What Jobs Can You Get With a Psychology Degree?
The field of psychology opens a window of job opportunities to all levels of degree holders – associate, graduates, and Masters and Doctorate – which promise to get even bigger in the coming years.
This post is an answer to the common question, “What jobs can you get with a psychology degree?” from young people thinking of becoming a psychologist.
It reveals the numerous jobs you can do with a degree in psychology that you may not have known, so keep on reading to discover them.
But before then …
Why the Choice of Psychology Career?
Many high school graduates around the globe are faced with the decision of choosing a course of study in higher institutions and colleges.
With counsel some choose their courses based on their abilities and passion, many others go for popular disciplines famed for their good job opportunities.
According to USA Today College, a list of the most popular courses studied in the U.S. include business administration/management, general psychology, nursing, general biology, accounting, and history, with psychology coming in as the second most popular course in the U.S, and fifth according to The Richest.
Also, according to the BBC News, a list of the most popular courses studied in the U.K include nursing, law, design studies, psychology, medicine and surgery, business management and computer studies, with psychology coming in as the second most popular course in the U.K with 106,000 applicants out of the total 700,000 as at 2014, and fifth most popular according to The Telegraph.
It is therefore a fact that a large number of students wish to study psychology at a professional level.
Some opt for it to pursue their interest in understanding people’s behavioral pattern and how the mind works.
Some teenagers out of introspective reasons to understand themselves better take up psychology classes in high school, some others take it further to Bachelors, and then to
Masters/Doctorate degree levels because of the opportunities of creative thinking it offers, the deeper understanding of mental processes it furnishes, as well as for the financial gains it provides.
As a career path, there is a good future for psychology majors contrary to some belief that it’s a ‘scarce low pay’ job.
Various branches of psychology, such as neuroscience, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and clinical psychology find wide applications in business, law, sports, industry, clinical, education and social services.
What can you do with a Psychology Associate’s Degree?
There’s an array of jobs you can do with just an Associate degree (a 2-year pre-degree program) in Psychology (AA).
Associate degree students take studies on the behavior of individuals and how people respond to stress and impromptu situations.
They focus on courses such as: biological psychology, marriage counselling, adult development, social and emotional disorders, to mention but a few.
According to study.com, an AA psychology graduates can get entry-level jobs in social work, human resources, community development and non-profit agencies where they conduct research, design, organizational systems, provide training, and act as representatives of psychologists.
Their job titles include drug counselling assistant, social service clerk, and admissions record keeper.
It is important to note that an Associate degree in psychology is only a preparatory program which requires further studies; therefore, it can only secure entry-level positions such as human service assistant, and social work assistant.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted the median salary of psychology associate degree holders to be $29,790 as at 2014.
What can you do with a Psychology Bachelor’s Degree?
Graduates with Associate degrees in psychology usually further their studies by enrolling for Bachelors degree courses in psychology in a bid to increase their career value as job opportunities are steeper for graduates with lesser degrees.
From the findings of Jeff Patrick (Psychology Lecturer, University of Southern Queensland), the number of psychologists with honors and postgraduate diploma experienced a 124% increase within 1991-2001, this was as a result of the increase in psychology media issues.
Dr. Alison Green (Psychology Program Director at Open University) stated in The Guardian that only 8.3% of psychology graduates are likely to be out of job because of the broad range of knowledge and skills they possess, which makes them highly employable.
They get jobs in advertising, management, human resources, health, and education.
Anne Wilson (Head of Careers at Student Careers & Skills, University of Warwick) opines that psychology is a course that can be applied to anything that involves people, and because of the flexibility and adaptability it imparts the students, they can adapt to careers outside psychology.
Such careers include: career counseling, case management, rehabilitation, administrative service, community service, community health education, sales management, and victim advocacy where they mostly utilize their refined interpersonal skills and knowledge of the human mind and behavior to assess client’s needs, keep precise and accurate records, and show care and concern for clients.
Research and writing skills gathered during undergraduate studies provide a chance for psychologists with Bachelors degree to fill in the role of librarian assistant, case workers, or as business managers.
The 2015 median salary of psychologists according to The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics is pegged at $72, 580 annually.
What can you do with a Psychology Master’s or Doctorate Degree?
Students that take psychology all the way up to Masters or Doctorate level usually do so to increase their competitiveness when applying for jobs in their field of study.
With a Masters degree in psychology, one is more likely to get jobs in sports psychology as a coach/trainer, in business psychology as a human resource manager, in criminal psychology as an investigator or chief of police, or in engineering psychology as a product designer.
Doctorate degree holders mostly go ahead to teach or practice psychology, they are held in high esteem in colleges and universities where they carry out research projects, propounding new theories and coming up with innovative approach to the subject.
They can also get jobs as licensed counselors or as clinical psychologists treating patients.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an expected 19% increase in Psychology jobs within 2014-2024.
This is an above average increase compared to other jobs and an indicator of the growing demand for psychologists.
The relevance of psychology and what you can do with a degree in it cannot be overemphasized as Edward .L. Bernays quoted, ‘In almost every act of our lives, whether in the sphere of politics, ethical thinking, business or social conduct, we are monopolized by a comparatively small number of persons who understand the social patterns and mental process of the masses, it is they who pull the string which control the mind of the public’.