Technology

What to Do With a Psychology Degree (When You Don’t Want to Practice Psychology)

The human brain is a one-of-a-kind organ, and the manners in which it functions are intriguing to a large number of people. This is why psychology is such a popular degree program; almost everyone wants more insight into why the brain does what it does and how we can gain more control over it.

Yet, not everyone who studies psychology in undergrad is interested in pursuing a career as a counselor or researcher. Fortunately, there are more than a few career opportunities for those with psychology degrees, to include:

Business Leadership

One of the primary responsibilities of business leaders is motivating and engaging their staff — and to do this, it helps to have a basic understanding of human psychology. Business leaders with psychology degrees might be better equipped to raise and maintain workforce morale, making them more effective in their role.

Teaching

Teachers are in high demand across the country. Teachers with psychology background tend to be better equipped to lead a classroom — for the same reasons that psychology students make excellent business leaders — and what’s more, the intensive math and science required for psychology degrees qualify psych grads for some of the highest paying teaching roles available.

Social Work

Perhaps the most altruistic job of all, social work involves improving opportunities for the most vulnerable members of one’s community in the hopes of bringing greater stability and success. Social workers can provide counseling services, but they can also assist in career development, intervene in dangerous domestic environments, provide support through the medical system and more.

Fundraising

It is not always easy to get people to part with their money, especially when it is to contribute to charitable causes. Thus, fundraisers benefit from psychology experience, as they need to know how to manipulate donors in the right ways to fund their organizations and works. For these reasons, psychology students also tend to make successful sales staff.

Public Relations

PR specialists need to be able to build rapport quickly and easily with clients, with journalists and with their target audience. Such a level of interpersonal and communication skills are bolstered by experience in the psychology field, which can provide valuable insights into thought and behavior patterns that make PR easier to achieve.

Law

Knowledge of human psychology is beneficial for essentially every level of law practice, from legislators creating laws to lawyers operating within laws. Even members of the criminal justice system, like police officers, can ensure greater safety and efficacy from an understanding of thought and behavior patterns.

What If You Do Decide to Pursue a Psychology Career?

Then again, students who do fall in love with the field of psychology during their undergraduate studies should recognize that psychology is a diverse and multifaceted field with plenty of opportunity for a unique and fascinating career. Not all psychologists are counselors or researchers; many professionals who remain in the field of psychology work closely with healthcare providers, public health organizations and education institutions. Thus, psychologists can be involved in improving individual and community health outcomes or else in teaching the next generation of psychologists about the human mind.

What’s more, some psychology specialties — industrial/organizational psychology, specifically — allow psychologists to leave their work environments for more traditional workplaces, like business offices, where they can work with business leaders to improve conditions to boost staff performance.

However, few psychologists in industry are qualified for available positions with a bachelor’s degree alone. Psychology is such a broad and complex field that most professionals who intend to pursue a psychology career must acquire a master’s degree or higher, which helps psychologists gain specialized knowledge necessary for providing value as a worker in the psychology field. Fortunately, students do not need to waste more years on the college campus; an online masters in psychology can provide the skills and credentials one needs to thrive in a psychology career. In fact, one might even pursue a Ph.D. in psychology online, if that level of education becomes necessary in one’s career path.

Not only is psychology a fascinating field that provides invaluable insights into our own thought and behavior patterns, but psychology is also an excellent foundational degree for a wide range of career opportunities. Psychology students should feel proud of their decision to study the human mind and use their knowledge and experience to great advantage regardless of the direction they take after graduating with a bachelor’s degree.

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