Professional Opportunities

A psychology major offers courses on human and animal behavior, scientific research methods, and fosters skills in communication, interpersonal relations, data analysis, and critical thinking. These skills, combined with understanding behavior and thought processes, are highly sought after by employers. A graduate degree is typically needed for a career directly related to psychology. A Master's degree, taking one to two years beyond a bachelor's, can lead to roles like social worker, teacher, researcher, or counselor. Advancement opportunities in business and government often follow. For positions like college-level teaching, independent research, or clinical psychology, a doctoral (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) degree is necessary, requiring five to ten years of study.

Despite being one of the most popular majors, many psychology graduates pursue careers outside the field. While traditional paths like clinical, counseling, developmental, social, neuroscience, cognitive, and health psychology exist, psychology graduates are increasingly finding fulfilling careers in:

  • Business and Human Resources: Industrial-organizational psychology applies psychological principles to optimize workplace environments, improve employee well-being, and enhance productivity. Roles like HR specialists, training and development professionals, and organizational consultants utilize these skills.
  • Social and Community Services: Psychology majors can contribute to social change through work as community health workers, program coordinators, and advocates for various social causes, utilizing their understanding of human needs and social dynamics.
  • Education: School psychologists play a crucial role in supporting student learning and development, while research-oriented roles in educational institutions leverage the analytical and research skills honed in psychology studies.
  • Healthcare: Beyond clinical settings, health psychologists work in hospitals, public health agencies, and research institutions, promoting healthy behaviors and understanding the psychological aspects of illness and recovery.
  • Criminal Justice: Forensic psychologists apply psychological knowledge to legal matters, assisting in criminal investigations, assessing risk factors, and providing expert testimony.
  • User Psychology: Delves into the fascinating world of how people interact with technology, products, and systems. It's a blend of cognitive science, social psychology, and design principles, helping us understand user needs, motivations, and cognitive processes.

This list highlights just a few of the many industries where psychology majors can thrive. The valuable skills gained through this major, including research, analysis, communication, and understanding human behavior, are highly sought after across various career paths.

The Career Exploration & Development Center is dedicated to educating, advising, and connecting students to career and post graduate opportunities. The staff are experts in providing guidance and services to currently enrolled students, alumni, faculty and staff about career exploration and counseling, deciding on a major, employer connections and internships.

You can learn more about careers in psychology (and majoring in psychology) from two books: