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.

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