Psychology is a popular field of study for students who are intrigued by human behaviors and thought patterns. Those who earn a psychology degree may pursue careers in many different fields. There are many entry-level positions available for graduates with a bachelor’s degree. A career in clinical psychology will require an advanced degree and licensure.
Clinical Psychology Careers
The increased growth for psychology careers makes specialization a valuable path for aspiring psychologists to pursue. Psychologists examine the cognitive, emotional, behavioral and social patterns of individuals through specialized areas. They study how individuals interact with each other and their environment. Some specializations in psychology include:
- Industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology: This specialization evaluates human behavior in organizations. I/O psychologists work to improve employee productivity and quality of life.
- Geropsychology: This specialization focuses on the psychological issues and needs of older adults and their families. Geropsychologists may help older adults and their families cope with caregiver strain, dementia and end-of-life care.
- Health psychology: This specialization explores the intersection of physical, mental, emotional and psychological health. Health psychologists study the factors that motivate people to make certain health decisions or lifestyle choices.
After earning a bachelor’s degree, aspiring psychologists must earn at least a master’s degree and typically a doctorate degree over the course of their career to specialize their practice. A doctoral program involves doing original research that contributes to a field. Many factors impact the time of completion for a master’s and doctorate degree, including the degree program and the specific research being done.
There is a variety of counseling-related careers open to psychology graduates who possess a bachelor’s degree. You might pursue an entry level job as a mental health technician at a substance abuse treatment center, for example. Some graduates with a BS serve as assistants to psychologists. Others may pursue a position as a career counselor, in which they help individuals find careers, navigate career transitions or pursue vocational rehabilitation.
If you decide to earn a graduate degree, additional careers may be within your grasp. For example, you could become a licensed therapist by fulfilling the licensing requirements for the state in which you plan to practice. As a licensed therapist, you might choose to specialize in addiction counseling or family therapy.
Social Services Careers
Many individuals who major in psychology find themselves in social service careers. The social services field is a natural fit for individuals who feel passionate about serving their communities. If you are interested in entering this field, you may need to earn a master’s degree depending on your specific career choice and where you plan to practice. In a few states, social workers can enter the field with just a bachelor’s degree. Other states require social workers to hold a Master of Science in Social Work (MSW) degree and earn appropriate state licensure.
Social work can be a rewarding and personally fulfilling career choice. Social workers identify at-risk individuals such as neglected children and vulnerable seniors. They work with those individuals to assess their needs, help clients cope with change and refer them to community resources.
Media and Communications Careers
One significant benefit of majoring in psychology is that students will develop many skills that transfer well to other industries. For instance, a psychology degree graduate may decide to pursue a career in media and communications by drawing on their critical thinking, analytical reasoning and communication skills.
One job that uses many of these skills is market research analysis to assess the demand for a company’s products and services, helping that company to develop its future offerings at a competitive price. This job requires strong analytical reasoning skills, as well as a knack for identifying trends and patterns from raw data.
Wherever your future takes you, you can begin your academic journey as a psychology major at Grand canyon University. We offer numerous psychology degree programs at all levels, such as the Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in General Psychology and the Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Cognition and Instruction degree programs. To learn more about the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, visit our website or click on the Request Information button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.