Learn What You Can Do With a Psychology Degree

Posts Tagged ‘career ram’

Psychology Major Career Path 3: Professor Arias

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Psychologymajor.org asked Professor Arias of San Jose State University a few questions about his path in the psychology field.

What interested you about Psychology?

Psychology interested me since I was young. I’ve always been able to figure out other peoples problems. I rememeber as a young child a mentor of mine telling me about psychology in high school. That sparked my interest. So I started studying Sigmund  Freud’s work and because I wanted to help people I became even more interested.

What worked for you and helped you succeed?

Understanding  that a lot of different people and seeing the many perspectives they have. I’ve had many mentors show me many ways to see things and that helped me out. Different angles are what you should see.

What were some pitfalls which you recommend to avoid?

Avoid self doubt. Realize when you are critical of yourself. Realize how powerful that can be. Sometimes it can overwhelm you and you can become depressed. Notice what level your on and don’t compare yourself on there. Your level of self worth needs to be fostered and nurtured by yourself.

Where are you now with psychology?

Part time professor for SJSU and private practice, while studying for licensing exam.

What do you plan on doing?

Working on opening my own practice specializing in adolescent and families. I want full time status at a university. Write a couple books on identity development and make a better living.

What can students expect in salary if they take the same path?

You can make fairly decent money in this field. Once your licensed you can make 100k based on the field. In this field money comes and goes. For instance some clients will come in and go. You just have to face that as life and keep going.

Psychology Major Career Path 1: Professor Laraway

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

PsychologyMajor.org asked Professor Sean Laraway of (San Jose State University, America) a few questions having to do with his current career. His answers should provide some insight if you decide to take a similar path.

1. What position(s) do you work?

Assistant Professor of Psychology, San Jose State University

2. Did you major in psychology in college?


3.What did you do with your degree?

Attended graduate school in Psychology, worked as a postdoctoral fellow in behavioral pharmacology, taught as a lecturer and then as an Assistant Professor in psychology. Did some consulting work in statistics and research methods.

4. What tips can you recommend for psychology majors?

Learn to write well. Learn to speak comfortably in front of groups. Learn as much about statistics and research methods as you can. Take every stats and methods class available. Get research experience, if possible. Get to know your professors. Gain as much relevant experience as you can without sacrificing your grades (e.g., complete an internship, volunteer at a mental health facility, work in an area related to psychology). Find some good mentors at your school or workplace and develop good working relationships with them. Attend professional conferences. Attend class. Study more. Read as much as possible. Exercise. Get more sleep. Try to present research at professional conferences. Treat your studies as you would your career. Don’t sacrifice schoolwork for anything else, including your part-time job. Find friends in your same major and build a support network. Figure out what you don’t want to do as a career. See a major adviser as soon as possible and meet with him/her often. Start thinking of your life after your bachelor’s degree: What do you want to do every day?

5. What worked for you and helped you succeed?

I tried to do the things listed in #4, although I didn’t always succeed

6. What were some pitfalls which you recommend to avoid?

Don’t think you have to get a doctorate to be successful with a psychology degree. There are plenty of rewarding jobs available with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. If you want to make a lot of money, don’t become a professor in psychology. If you want other rewards, such as teaching, working with students, flexible schedules, and a lot of independence in your daily work, then become a professor in psychology. Don’t think that good grades/GRE scores alone will get you into grad school. You will need other achievements (e.g., research or other relevant experience) and letters of recommendation from professors/supervisors who know you well, among other things. Don’t think that statistics/research methods are too hard for you to understand.

7. How is your day on average?

I enjoy my workdays. In an average day, I will teach, attend a meeting, meet with students, and work on research

8. What can students expect in salary if they take the same path?

Starting faculty members in the CSU can expect to earn about $50,000-$60,000 per year, depending on teaching experience, etc.

Transitioning from Undergraduate school to finding a Career or to Graduate school?

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

The decision to attend graduate depends on your desire for advanced training. If you do not desire to go that is alright since there are jobs you can get just with a bachelors in psychology. Some of the jobs out there are:

This list is provided by http://psych.hanover.edu/handbook/bachpsy2.html.


1. Community Relations Officer: works either for business or government in promoting good relations with the local community.
2. Affirmative Action Officer: works for recruitment and equal opportunities for minorities; employed by business, industries, schools and government.
3. Recreation Worker: plans and supervises community recreation facilities. (Increasing number of opportunities available for therapeutic recreation workers, often requiring course work in therapeutic recreation.)
4. Urban Planning Officer: deals with city planning, renewal.
5. Personnel Administrator: works with employee relations, selection, promotions, etc.
6. Advertising copywriter: researches audience and media, writes text of advertisements.
7. Media Buyer: researches product and audiences to select most effective media for advertising.
8. Health Educator: gives public information about health and disease.
9. Vocational Rehabilitation: counsels persons with handicaps and illnesses in preparation for new vocations (some states require an M.A. degree for this position).
10. Psychiatric Technician/Assistant: administers routine tests, helps with patients under supervision of psychiatrist.
11. Director of Volunteer Service: responsible for volunteers-recruits, supervises, trains, and evaluates volunteers.
12. Public Statistician: collects and interprets data on health and disease and community relations.
13. Customs Inspector: serves at international borders and airports in investigations and inquiries.
14. Probation and Parole Officer: persons with psychology backgrounds are often preferred for such positions, especially with adolescent parolees.
15. Newspaper Reporter: social science, psychological interest areas.
16. Technical Writer: researches and writes material dealing with social science and psychological knowledge for magazines, newspapers and journals.
17. Sales Representative: major publishers of psychological books often seek out undergraduates with psychology majors for these positions on college campuses.
18. Opinion Survey Researcher: does opinion polls and interprets results.
19. Daycare Center Supervisor: supervises and coordinates activities of preschool children with working parents.
20. Research Assistant: assists in the collection and analysis of data for major investigations. Positions usually available only in large hospitals, businesses, and government.
21. Laboratory Assistant: psychology background preferred for students working with animal behavior research, especially primate laboratories.
22. Scientific Instrument Salesperson: opportunities in sales and development for companies specializing in psychology apparatus.

(To know how much each of these careers make annually simply visit www.bls.com and type in the job title)

Are you returning to school? Perhaps it’s been a year or a couple years. When you decide to return you need to renew you old network from university/college. You can also try going back and taking a few classes to meet professors. In order to go to graduate school you may need recommendation letters. Having professors that can recommend you for graduate school has value when the board of admissions is looking at your file. In your statement of intent you can address your many years away from school and why you desired to return. When writing your paper you can detail the many experiences you’ve gone through and what you have learned from them. For instance, if you took care of an elder family member you can say the experience taught you about time management. When returning to school also consider if you need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).