What Can I Do With a Master’s in Psychology? 5 Career Fields to Consider

What Can I do With a Master’s in Psychology? 5 Career Fields

While psychology graduates are not mind readers, their unique ability to comprehend, anticipate, and articulate human behaviors is an invaluable currency in today’s job market. Forward thinking employers long ago abandoned the notion that psychologists belonged solely in research facilities and have been recruiting them to fill positions that demand an understanding of employee thinking. 

For graduates of Ashford University’s Master of Arts in Psychology program, the future is wide open, with opportunities in, “a number of career fields in which success is advanced by the skills and knowledge of psychological science,” according to program chair Dr. Jeral Kirwan.    

“Each course in the [MA in Psychology] program includes activities that were developed in collaboration with Ashford’s Career Services and industry experts,” he adds. By implementing real-world skills and scenarios into the curriculum, you can take your career in multiple directions and create far more opportunities than you would with a bachelor’s degree. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a statistical resource which analyzes employment data, projects faster than average job growth for psychologists through 2028. While growth will vary by occupation, the agency predicts:

  • Increased competition for industrial-organizational psychologist roles
  • Increased opportunity for those working with the elderly and in rehabilitation positions
  • A competitive advantage for industrial-organizational psychologists with extensive training in quantitative research methods

A Foundation of Knowledge and Versatile Skillset 

The 12 courses that make up Ashford’s MA in Psychology lean heavily on the practical application of psychological principles in the modern workforce, according to Dr. Kirwan. Graduates leave the program with a knowledge base and skillset in which they’re able to:

  • Apply ethical principles and standards of psychology to academic and professional activities  
  • Explain psychological concepts effectively using the professional standards of the discipline  
  • Analyze the major concepts, theories, methodologies, and historical trends in psychology  
  • Evaluate the scientific merit of the professional literature in psychology  
  • Integrate psychological theory and research

Putting Your MA in Psychology to Work

Since psychology can be applied to multiple industries, graduates gravitate toward any career that involves working one-on-one with people, collecting and analyzing data, studying and predicting human behavior, or creating plans and policies to better lives and organizations. Here are five career paths to consider with your Master of Arts in Psychology:

Human Resources

Organizations are always looking for ways to maximize efficiency and harmony in the workplace. To that end, psychology graduates can offer invaluable insight into what motivates today’s workforce. Their knowledge of employee behavior – gained through courses such as PSY 615 Personality Theories – can be a tremendous asset in recruiting new workers, reorganizing departments, and developing employee engagement programs that build company culture. 

Healthcare

An aging Baby Boomer population is expected to create employment opportunities for psychology graduates in the coming years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ashford graduates entering healthcare fields will have advanced knowledge of brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases, having completed PSY 625 Biological Bases of Behavior. Courses such as PSY 630 Psychopharmacology also offer critical insight into drug use and psychiatric disorders. 

Additionally, the healthcare field offers psychology graduates the opportunity to work with trauma victims and those suffering from developmental disorders. 

Education

The need to address mental health issues and learning needs in the classroom will add to the demand for qualified psychology graduates. Courses such as PSY 620 Learning and Cognition and PSY 650 Introduction to Clinical and Counseling Psychology help prepare them for careers in which they’ll offer guidance and understanding to future generations. 

Law Enforcement

Research and analysis play a vital role in many facets of law enforcement, making a master’s degree in psychology very valuable. Additionally, psychology graduates can apply their knowledge of mental health and the human mind to the study of criminal behavior. 

Social Services

Ashford graduates who have completed PSY 610 Applied Social Psychology finish school with an understanding of social quandaries in the fields of mental and physical health, the workplace, the education system, and the legal system. This gives them a great advantage when pursuing a career with a social service agency. There is a growing demand for social workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the lessons learned in the Master of Arts in Psychology can help graduates address some of today’s most important social issues.   

Additionally, a graduate degree in psychology can create opportunities in Child and Family Services, Government, Market Research, and the nonprofit sector. If you’re thinking about a career that values psychology and its practical applications, contact an advisor today for more information about Ashford University’s Master of Arts in Psychology.

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Written by Ashford University staff

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