What to do With a Bachelors in Psychology? 6 Relevant Fields
What makes a psychology degree so attractive to employers? Perhaps it’s because the degree instills in students the ability to engage in critical thinking, act independently, and facilitate communication with a diverse array of people. From healthcare to education, more employers are adding psychology majors to their ranks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists psychologist among the country’s growing occupations, which means students who successfully embrace this discipline may look to a wide variety of fields to apply their degree.
Ashford invites you to consider several psychology career options, including some that you might have overlooked. It may not be as obvious that you could also work as a police or military officer, in business and industry, management, or even sales and marketing.
A bachelor's degree in psychology gives you a general understanding of the basics of human behavior, motivation, and personality. That understanding is so broad that you can apply it in many different areas, industries, or career paths, and becoming a therapist is only one option among many. Here are a few other areas that you can explore with a degree in psychology.
1. Criminal Justice
Within the field of criminal justice, a bachelor's degree in psychology can provide the foundation upon which to build a career in the area of corrections, with parole and probation occupations among the many options available. Parole and probation officers must be able to communicate effectively in both speaking and writing as they work directly with criminals and their families to help in the rehabilitation and reintegration process. Officers monitor behavior patterns of offenders, but also help arrange mental health treatment, employment services, and housing referrals. Without parole and probation officers, offenders would be left to their own devices and would not receive the necessary assistance to help them get their lives back on track.
2. Human Resources
Another career option for a psychology undergraduate lies in counseling, where he/she may play a major role in a company’s recruiting, conflict resolution, and team-building strategies. Psychology majors need excellent speaking and writing skills and need to be able to work in a this type of environment.
3. Social Work
Social work is yet another career path well suited for a psychology major. Social workers can find employment in a variety of environments. Some work in hospice, some are employed as caseworkers or mental health assistants, and still others work with children and families in the legal system. Social workers play a vital role for many people as they provide assistance
4. Public Administration
Knowing how humans operate and behave can be an advantageous skill when creating and implementing public policy. Additionally, knowing how to analyze information such as relevant political and legal factors are key skills you can learn with a BA in psychology. Your online degree can prepare you to enter a career in the public sector, either in a non-profit, or at a federal, state, or local government.
With your bachelor’s degree, you will learn how to predict and understand the behavior of individuals and groups. This knowledge can be vital when trying to market and sell goods and services. With a career in sales, you will be developing relationships with customers and partners in order to negotiate items such as prices and terms. Having a background in how humans behave and knowing what motivates people, can be key strengths within sales.
Whether you decide to work for a business or start your own, a bachelor’s degree in psychology can teach you how human behavior impacts the dynamics of a business or organization. Knowing how to communicate, negotiate, lead, analyze data, and solve problems are all business related skills that can be achieved with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
The job market for today's emerging psychology student is ripe with many, varied opportunities in numerous fields. Most importantly, you must also consider what kinds of work you are interested in and comfortable with, as well as your preferred environment. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I feel like this job is a good fit for me?
- Is this job something I can see myself doing for a long period of time?
- What opportunities are currently open and available to me?
- Where would I like to work?
- With whom would I like to work?
Once you’ve answered these questions, then where do you start? You can go to the career services center at your school to discover additional careers, or take advantage of resources like eCareerfit.com, where you can take tests to see what careers may be suitable for your personality and skills. You can talk to people who have psychology related careers you aspire to and ask them how they got to where they currently are.
So many opportunities are available – more than you might think. And you can follow many different avenues to reach them. There are many great psychology careers waiting for a motivated person with a quality education.
Students are encouraged to visit the sites listed below for further information on psychology job prospects.
- American Psychological Association
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
Written by Ashford University staff