What Can I Do with this Major: Careers in Psychology
Psychologists are employed in a variety of settings as professors, researchers, service providers, consultants and administrators. Many career paths are open to psychology majors. Choices depend on level of training and area of concentration. Psychology is related to many fields because human behavior has an impact on almost every field.
There are careers open to psychology majors with bachelor's and master's, as well as doctorate degrees. Often people have the misconception that without an advanced degree (beyond the bachelor's), persons with a psychology major are unemployable. It is true that advanced training is necessary to practice as a professional psychologist. However, any field which is open to liberal arts majors is open to psychology majors as well. Careers are open in administration, advertising, community relations, human resources, market research, program development, public relations, research, retailing, human services, and teaching.
For more information on careers, students may obtain the free booklet Careers in Psychology by writing:
American Psychological Association,
P.O. Box 2710
Hyattsville, MD 20784-0710
This booklet contains helpful information on psychology as a career as well as a bibliography of further sources of information. It also gives strategies for maximizing your undergraduate experiences.
What skills do psychology majors develop? How do these skills help them get good jobs?
A recent study asked employers to list the skills they determined to be very important for students to acquire. These skills included:
- writing reports and proposals
- identifying problems and suggesting solutions based on knowledge of research on human behavior
- conducting interviews
- doing statistical analyses
- coding data
- designing and conducting research projects
Knowledge areas identified by employers to be important were:
- how attitudes are formed and changed
- principles and techniques of personnel selection
- how people think, solve problems, and process information
- structure and dynamics of small groups
- effects of environment on feelings and emotions
- organizational development
- principles of learning and memory
- how people sense and perceive their environment
- theories and research on personality
Psychology: A Major for Future Teachers
Elementary school-aged children who are in or will be entering school during your professional career are different from the traditional students who formerly attended elementary school. They present a wider range of backgrounds and experiences. Their life experiences may be significantly different from yours. Additionally, the student population will be increasingly more varied than it is now, according to experts in the United States and New Jersey State Departments of Education.
School administrators are aware that successful teachers are those who have the skills to identify the individual and specific needs of their students as people and to tailor instruction to meet those identified needs.
The psychology major will help you to develop the skills necessary for you to be successful. Through the proper choice of courses, you will be able to develop an understanding of how individuals function, respond to their life experiences, and bring their total experiences into the classroom. You will be able to gain an understanding of students as individuals and as members of groups. You will also develop the skills necessary to meet the psychological needs of the individual children.