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Are there any steps I should take ,aside from getting my degree, in order to get a good paying job with a bachelors in psychology?

My major is psychology and my main concern plus everyone else is that I will not be able to make a decent amount of money with just a bachelors in psychology. I just want to make sure I’m prepared for anything.
#psychology #bachelorsdegree #clinicals

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Emi’s Answer

Psychology is such a fun degree! The trouble is that it's extremely difficult to find a well-paying job in your field with just a B.A. (by well-paying I mean $40k+). Most psych-related jobs that were available in my area after graduation paid about $8-10/hr. It's super hard to make a living on that. You won't see higher salaries until probably the doctorate level.


If you have a chance, my recommendation is to take more STEM classes, with programming or math. This will serve you in the psych field if you go into research, as well as other higher paying opportunities. The good thing about a psych degree is how flexible it can be.


Best of luck!

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Roxanne’s Answer

While getting your Bachelor's, you should really look for some Social Work companies your city or Town in which you would like to work and take on an internship in that field.

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Earl’s Answer

Hello Tonique,

I commend you for reaching out. There is nothing more important than doing the proper research when deciding your career path.

Earl recommends the following next steps:

I would do a simple google search. Search for what I can do with a psychology degree. You will get several hyperlinks that will lead you to useful information.
Make use of Onet. Onet is powerful tool that provides in depth data on occupations such as knowlege, skills, abilities and average salaries. Go to Onetonline.org to get to the website.
Seek volunteer, job shadowing, and internship opportunities in hospitals and other appropriate facilities. You will get valuable experience that could help choose a career path
Maker use of your school guidance counselor. Also, when you enroll in college, use the career center and join campus organizations that pertain to your major
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Kristin’s Answer

Hi Tonique!


I would start by defining what “good paying” means to you and what type of work you’re interested in doing. I say this because there are A LOT of options with Psychology, and in my personal experience, my definition of “good paying” changed as I left the environment I grew up in. I defined it as enough to barely cover my bills, and soon realized I sold myself about 10k short at one job because my definition was far too low. I recommend using sites like salary.com to find information about specific roles in specific locations.


I struggled to find work that would pay my high DC rent with a Bachelors in Psychology and no work experience. But that just means you can learn from my mistakes!


Many jobs I wanted required a Masters or relevant work experience. I had neither. If a Masters isn’t an option, take advantage of internships or volunteer opportunities in research labs, for example, while you’re in school. This will give you experience and get your foot in the door. It’s much easier to move forward if you’re already working somewhere with opportunities or have connections willing to recommend you.


My school didn’t promote this type of experience because they expected most students to go straight to grad school, so you may need to proactively discuss it with your advisor.


Consider jobs that aren’t your ideal opportunity, but are at organizations that have room for growth. From within the organization, you’ll hear of open opportunities quicker and you can prove your work ethic before the job is even posted. You’ll have to work hard and go above and beyond at a role that isn’t ideal in order to move up, but it can be worth it.


Though networking is intimidating, it really does give you an advantage. I only had the opportunity that I consider my “big break” because a former manager referred me after he had been referred by one of his connections. Many companies will take interviews they wouldn’t have considered based solely on the resume/experience level if the applicant is recommended by a trusted source.


Apply for jobs even if you’re not sure you’re qualified. I didn’t do this and learned later in my career that many people aren’t qualified for jobs they take when comparing the job description and their experience, but they have the potential to learn and challenge themselves on the next level.


Lastly decide if you’re open to options that aren’t your typical psychology career paths. You can apply psychology to many fields of work. I personally ended up in people and project management roles. It’s not what I imagined I’d be doing with a Psychology degree, but I apply my knowledge to my every day work. I started in a call center and worked my way up as a leader. The reputation I built doing that less-than-ideal work set me up for that good paying job I wanted.


To summarize, do everything you can to get experience while in school - internships, research labs, volunteer opportunities - and give every opportunity you have 110% to set you up for the future.

Kristin recommends the following next steps:

Determine an area of focus - what kind of job do you want and are you open to other possibilities
Use websites like salary.com to view average salaries for specific roles in specific cities
Volunteer - research labs on campus, organization focused on the work you want to do, etc
Get an internships
Start networking - look for events in your area related to your field, ask your professors, build relationships at every job you take (you never know who may have a connection down the line!)
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Pam’s Answer

Hi Tonique,

Kristin made a great point that you need to define what "good paying" means to you and think about what type of work you are interested in.

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and work for a very large medical technology company as a recruiter. My decision to major in psychology was based on my interest in human behavior. I was already working in Human Resources when I earned my degree. A few of my HR colleagues also have their degrees in psychology and have held various positions within the HR organization including Employee Relations, HR Business Partner, Learning & Development, Talent Acquisition, and HR Director.

Be curious about what you can do with the education you are getting and don't be afraid to think out of the box.

Good luck in your future!

Pam
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Jacqueline’s Answer

Hi Tonique,
If you are pursuing your passion, and I mean it really makes your heart sing, it has been my experience that people who follow their passion and are able to make it their career have gone on to do amazing things that benefited not only their own personal financial path, but in many cases, turning one's passion into a career has helped improve the existencial quality of life for extraordinary amounts of other people as well.
It is often said that we rise by lifting others, and this statement is absolutely true. In the field of psychology, we are often in consideration of a man or woman's life's work; Carl Jung, for instance, is considered the father of psychology and is celebrated for his
studies and theoretical knowledge of the makings up and goings on within the framework of the human psyche; it is highly improbable that this man got into psychology for the money. Monetary compensation for services is not a new concept, but chasing money may let opportunities for personal happiness pass by you in life. In my opinion, follow your heart and your dreams that lead you to sharing your passion in such a way that many are positively called to action to do the same for themselves. Hard work and determination in getting your Bachelor's and landing your foot in the world of psychology and getting paid to be studied up in it, but your passion for what's possible and the actions you take for you to achieve greatness in this lifetime is what ultimately leads someone to the best career and therefore best financial reward/compensation. Follow your dreams, they know the way
I hope this helped and I wish you all the luck, success, and happiness you can fathom as you grow on your journey through this life. Remember what Gandhi said, "Be the change you seek in the world." You can do whatever you intend to; keep your head up and make choices that best represent who you are and the message you wish to share with the world.

All the Best,
Jacqueline Heidebur
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Pam’s Answer

Hi Tonique,

Kristin made a great point that you need to define what "good paying" means to you and think about what type of work you are interested in.

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and work for a very large medical technology company as a recruiter. My decision to major in psychology was based on my interest in human behavior. I was already working in Human Resources when I earned my degree. A few of my HR colleagues also have their degrees in psychology and have held various positions within the HR organization including Employee Relations, HR Business Partner, Learning & Development, Talent Acquisition, and HR Director.

Be curious about what you can do with the education you are getting and don't be afraid to think out of the box.

Good luck in your future!

Pam
Thank you comment icon Excellent answer! Jacqueline Heidebur-Lowth
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