What Can You Do with a Doctor of Psychology Degree?

What Can You Do with a Doctor of Psychology Degree?

As organizations strive to build healthy corporate cultures and people in general search for ways to bring balance to their increasingly stressful lives, the business of psychology is booming. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster than average job growth for psychologists – especially for those holding a doctoral degree, such as a Doctor of Psychology  – heading into the next decade. 

The prospect of landing a dream job – in psychology or any field -- is partly what motivates students to pursue a graduate degree. For Ashford University students, the path from student to professional can be shorter than it is for others, given the vast amount of resources available through Ashford’s online portal and student services, as well as the fact that graduate students are often coming to the table with extensive academic and work experience. 

A Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree prepares you for a variety of careers that focus on a deep understanding of the human mind. Thanks to a number of different specialties available at Ashford to tailor your specific interest, your PsyD will provide the background you need to carry out research, as practitioner-scholar, treatment, test and reports, and will help you to better define your career path. 

So, where will your psychology degree take you? If you’re a student researching job possibilities, or a prospective student researching online schools to earn a Doctor of Psychology, here are three three potential career outcomes from obtaining your doctoral degree.

Psychologist

While the Ashford University Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program does not lead to licensure and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional, students can use the degree as a foundation, with all the accumulated knowledge and skills attained, to pursue this avenue. It’s important that you review the licensing requirements of your state (or the one in which you intend to practice) while in school, so you have a complete picture of the road ahead. 

As the American Psychological Association notes, a PsyD degree program will train you to engage in “careers that apply scientific knowledge of psychology and deliver empirically based service to individuals, groups, and organizations.” Psychologists are needed across nearly every field in today’s world, and you can begin to focus your career while still in school by choosing a specialization to match with your degree. 

PsyD specializations offered at Ashford University include criminology and justice studies, educational leadership, health and wellness psychology, industrial organizational psychology, mediation and conflict resolution, and sport and performance psychology. The ability to narrow your interest to a specific field will serve you well while you’re in school, as you start to build a personal database of potential post-graduation landing spots.   

Human Resources Specialist

Much like psychologists, human resource professionals are in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics – which estimates that the number of human resource specialist positions will grow by 7 percent through 2026 – says those workers will be needed to “handle increasingly complex employment laws and healthcare coverage options,” with most growth projected in the employment services industry. 

With your Psy.D. degree, you can get a leg up on your HR competition. Psychology students are known to do one thing well: they listen. On top of that, they analyze. Your research and analytical skills will come in handy as an HR professional when you’re asked to conduct hiring searches, create onboarding programs, or serve as the driving force behind a campaign to reshape your organization’s recruiting strategy

Earning a Psy.D. gives you an understanding of the human mind. In modern business, that’s an incredibly valuable skill, and one that can be passed on from Ashford graduates to organizational leaders. For example, organizations worldwide are employing psychologists to assist business leaders with developing effective communication and conflict resolution skills, as well as effective management techniques to help businesses thrive. In modern business, having the knowledge and skills attained in a Psy.D. can give any graduate a leg up on the competition.

Postsecondary Faculty Member

It’s not unusual for a student who has reached the pinnacle of education to pursue a career in the classroom. After all, who would know more about learning than someone who has spent the majority of his or her life in the presence of teachers and students?

If you’re an Ashford PsyD student with dreams of giving back to future generations, you’ll be glad to know that postsecondary careers are an ideal fit. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of postsecondary teacher positions is growing at a rate much faster than average, a positive sign for those aspiring to take on roles in colleges, universities, and professional schools. 

While the word itself has long conjured images of doctors hunched in leather chairs listening to patients talk about their problems, the reality is the private practice route is just one way you can take your career after earning your psychology degree. 

To understand the real value of your degree and what you can bring to the table as a potential hire, reach out to your Career Services team, and get a head start on your next academic adventure. 

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By Ashford University staff

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Are you currently a licensed RN?

This program requires you to be a current licensed registered nurse. Please check out other programs to reach your education goals such as the BA in Health and Wellness.