4 answers

What can you do with you Psychology BA degree?

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I know i'm not the only one feeling this way, but as I'm graduating soon (next year), I'm a bit nervous and I wonder what are the options out there for psychology major students?

I don't want to jump into grad school right away since I haven't figured out which field I really want to invest my time into.

Sadly, I haven't figured out my passion yet.......... (Which means I'm really flexible for any kind of work / volunteer experiences)

Any suggestion?

Thank you!

#psychology
#technology
#graduate-school
#career-choice
#undergraduate
#volunteering
#working
#life-coaching
#career
#career-path

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4 answers

Andrea’s Answer

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Hi Cindy. I just wanted to offer a few ideas that you can look into! Some people that I know have worked in a research center at a university after graduation. This can also be a great way to see if you are interested in continuing your education into a PhD program which will focus a lot on research. You can see if your university or any other local universities are hiring for research assistants. Additionally, as a few people have mentioned recruiting is an area that I have seen a lot of psyc majors move into who realize that the counseling field is not for them. You do not need a grad degree and there are opportunities in all different industries and settings (for example at a staffing firm or in-house at a firm in a particular field). In recruiting, you need to use your interpersonal skills and be able to get an understanding of what individual's strengths are and what type of role they would be a good fit for. Another related area is university admissions or career centers, which can offer another area where you can use your interpersonal skills.


If you want to see if counseling is a good next step and whether grad school is worth the investment, I would recommend setting up informational interviews with people who have gotten a variety of different degrees (masters in counseling psyc, masters in social work, psyD or PhD) so you can learn about what your different options are down the line.

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Jake’s Answer

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Hi Cindy

First, Congratulations on your upcoming graduation next year. Its important to focus on that since thats your foundation.

As far as options for psychology major students, I know of psychology undergraduates who pursue counseling as a career path where there are many options. it could be clinical psychologist, behavioral counseling, substance abuse counseling, education counseling (school/college counselors) etc.
A good resource for psychology majors intending a future career in psychology is the website of American Psychology Association http://www.apa.org/careers/index.aspx
Any counseling career would require a graduate degree or a PhD/PsyD depending on what you choose to do.

However, if you do not know whether counseling is your passion or not, you should try to identify some practising psychologists in your city (your college psychology faculty would be a good resource) and understand what the profession is all about, what do they like about it and what are the drawbacks. A good question to an experienced professional is - what would you do differently as a college undergraduate with the knowledge gained through your experience?

another way to gauge your passion or aptitude for career choice is taking an aptitude test.
https://www.sokanu.com/career-test/
https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip

Both of the above are free assessments and would help you narrow potential choices based on your preferences.

Hope this helps you in planning your career
Good luck

Thank you so much for the suggestions! C L. Translate
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Melanie’s Answer

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Hi Cindy,

I would also like to offer my congratulations on your upcoming graduation. I understand your worry, confusion, and concern. I was in a similar situation myself at the end of my bachelor's degree. I wasn't sure if I wanted to commit to a graduate program. One thing I learned is that it is difficult to find a job in the mental health field with only a bachelor's degree. Typically, the most you can do is work as a behavioral tech at a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric unit of a regular medical hospital. Behavioral techs help to manage the unit, accompany patients off the unit, and occasionally help facilitate group therapy. I did this for a year after I graduated and found the work to be so enjoyable that it convinced me to enroll in a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology.

Psychology majors can easily find work outside of the mental health field in such areas as advertising, human resources, communications, and research. However, if you want to do any more in-depth or substantial work in the mental health field, then you will at least need a master's degree in counseling, social work, or psychology.
Thank you for sharing your experiences! I believe lots of psych major students have the same questions as I do! C L. Translate
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Ceil’s Answer

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A BA degree primarily signals that you have the tenacity to finish something - the specific degree (Psychology v Biology v Statistics v English) is less important than checking the post-secondary education box. That said, the Psych focus can signal preparation to deal with the peculiarities of human behavior, and every job that involves other people (i.e., all of them) has those.


My answer assumes your question is about getting a job in an organization (profit or non-profit) in the US.

Ceil recommends the following next steps:

  • Figure out what parts of your psychology degree were most motivating to you. I'd recommend you start with the purpose assessment from Imperative (www.imperative.com). It should tell you if you're more motivated to address people at the individual, organization, or societal level
  • If your primary motivation is 1:1 interactions with people, look for roles that focus on individuals. In HR, this would be employee relations type jobs, or trainers. In marketing, that might be corporate communication (though that shades into organization-level focus), building personas, or analyzing program success. Strategy, finance, manufacturing, product development might be less motivating for you, though all of them of course boil down to 1:1 eventually.
  • If your primary motivation is organizational, look for roles that focus on how organization systems, processes, and teams interact. In HR, that would be organization development (OD) or talent strategy roles. In marketing, you'd be looking at assessments, statistical analyses to extract themes, market research, program analysis, stuff like that. Strategy, finance, manufacturing, product development could also all give you a chance to work at the level of patterns that cause individuals to be effective in groups.
  • If your primary motivation is societal (cross-organizational), look for roles in government, non-profit or foundation change management, policy. For example with an individual focus, you might take a job as a trainer in a hospital. With an organizational focus, you might get involved in hospital process improvement work. With a societal focus, you might join a healthcare policy nonprofit as an analyst.
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