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Are there jobs and opportunities that are available in psychology prior to getting your master's degree??

Hi! I am interested in psychology, but I know that to get the most successful career, it is helpful to have a master's degree. I was wondering if there are any jobs available in psychology after earning your bachelor's? Can I be in school for my master's degree and still have a stable job in psychology?

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John’s Answer

Hi Kaitlyn,

Unfortunately, I don't think you'll be happy with the pay of a BS in Psychology. Typically, you need at least an MS to make a living and really a PhD to be doing well. That said there are a couple silver linings to this bit of doom and gloom.

First of there are a number of programs that let you skip your MS and go straight to your PhD. If you can get in one you should! These programs often will pay for your school and a living stipend as well! You'll be helping out with research and teaching in exchange for your education. But that's not so bad. You'll be getting lots of experience while you work.

Second, psychology is as universal as the human brain. That means your degree is applicable almost everywhere. My wife has a BS degree in communications with work in addiction counseling. She now works as VP of Engineering in a technology company! Her work running a group, now applies to running meetings. If you zoom out just a little bit, you might find something else that interests you where you can use your education in psychology a different way than perhaps you planned. If you are still in high school or college, there's time to explore a few other fields you might enjoy. Who knows maybe you're the next computer scientist studying emotions as humans interact with technology! Since the human brain is in just about every endeavor, you should be able to bring your passion for the brain to whatever you do!

Best of luck,

-John

John recommends the following next steps:

Don't stop at a BS
Skip the MS and go straight to the PhD
Broaden your horizons to include other fields that interact with the human brain
While getting your BS in Psychology, do as much undergrad research as possible. If there are no openings, call around and ask anyway.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to answer this, thank you so much! Kaitlyn
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Noah’s Answer

John gave a great answer but I would add on that you shouldn't necessarily skip the MS, especially if you're looking to become an LPC, LMFT, or LCSW. These roles all require a masters degree to become licensed and if you're aiming to get one then a PhD or PsyD might not be the best option.

Additionally, if you already have a bachelor's in psych then you should consider looking at other careers like HR, customer service, advising, recruitment, etc. If any of these interest you, they might be a good opportunity (at least part time) since many employers see that bachelor's in psyche as an advantage compared to other candidates.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Kaitlyn
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Brad’s Answer

Hi Kaitlyn!
It all depends what you want to do. I was a Psych major and business minor and I was able to get an internship in Human Resources that turned into a career opportunity and I love what I do. Psych was the best major for this and my employer helped me earn a Master's Degree in HR Management that helped me earn an immediate promotion. Of course, if your desire is to practice Psychology, consider the advice above. Thanks and best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Brad! Kaitlyn
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Idy’s Answer

Yes. Psychology majors can do a variety of jobs without having a masters degree. One career path is a market researcher. Many, many companies hire them and it can be a fascinating and rewarding job or you can turn it into a career.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Kaitlyn
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