Have you been considering a degree in psychology? Perhaps you’re on the fence because you’re not passionate about pursuing a career as a clinical psychologist. The great news is that there are so many more options out there for psychology majors.
There is often a misunderstanding that the only career choice is a role within the mental health field. The reality is that majoring in psychology allows you entry into many different roles. The options are vast, from therapy and counselors to researchers and education consultants. At the heart of it, it’s a degree for people who are intrigued by how the human mind works.
Psychology Major Overview
Undoubtedly, there is a clinical career path that you can follow with a psychology major if that is your passion. You’ll generally require an advanced degree before being qualified to work with patients. However, that is only one branch of career options for psychology majors.
And even within that branch, there is a wide variety of uses for a psychology degree. You might study how people’s environment and interaction with nature affect their choices. Or, perhaps you might work within a school district supporting students and their families. Other psychologists specialize in supporting new mothers with postpartum depression or cancer patients.
For those who find human behavior an intriguing riddle but aren’t called to clinical work, you can put your degree to use in a wide variety of fields. Psychology majors support businesses by studying consumer behaviors. Or, they go on to study law, supporting legal defenses.
Regardless of your focus, clinical or otherwise, a major in psychology is a flexible degree where you’ll gain many in-demand skills.
Skills You’ll Gain With a Psychology Major
Depending on your focus track, there are variables in the skills you’ll develop and hone. However, at the root of all psychology degrees is a deep passion for research and analysis that you’ll carry into any career. Consider some of the skills you’ll gain through your studies.
Hard skills: Cognitive and social behavior determinants, psychological research methods, experiment design, clinical reasoning
Soft skills: Critical thinking, interpersonal awareness, presentation skills, active listening skills
Transferable skills: Communication, leadership, creativity, time management, analytical thinking
Common Industries for a Psychology Major
While you can apply the transferable skills you gain from your psychology degree to nearly any industry, some industries are more prevalent employers of psychology graduates, such as business administration, law enforcement, education, marketing, and sales.
After completing coursework that studies how people think and interact with the surrounding environment, you’ll have skills applicable to nearly any industry that requires an understanding of human behaviors. Consider how beneficial those skills are to sales managers, team leaders, and teachers.
You’ll be able to analyze and create a focused response based on data, rather than “gut instincts.” This is incredibly valuable in most fields. For example, first responders and social workers often mitigate stressful situations.
Common Job Titles for a Psychology Major
It would be nearly impossible to list all career options that open up for you as a psychology major. One of the top reasons is that it continues to be in the top six most conferred degrees annually. Outside of clinical psychology, here are a few of the most prevalent roles.
With extensive studies in communication, psychology students create outstanding sales professionals. The skills that help them connect with customers are the same skills that make them exceptional leaders. Most sales managers will lead a team of sales professionals motivating them to develop their skills, meet internal metrics, and problem-solve challenges.
Many psychology majors follow paths that help them assist others in living their best life possible. Career coaches will work with students or career professionals seeking guidance on career goals, interviewing skills, and development plans.
Research is a fantastic career option for psychology majors who love a puzzle. Often found within the marketing field, researchers will seek to find common links among human behavior. They might also have a career working on political campaigns or lobbying for change as they conduct interviews and discover key factors that drive behaviors.
Graduates can follow their passions to become human resources specialists, leaders of Fortune 500 companies, or the CEO of their own company. They’ll analyze who would make an excellent job fit, what verbiage will motivate their team members, and how their decisions will affect their shareholders.
Will Graduate School Be Beneficial?
For those who are looking for a defined career path, an undergraduate degree in psychology by itself is not as direct as others, such as STEM degrees. You’ll be able to follow your passions, even as they change throughout your career. However, you won’t be directly qualified for a specific role with a bachelor’s degree alone.
Almost half of psychology majors go on to pursue a graduate degree. You’ll find that a psychology major complements further studies in education, law enforcement, business, social work, and more.
Is a Psychology Major Right for You?
If you aren’t sure what your career path will look like, or if you have conflicting passions, a psychology degree might be a great fit. It’s an incredibly versatile degree that can launch a career in many industries.
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