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What careers could you go into with a psychology degree?

I know the obvious ones like therapy and counseling, but I like psychology and I don't particularly want to go into that field.
JULY20

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Subject: Career question for you

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Mohamed’s Answer

Typical psychology careers
With a psychology degree, you’re well placed to pursue careers in both arts and scientific fields, depending on your personal interests. There are many options within public and private healthcare, education, mental health support, social work, therapy and counseling. These roles may be advisory, research-led, treatment-led or therapeutic.

There are also a number of less typical roles for psychology graduates, including jobs in media and other creative industries. Overviews of these typical and not-so-typical careers with a psychology degree are outlined below.

Psychology careers in healthcare and therapy
hartered psychologist

With further study and training you’ll be able to gain qualification as a chartered psychologist. Within this highly specialized role, you’ll work with people of all backgrounds, both patients and clients. You’ll analyze behaviors, thoughts and emotions in order to better understand and advise on certain actions and/or psychological issues. As a chartered psychologist, you’ll have the option to specialize in a number of areas, including occupational psychology, educational psychology, sport and mental health.

(Note: If you wish to become a psychiatrist – a doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders – you will need to gain a medical degree.)

Psychotherapist

A psychotherapist will work with individuals, couples, groups or families, to help their clients overcome psychological issues, including emotional and relationship-related issues, stress and even addiction.

Depending on what you choose to specialize in during your degree, as well as your personal interests, you can choose to act as a psychotherapist using a number of approaches. These include cognitive behavioral methods, psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies, as well as art therapy, drama therapy, humanistic and integrative psychotherapy, hypno-psychotherapy and experiential therapy.

Social worker

A social worker is someone who works with people who are going through difficult periods in their lives; including groups such as children or the elderly, people with disabilities and victims of crime and abuse. The role of a social worker is to safeguard these people from harm and provide support in order to allow people to improve their situations. Social workers may work within schools, homes, hospitals or other public agencies and will tend to specialize in working with children and families or vulnerable adults.

Counselor

As a counselor you’ll be involved in helping people come to better terms with their lives and experiences through exploration of feelings and emotions. You’ll work within a confidential setting and be expected to listen attentively to your clients. Key traits of a counselor include the ability to listen, empathize, offer respect and patience, as well as to analyze the issues at play in order to enable the client to better cope with their situation and help support them in making choices. Like psychotherapy, counseling is often a form of talking therapy and can encompass areas including marriage and family, health, abuse, rehabilitation, education, grief, mental health, career guidance and pediatrics.

Psychology careers in education
Psychology graduates interested in the education sector have a number of different options. As well as educational therapy, educational psychology and social work within education, psychology graduates may qualify as teachers, working in primary, secondary or tertiary level education. They may instead work within social services to help support learning in the community at all ages, or within the prison sector to provide support for young offenders.

To become an educational psychologist, you will need the same qualifications as any psychologist (a master’s degree and further training). This is a role concerned with the development of young people in educational settings, with the aim of enhancing learning and dealing with social and emotional issues or learning difficulties.

To teach psychology, depending on the level you choose, you’ll need an additional teaching qualification. To enter careers in tertiary education (colleges and universities) you will likely need a further qualification, such as a master’s and/or PhD. Roles in higher education are likely to encompass both teaching and research (see below).

Psychology careers in research
Psychology careers in research may be based within research agencies, public and private organizations or in universities. University-based careers vary but tend to combine research and teaching. Research careers within other sectors are even more wide-ranging but could mean contributing to governmental policy development or issues of importance for industry. You could also work for a charity or other non-profit organization, perhaps conducting research to help resolve challenges such as speech impediments, brain damage, child development or the impact of legal and illegal drugs on psychological health.

As a psychology graduate at bachelor level, there are thousands of opportunities for you outside healthcare and educational roles if you know where to look. This is due to the varied transferable skills you gain from your degree, as well as widespread recognition of the advantages of having psychological and analytical expertise. In broad terms, psychology graduates can be found working in all sectors of society, including media, criminal justice and rehabilitation, advertising, business and management, sports, public agencies and the legal sector. Some less typical careers with a psychology degree are outlined below…

Media and advertising careers
It might not be an obvious choice for psychology graduates, but media careers are varied, with ample opportunities to apply the skills a psychology degree will hone. Psychology graduates can impart valuable insights into human behavior, as well as offering the ability to analyze problems, listen attentively, give considered responses and act with empathy and reason. Because of this, media roles within all departments including management, production, scheduling and writing are well within reach for psychology graduates.

Human resources and communications careers

Psychology is all about understanding people and how they think, making human resources and communications careers another good match. These roles, available in both the public and private sectors, encompass areas such as employee satisfaction, professional development, training, recruitment, PR, payroll and internal communications.

Business and management careers
Thanks to a keen sense of how to handle both data and people, business and management careers are another good option for psychology graduates. Although further training and work experience are likely to be required before entering managerial roles, you could start out by pursuing careers within business consultancy, marketing, sales, advertising or business development, before working your way up the ladder.

A psychology degree may also provide a good basis for careers in IT, finance, the legal sector, government administration and market research.
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Adolfo’s Answer

Hi Ellen,

I graduated with a degree in Psychology but I am not working in a counseling related field. I know others with psych degrees working in marketing.

Though many people who are interested in marketing end up getting a degree in that field, psychology can lay a solid foundation for jobs in marketing. Marketing managers have to understand how people think and feel so they can strategize for marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness and sales. Marketing jobs can be entry level, but most organizations want to see a bachelor’s degree and some demonstration of marketing knowledge and communication abilities. Most people start as a marketing assistant and work their way up.

Best of luck!
Adolfo's is very appreciated. This is because he shows concern and offers other alternatives. Thanks. Joseph Anie
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Izabela’s Answer

Hi Ellen, it really depends the location of your work after your studies. In the US, is most common to go into clinical psychology after finalizing your degree. However, a Psychology degree can also open doors for you in the corporate world, working with Human Resources. Outside of the US, is really common to see HR professionals who graduated in Psychology.
If you want to stay away from counseling and therapy, I advise you to look into the Psychology degree's program to see what type of studies they will be focused on.
Hope this helps!
Izabela I think you nailed it. One essence of all modern education is to be fit for the changing world. Your goal can be met in other places like writing, like in journalism, lecturing or you can be a blogger with attempts to solve some issues. That could be fulfilling to start with. Joseph Anie
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