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Department of Psychology

Professional Opportunities

Psychology is one of the largest majors on many college campuses. Yet most of these students do not go on to careers in psychology. What do they do? A 1997 survey of 1992-93 psychology graduates by the Department of Education showed that the main occupations of these graduates were in business, management, education, clerical, human services, and sales. A psychology major presents students with courses concerned with how people (and other animals) think and behave, as well as with the scientific methods of data collection and analysis. In addition, a psychology major generally builds skills in communications (both oral and written), interpersonal relations, data analysis and critical thinking. These skills, coupled with knowledge about behavior and thought processes, create candidates that employers relish. For more information about careers, visit the Career Services program.

To develop a career more directly related to psychology, one must earn a graduate degree. A Master's degree, which generally requires one to two years of study beyond the bachelor's degree, prepares people to work as social workers, elementary or high school teachers, researchers or counselors (under appropriate supervision). These careers often lead to more advanced positions in business and government. Teaching at the college level, performing unsupervised research, or obtaining a license to counsel and/or treat patients as a clinical psychologist requires a doctoral (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) degree, which can take from five to ten years to complete.

You can learn more about careers in psychology (and majoring in psychology) from three excellent paperback books: The Psychology Major's Handbook by Tara Kuther (a former adjunct instructor at Lehman), published by Thomson/Wadsworth; The Handbook of Psychology by Drew Appleby, published by Longman; and Majoring in Psychology: Career Options for Psychology Undergraduates by Betsy Morgan and Ann Korschgen, published by Allyn & Bacon.

The Lehman Psychology Program provides students with the training needed either to secure a position immediately after graduation or to pursue graduate studies.