A Psychology major has 3 central focus courses in college. They are Research/Computer related careers, Clinical/Counseling, and Business/Management careers. Psychology is a versatile major that can be applied to many areas of work. Figure out what you want to specialize in. If you want to become a counselor or psychologist you will need additional schooling. For information on the difference between a masters and a PhD go to this post: masters for psychology and difference between a psy.d/ph.d. If you would like to know the salaries of these positions check the website www.bls.gov. Here are some examples of careers that may interest you:
Counseling jobs require a master’s degree and being licensed by the state. The licensing focuses on supervised hours of counseling, training, and certification exams. To know exactly what type of licensing you need check with the state and your graduate program.
Specializing in Counseling
- Clinical Counselor. Similar to that of a psychotherapist but this position does not have a PhD. Clinical counselors work with many different issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and learning disabilities.
- Aids Counselor. This position educates others on the dangers of HIV. They are mainly concerned with prevention and treatment of AIDS and HIV. Aids counselors are responsible for educating diet and dealing with emotional stress. For more information check out the AIDS/HIV Disease and Medicaid Home Page http://www.cms.gov/
- Career Counselor. Career counselors can be found on college campuses or in high school. They provide students with tests which can assess talent, abilities, and skills. They also help with building resumes, deciding what job fits with ones talents and finding jobs. For more information check out www.ncda.org
- Addictions Counselor. This type of counselor helps individuals overcome drug abuse. They provide education on the effects of addiction and withdrawals. They also can facilitate an intervention for drug abusing individuals. This career requires licensing and training. For more information check out The National Association for Addiction Professionals www.naadac.org/
- Rehabilitation Counselor. This type of counselor helps those cope with stressful conditions. This involves the disabled, injuries, and illnesses. They teach their clients how to socialize effectively, handling emotion, and dealing with family issues. For more information on the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association www.nrca-net.org
- Mental Health Counselor. This type of counselor provides help with depression, marriage, health problems, addiction, and more issues pertaining to mental health. Individuals are treated in individual or in a group fashion. For more information check out the American Mental Health Counselors Association website www.amhca.org
- Marriage and Family Therapist. MFTs provide counseling between relationships. This includes being married, divorced, deceased spouse and other situations having to do with families. They focus on teaching good communication skills and micro manages conflicts. For more information check out the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy www.aamft.org
In order to become a psychologist you need a PhD and are certified/licensed by the state. Psychologists have the highest salaries in the psychology field because of their additional training. With more experience and training Psychologists mainly work in administrative positions providing programs.
- Clinical Psychologist. This type of psychologist works at mental hospitals, counseling centers, or has their own private practice. They provide help for the emotionally and mentally disturbed. Clinical psychologists administer diagnostic tests and interview patients. They can also prescribe medicine but this depends on the state. Other clinical psychologists work at universities training graduate students.
- Child Psychologist. This type of psychologist treats mentally and emotionally disturbed children. They may treat children how are depressed, anorexic, traumatize, or having a learning disability. Child psychologists work mainly at school but some have their own private practice.
- Neuropsychologist. This type of psychologist is concerned with normal and abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. They work in university or hospital settings conducting studies and treating human behavior.
- Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. This type of psychologist works in a corporate setting by improving the quality, productivity, and motivation for work. Some companies rely on I/O psychologists for screening new employees, counseling, training and analysis. They are also hired as consultants who offer recommendations or solutions to a problem the company is experiencing.
- Experimental Psychologist. This type of psychologist is busy in the lab conducting experiments on humans or animal. They research substance abuse, motivation, memory, learning, and other aspects that influence behavior. They work for companies, government, and at universities.
- Social Psychologist. This psychologist’s work involves improving the way individuals socialize in their environment. They study attitudes, perception, and group behavior. A social psychologist works at a university, systems design, and marketing research.
Counseling and being a psychologist may not be the kind of career you would like to have. There are other options with a bachelor in psychology. Here are a few other careers that may interest you:
- Caseworker/Social Worker. This career involves interviewing patients using your psychological skills. The decisions you make will significantly affect the patient in where they will be placed for treatment or if treatment is not needed. This job ties in with a social work degree. Some organizations may require you to get more schooling before you are hired as a caseworker. This might mean a masters and licensing in social work depending on where you work.
- Advertising. You can either be a media planner or media buyer. A planner develops and explores media plans. Psychology helps in this area by identifying a specific audience and the best way to advertise to them. On the other hand a media buyer will look for spaces to buy ads and negotiates prices. Starting in advertising just requires a bachelor’s degree.
- Market Research Analyst. As a psychology major you will put all your education in statistics and research to use. The goals are to analyze data to evaluate the needs and responses of consumers for products. With that information you will communicate to your clients helping them better understand the market
- Insurance Agent. Having a psychology major helps you understand and discuss issues relating to mortality, health, property loss, and dealing with distressed clients. Selling insurance can be done through licensing by the state.
- Teacher. With a bachelors degree in psychology you can better understand your students and manage the class for effective learning. You will need additional graduate work and training to become certified. Some schools will require you to get a masters level degree. You can choose to work in elementary schools or high schools.
Are you still not sure about your career? That’s alright here are some resources:
- San Jose State University’s “What can I do with this degree?” http://www.careercenter.sjsu.edu/students/explore/what_can_i_do/majorsheets/majors/html/psychology.html
- University of North Carolina’s “What Can I do with a Major in Psychology?” http://www.uncw.edu/stuaff/career/Majors/psychology.html
You can also check this post on Transitioning from Undergraduate school to real life or to Graduate school. It has other ideas on what jobs to get