Career Options With a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology
It's true that, in order to work as a psychologist, a master's or doctorate degree is typically required. However, a bachelor's degree in psychology can still function as a valuable starting point for a number of career paths. These career paths may or may not be in the field of psychology; the skills acquired from a bachelor's in psychology can be applied to a wide range of promising fields.
Common Career Paths
The majority of students with a bachelor's degree in psychology go on to work in human or social services. Some typical jobs in this field of work are: career counselor, psychiatric technician, rehabilitation specialist, and case manager. These jobs all require skills which a bachelor's degree in psychology provides, such as the ability to evaluate the needs of a client, to keep accurate and organized records, to express empathy and compassion, and to work towards the best interests of your client.
A bachelor's degree in psychology provides training in a number of skills which can be applied to many occupations and disciplines. As you search for a job, it would be helpful to make a list of these skills which potential employers may find attractive. For example, throughout your schooling you have most likely done a good deal of academic writing and research. This skill would make you a viable candidate for many positions, such as business manager, library assistant, probation officer, and many others. Take inventory of your strengths, and consider how they might be of value in a range of occupations.
Interestingly, about three quarters of students who earn a bachelor's degree in psychology do not pursue a graduate degree in psychology. In fact, only about a quarter of psychology undergraduates actually end up working in psychology, or a closely related field. Notwithstanding, psychology undergraduates can become some of the most successful professionals.
The following are just a few of the common career paths for individuals who complete a bachelor's degree in psychology.
Advertising careers often involve developing persuasive advertisements and researching a target audience to create product messaging. Psychology graduates are a good fit for just about any advertising career as the science of persuasion and research are major topics of this undergraduate major.
A career counselor your goal is to help career oriented students and job seekers discover their potential. Working as a career counselor you'll assist people perform self assessments, find careers, make career changes or in vocational rehabilitiation. Not only is being a career counselor fulfilling, psychology graduates are uniquely qualified to help individuals in the career discovery process - since some much of career discoverly involves self discovery.
Case managers, also referred to as social and human service assistants, provide advice and counseling to people in difficult situations. They help develop treatment and recovery plans, identify service providers, monitor client progress, and coordinate with other health and human service providers. Not only should case managers have a compassionate heart, they need to be critical thinkers and understand human nature and behavior. Individuals who complete a bachelor's degree in psychology are well qualified to excel as case managers.
Child Care Worker
Earning a degree in psychology allows graduates to work directly in psychology by becoming a partial care worker in a mental health setting such as child care. Childcare workers work in daycare, after-school programs and other child care settings.
Pursuing a career as a laboratory assistant is a great way to put a bachelor's degree in psychology to good use. Laboratory assistants are heavily involved in research and experimental psychology, two subjects covered in my undergraduate psychology programs. Psychology lab assistants often work in government agencies, university psychology programs, and private sector business that studies human behavior.
Earning a bachelor's degree in psychology is great preparation for a career as a market reseacher. Psychology students are well versed in statistical analysis and scientific methodologies - useful skills when it comes to performing research tasks including collecting and analyzing data, conducting interviews and performing opinion polls.
While an undergraduate degree in psychology does not qualify graduates for a career as a psychologist, it does prepare them to work in the field of mental health and human services. A few job positions available to undergraduate psychology majors include mental health technician, social work assistant and psychiatric technician.
Probation and Parole Officer
Psychology majors are also well qualified to pursue careers in criminal justice. In fact, psychology graduates are well suited for careers as probation and parole officers. Probation and parole officers supervise and work with individuals convicted of crimes. They monitor convicts, track behaviors, coordinate with other professionals or therapists, and make recommendations to the courts.
Rehabilitation specialists assist people struggling with physical and mental disabilities reintegrate into society, become self sufficient and live on their own. While this position often requires a master's degree, a bachelor's degree in psychology is also adequate preparation for this career.
Not surprisingly, many psychology undergrads find successful careers in sales. A bachelor's degree in psychology helps students acquire a variety of interpersonal communication skills that uniquely qualify them for both sales and marketing positions. Prospective employers like the fact that many psychology graduates are well spoken and are able to communicate effectively. They also have a good understanding of human behavior, which is an essential quality of top sales representatives.
Social Service Specialists
Social service is a hot spot for psychology graduates seeking career opportunities. Professionals with a bachelor's degree in psychology can find jobs in various social service sectors including non-profit organizations and government agencies. Those who pursue a career in social service provide community support, direct client counseling and various case management services.
Earning a bachelor's degree in psychology and a teaching certificate is a great combination for becoming a teacher. Psychology undergraduates can find jobs teaching at elementary schools, middle schools or high schools. They may teach various subject matters, including psychology.
Completing a bachelor's degree in psychology typically requires a lot of writing. In fact, psychology is one of the most writing intensive majors next to English. Psychology graduates are well prepared for a number of writing careers including technical writer, newspaper reporter, and advertising copywriters.