daily lives. This job is expected to grow 6% in the next ten years, too!
3. Child Care Worker
This is another entry-level position for the psychology major who does not wish to attend graduate school. Child care workers are needed in a variety of settings, from daycares to outpatient facilities. This career can definitely provide fulfillment to anyone seeking to make a difference in the life of a child. While still in school, taking courses related to developmental psychology will be important for this job.
4. Clinical Psychologist
Well, it was bound to pop up eventually! This career is probably what most people assume the psychology major intends to pursue. It is important to note that becoming a clinical psychologist is no easy task. Completion of a doctoral program is required, and these can be highly competitive. While it may be difficult to achieve, making a difference in the lives of patients will be well worth the time, dedication, and money invested in this occupation.
As stated previously, becoming a psychologist is difficult and not for everyone. This is why the option of becoming a licensed counselor is so great! Counselors perform some work similar to that of psychologists, such as therapy and counseling (obviously), but are able to do so with simply a master's degree. Counselors can specialize in a variety of areas, from drug and alcohol counseling to marriage counseling.
6. Social Worker
Social work is not easy, but it is extremely fulfilling according to those who work in this field. Helping those impacted by an array of problems such as domestic violence, poverty, and mental health conditions, the social worker must possess a high level of patience and compassion. This career option most always requires a master's degree. The undergraduate student interested in social work may want to take courses related to abnormal and clinical psychology, as well as possible courses in sociology.
7. Parole Officer
Helping others is a common theme in careers relating to psychology, and being a parole officer is no exception. Also, this career only requires a bachelor's degree, but a master's can still be obtained. In this occupation, monitoring offenders and aiding them in shifting their lives in a more positive, stable direction is the primary goal. Taking classes related to criminology or criminal justice in addition to core psychology courses may be beneficial to anyone considering this option.
Did you know that psychology is listed in the top 10 best pre-law majors by University at Buffalo? It makes sense! After all, "Law is about the regulation of human behavior; psychology is the study of human behavior." Lawyers also make a lot of money...just saying.