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What Can I Do With A Major In Psychology?

Intrigued by the complex mysteries of human behavior and development—learning, motivation, emotion, memory, judgment, personality, mental disorders and social interactions —psychology may be your major. Psychologists build successful careers in a wide variety of settings including medical and health clinics, schools and universities, and even fields as diverse as law, urban planning and advertising. In fact, recent surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor have projected a steady increase in the demand for well-trained, socially-responsive psychologists.

Possible Career Options

(Some may require further education/specialization)

Caseworker
Child Development Specialist
Child Welfare Worker
Clinical Manager/Therapist
Community Relations Director
Correctional Officer
Counseling Center Director
Criminologist
Day Treatment Clinician
Deaf and Hearing Impaired Service
Drug Abuse and Prevention Educator
Ethnic Organization and Service Director
Geriatric Case Manager
Grievance Officer
Hospice Health Worker
Human Resources Manager
Infant Mental Health Specialist
Intensive Family Therapy
Management Analyst
Market Research Analyst
Medical Social Worker
Minority and Race Relations Specialist
Motivational Speaker
Occupational Therapist
Penologist
Populations Studies Researcher
Probation/Parole Officer
Professor/Teacher
Psychiatric Nurse
Psychologist
Service Counselor:
  Battered Spouse and Child
   Divorce
   Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender
   Family and Individual Services
   Foster Care Services
   Guidance
   Men’s Services
   Mental Retardation
   Pregnancy and Maternity
   Rape Crisis Services
   Youth Services
Social Worker
Suicide Prevention Services Specialist
Trauma Support Specialist

Types of Employers

Private & Non-Profit Organizations

Adoption and Child Care Agencies
Advertising Agencies
Banks
Correctional Institutions
Education Institutions
Financial Service Companies
Hospitals
Labor Unions
Management Consulting Firms
Market Research Firms
Mental Health Institutions
Newspapers, Magazines
Personnel Agencies
Publishing Companies
Radio and TV Stations
Real Estate Agencies
Resort Hotels
Retail Stores
Social Service Agencies
Substance Abuse Clinics

Government Agencies

Civil Rights Commission
Consumer Affairs Office
County Probation Department
Division of Youth and Family Services
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Communications Commission
Foreign Service
Health and Human Services
Labor Department
National Science Foundation
Peace Corps/VISTA
Veterans Administration

Transferrable Skills

General Skills
Understand socio-cultural forces impacting human behavior
Possesses awareness of the processes involved in dynamic person-environment interactions
Operates and uses information derived from computers
Evaluates, integrates and applies knowledge
Displays sensitivity to and understanding of human development and behavior
Observes and analyzes introspectively
Develops strong quantitative and statistical skills

Problem Solving Skills
Evaluates personal problems and makes appropriate decisions
Analyzes concepts, definitions, arguments and complex problems
Organizes ideas, deals with questions of value, and extracts information
Distinguishes fine differences between views and discovers common ground
Generates ideas and formulates solutions

Communication Skills
Interprets and clearly explains psychological research and tests of all types
Presents ideas through well-constructed, systematic arguments
Listens and responds to others objectively
Expresses a distinctive view and explains difficult material
Eliminates ambiguities and vagueness in communication
Establishes and maintains rapport through interpersonal communication skills

 

Experiential Education

Providing career assistance to peers in a university career center

Answering a crisis hotline and supporting callers

Conducting research for community agencies

Providing support for displaced families in shelters

Assisting a consulting agency in conducting assessments and focus groups

Working in a human resources department

Counseling children at a special needs camp

Professional Associations

American Counseling Association,
counseling.org

American Psychological Association,
apa.org

Association for Psychological Science,
psychologicalscience.org

Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues,
spssi.org

Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality,
sexscience.org

Enhancing Your Employability

Join relevant student organizations to develop leadership skills

Participate in internships and field experience placements

Add a minor or double major

Become active in alumni and/or mentor networks

Plan on a graduate degree for advancement

Take part in mock interview opportunities

Source: Rutgers University, Ashland University