Careers in Psychology
Psychology is one of the most popular majors at many colleges and universities. During the study of psychological science students acquire a fundamental and flexible skillset that prepares them for real-life situations.
Therefore, it is no surprise that a student majoring in psychology may successfully find employment in a wide range of careers that are not directly related to psychology. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, only 5% of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology are working in psychology or in an occupation related to psychology.
What are some of these fundamental and flexible skills?
- Students take courses on how people think and behave in various situations in ordinary as well as extreme cases.
- Students are exposed to the scientific method of data collection and analysis that has very practical application in many occupations.
- Students gain critical thinking skills by studying and applying various psychological paradigms and theories to problem-solving.
- Students hone written and oral communication skills through essays, group projects, and class participation.
Mastery of these skills makes students very attractive to employers that are seeking broadly educated employees. A bachelor’s in psychology can be applied to jobs in almost every industry that involves influencing human behavior such as business, counseling, teaching, and social services.
Sub-Fields in Psychology
Psychology is the science of behavior, both in humans and nonhuman animals. The subject is very broad, with many sub-fields. Psychologists can work in many different research areas, and pursue a variety of careers.
Here is a look at some of the sub-fields in psychology:
- Clinical psychologists — Assess and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.
- Cognitive and perceptual psychologists — Study human perception, thinking, and memory.
- Counseling psychologists — Provide counseling services to individuals, groups, and organizations (schools, hospitals) to help people cope with problems.
- Developmental psychologists — Study psychological development at various life stages.
- Educational psychologists — Study how teaching and learning take place.
- Engineering psychologists — Study how people work best with machines.
- Experimental psychologists — Gather data on how humans and animals respond to their environment through research that involves manipulating variables in a laboratory setting.
- Forensic psychologists — Apply psychological principles to legal issues.
- Health psychologists — Examine how various factors affect health and illness, as well as effective ways to control pain or change habits.
- Industrial/organizational psychologists — Apply psychological research and principles to the workplace to improve productivity and quality of work life.
- Neuropsychologists — Explore relationships between brain systems and behavior, including issues of memory, brain injuries, diseases, and brain function.
- School psychologists — Work with schools to counsel students and consult with parents and staff.
- Sport psychologists — Work with athletes on issues of anxiety, fear of failure, focus, motivation, and competition.