What careers are associated with psychology?
I'm a freshman, going to be a sophomore in highschool. I took psychology this year and I was really interested in it and made an A. I signed up to take Psychology AP next year and I'm pretty confident that I'll do well in it. I've been considering what I should major in college and at the moment, I'm going to do psychology. But if I were to carry that out and do it, what careers could I look at to possibly do for the rest of my life?
Psychology is a great field because studying it leads to many different paths for careers.
First, you could always become a psychologist. They have a lot of different roles; some of them are clinical psychologists who work with patients struggling with mental health issues, and others are experimental psychologists who do research to expand our understanding of psychology. There are also applied types of psychology like criminal and forensic psychologists who play a role in criminal investigation and law, consumer psychologists who study the psychology behind marketing and advertising, sports psychologists, and even traffic psychologists.
Within schools, a psychology degree is a great way to become a school psychologist, teacher (especially special ed), professor, advisor, counselor, administrator, financial aid or admissions officer, etc. There are also plenty of people with psychology degrees who go into therapy or counseling careers, like family and marriage therapists, recreational therapists, occupational therapists, music and art therapists, community counselors, crisis counselors, grief counselors, rehabilitation counselors, youth counselors, and substance use counselors.
Other professions that a psychology degree can come in handy with are writers, editors, literary agents, social workers, public relations specialists, human resources specialists, criminal investigators and police, lawyers, librarians, journalists, childcare workers, child life specialists, animal trainers, and animal researchers. If you're interested in medicine, neurologists and psychiatrists use the most psychology, but any type of medical career can benefit from psychology.
Ultimately, I think the world is your oyster when it comes to a psychology degree if you're really passionate about it. You're also only a freshman going on a sophomore in high school, so I don't think you need to make a decision about anything anytime soon. Keep your options open, explore classes, subjects, and topics that really interest you, and know that you have college and really the rest of your life to explore the world and decide what career you enjoy.
Clinical Psychologist: Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, and provide therapy to individuals experiencing psychological distress or mental health disorders.
Counseling Psychologist: Counseling psychologists work with individuals, couples, families, or groups to address personal, educational, career, and relationship concerns through therapeutic interventions.
School Psychologist: School psychologists focus on assessing and supporting the social, emotional, and academic development of students. They collaborate with educators and parents to create a conducive learning environment.
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist: Industrial-organizational psychologists apply psychological principles to workplaces, addressing issues such as employee selection, training, motivation, and organizational development.
Forensic Psychologist: Forensic psychologists apply their expertise in legal and criminal justice contexts, working with law enforcement, courts, and correctional facilities to evaluate individuals, provide expert testimony, and conduct research.
Health Psychologist: Health psychologists study the relationship between psychological factors and physical health. They may work in healthcare settings, promoting healthy behaviors, managing chronic illnesses, and providing support during medical procedures.
Neuropsychologist: Neuropsychologists assess and treat individuals with neurological disorders, studying how brain functioning impacts cognition, behavior, and emotions.
Research Psychologist: Research psychologists conduct scientific studies to investigate various aspects of human behavior and cognition. They work in academic settings, research institutions, or private organizations.
Sports Psychologist: Sports psychologists assist athletes in enhancing performance, managing stress, and maintaining optimal mental well-being.
Rehabilitation Psychologist: Rehabilitation psychologists support individuals with disabilities or chronic illnesses to maximize their independence and quality of life, focusing on psychological adjustment and rehabilitation strategies.
Social Psychologist: Social psychologists study how individuals' thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by social interactions and group dynamics. They may conduct research, work in academic settings, or apply their knowledge in fields such as marketing or organizational behavior.
Developmental Psychologist: Developmental psychologists study the physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development across the lifespan, working in research, education, or clinical settings.
These are just a few examples, and there are numerous other specialized fields within psychology. It's worth noting that some careers may require additional education, training, or licensure beyond a bachelor's degree in psychology.
Another benefit of majoring in psychology is being able to leverage your studies of behavior, emotions, personality and applying it any career - including those not directly tied to psychology majors. Some examples include public relations, training/teaching, or human resources. I majored in psychology and have worked in human resources for the past 10 years.
There are lots of career options as a psychology major. As you continue with your studies, explore the different psychology fields to find out what interests you the most.
I am impressed with your self-awareness, confidence, and forethought in looking ahead in your life.
My high school did not offer any courses in Psychology, but I developed a curiosity about the field and ended up majoring in Psychology in college. While pursuing my major, I discovered that careers directly related to Psychology (counselling, Psychologist) required advanced degrees in Psychology. Meanwhile, I also developed a passionate interest in computer science, and I ended up pursuing a career in Information Technology.
I discovered that an education in Psychology is useful in any career where you need to work with others in groups, teams, or negotiations. I credit my BA in Psychology with giving me tools and techniques to help understand human behavior: why people think the way they do and why they react in different ways to a situation. My Psychology major also provided me with skills in problem solving (the scientific method), statistics, and expository writing.
I recommend that you continue to follow your interest in Psychology. You may discover some other passion along the way. And if you decide against pursuing an advanced degree in Psychology, your education will still be extremely beneficial in whatever career you choose.