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Brainstorming Your Future: Top Career Tracks for Psychology Majors

Career Advice

Posted by Saint Leo University Online on Oct 27, 2017 9:02:00 AM

Woman talking to a therapist while sitting on a couchAre you captivated by how the human mind works? Do you love taking people’s behaviors and trying to understand why it is they do what they do? If you answered yes to either of these questions, a career in psychology may be your most satisfying track.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychology jobs are expected to grow by 19% between 2014 and 2024, a rate that is “much faster than average.” This is good news if you’re just entering the field as you’ve chosen a profession that is going to continue to be in high demand for years and years to come.

Regardless of whether you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree or your master’s, there are many different routes you can take as a major in psychology. Most fall into three basic categories: governmental jobs, non-profit options, or the private sector. Let’s explore each one now.

Governmental Psychology Jobs

A number of governmental agencies have psychology-based positions available in order to help them run and execute the various types of programs they enact. The mental health agencies are probably the most well-known, as are child protection services and agencies directed toward helping adults with disabilities or those who are in certain situations (such as underserved youth or adult criminal offenders).

The great thing about governmental psychology jobs is that these types of positions are available at all levels. There are city, county, state, and federal jobs that rely on this particular knowledge base, which means that you can work at whichever level of government you’re most passionate about.

Additionally, governmental jobs generally come with a benefits package which includes paid time off, health insurance, and sometimes even a pension, which is always a plus. And because of the wide variety of government programs available, you can work in any number of fields, from child welfare to jails and prisons.

A few of the government-based positions open to psychology majors include:

  • Social worker
  • Child welfare worker
  • Mental health counselor or technician
  • Case manager
  • Probation or parole officer
  • Researcher

While some of these positions do prefer applicants with a master’s degree, a bachelor’s will often suffice for entry-level jobs.

Non-Profit Psychology Employment Options

Another way to utilize your psychology degree is to work for a non-profit agency. Maybe your passion is in domestic violence, and you want to help victims find a way to pick up the pieces and start over. Or, perhaps your heart would feel fuller working with individuals who are struggling to overcome addiction.

The possibilities are endless if you’re leaning toward a non-profit psychology job because of the large number of non-profits out there. In fact, the National Center for Charitable Statistics reports that there are more than 1.5 million non-profits in the United States alone, accounting for almost 10% of all wages paid.

If your heart is set on helping to further a cause or offering support in an area that you feel is underserved, these types of positions are definitely options:

  • Caseworker
  • Crisis intervention counselor
  • Rehabilitation specialist
  • Legal advocate

Psychology Positions in the Private Sector

Some students enter psychology with the dream of, one day, opening their own practice. Even though this requires earning an advanced degree, if this is your goal, it certainly isn’t out of reach.

As a psychologist in private practice, you can work in a variety of areas. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Family counselor
  • Child counselor
  • Marriage therapist
  • Sexual assault therapist
  • Substance abuse counselor

Other Career Options Where Psychology Majors Excel

While the governmental, non-profit, and private sector jobs are often what psychology majors envision when earning their degree, the reality is that if you have a psychology background, you’re not just limited to psychology positions. In other words, there are a number of different career tracks you can pursue that will benefit from your psychology degree.

These include:

  • Business manager
  • Human resources generalist
  • Advertising agent
  • Marketing writer
  • Newspaper reporter
  • Market researcher
  • Childcare worker
  • Teacher

Each one of these roles relies on knowing how the human mind works. Thus, by understanding what motivates, demotivates, and causes people to act in certain ways, you can excel in these types of positions.

Saint Leo’s Psychology Degree Offers Options

When you earn your psychology degree at Saint Leo University, you have four different specialties from which to choose:

  • General
  • Clinical/counseling
  • Developmental
  • Experimental

Whereas following the general track gives you a basic understanding of psychology which applies across all of the job sectors, the remaining three can better prepare you if you know exactly what type of job you want.

For instance, focusing on clinical/counseling psychology can give you the knowledge you need should you choose to work in a mental health or social work type of setting, whereas developmental psychology majors often choose to work specifically with younger populations or in schools. Finally, experimental psychology helps prepare students who plan to attend graduate school to earn their advanced degree.

Whether you’re after your bachelor’s degree in psychology, or you’re seeking a master’s degree, Saint Leo University can help you achieve all of your career-related goals – and more.

Topics: Psychology

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