You’ve submitted the final essay, completed the last exam. Very soon you’ll be awarded your Bachelor’s Degree and it’s time to put it to beneficial use. But just what career prospects are out there for a psychology grad student? Luckily, there are many and varied career paths in front of the student who has completed a Bachelor in Psychology, and not all involve psycho-analyzing patients on a leather couch. *Note; psychological qualifications may vary from country to country. Please check with your peak body as to the required qualification for each field of study.
The most often thought of career to utilize your psychology degree is as a clinical psychologist. Employing the techniques of analysis, diagnoses, and utilizing interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Psychoanalysis, clinical psychology has a lot to offer the lover of classic psychology. Additionally, research and reporting form a significant part of the clinical psychologist’s work role.
With an aging population across the entire world and an ever-increasing burden on the health care system, health psychology is a growing and developing discipline. If you like positively impacting on the health of society and enjoy helping people to investigate healthy life choices, this could be the career path for you. Health psychologists have the satisfaction of tackling issues holistically and often from a systemic level.
Providing evidence before a court or working with law enforcement to profile criminals, the forensic psychologist is not a career path for the faint of heart. Resilience to overcome challenges and a commitment to understand and rehabilitate criminals is required in this high stress, high reward career. The forensic scientist must be passionate about all things justice orientated to thrive in this career.
If Rogerian humanistic ideology and holistic therapy were your stands out subjects throughout your degree, perhaps a career in counseling is your calling. Seeking to imbalance an incongruent perception of self, the counselor works alongside her clients to create a holistically balanced life and congruent perception of self, through positive, non-judgemental self-talk, sensitivity, and self-awareness. In no other discipline is the counselor/client relationship such a critical aspect of successful therapy.
For those lovers of laboratory reports and literature reviews, perhaps a career as a research scientist is your forte. Seeking to raise awareness of psychological issues at a macro-level, the research scientist conducts testing to support or debunk hypotheses and expose biases where they exist in society. Research scientists often publish their studies, so for the budding psychological writers seeking a Ph.D., this could be the perfect career path.
As one of the more unusual career paths for the psychology grad, a parapsychologist deals with all things paranormal. The parapsychologist pursues a career in the paranormal, interviewing patients and exploring case studies, to definitively answer whether phenomena such as precognition and psychic ability truly exists, or whether these capabilities are hoaxes or mere fiction. Parapsychologists may have more of an interest in proving or debunking theories but should be open-minded and willing to embrace unusual ideologies and concepts.
When one considers the circus that is consumerism, one could feasibly see the need for a mind to analyze consumer and market trends in order to maximize commercial opportunity. Such is the work of consumer/market psychologists who analyze trends, explore the psyche behind these trends and predict what might be the next ‘big thing’ in the commercial world. Consumer/market psychologists are often employment by large multi-conglomerate corporations for research before and after the release of the next ‘big thing’.
Like the consumer/market paradigm, another billion-dollar enterprise is the media industry; television, music, movie. The media psychologist makes it his mission to understand how and why media affects society. By conducting focus groups and studies, media psychologists can analyze why some forms of media hit their mark, and why others dramatically fail. The media psychologist’s research can directly impact upon what constitutes news and entertainment.
Similar in some respects to the research scientist, the psychology graduand interested in science writing will find themselves exploring and writing about the discipline of science as a whole. Promoting the discipline to new students by highlighting scientific achievements, the science writer will be dedicated to writing and publishing and see his work in science journals and magazines across the world. The science writer should also be comfortable public speaking as a large part of the role is about the promotion of the discipline.
With psychology having a firm basis in science, a pastor might seem like an odd career path to pursue with your psychology degree. However, the learned ability to observe human behavior and listen with non-judgmental empathy lends the psychological student with a strong spiritual belief to be an empathetic and open-minded spiritual guide. In many respects, the principles of counseling in addition to the open-mindedness of parapsychology, are the required elements to undertake a career as a pastor. This career path might involve charity or volunteer work and has the capacity to be significantly fulfilling.
The list of careers that you can delve into with your bachelor’s degree in psychology is much more extensive than those listed here, and ultimately, a career is only limited by your imagination. As you approach the end of your degree, begin to analyze what it is about psychology that interest you. Is it the one-on-one contact with clients? Is it the research? Perhaps it’s simply learning something new every day that drives you. Go forth and find something that speaks to you the individual, not you the newly graduated psychology student.
- 7 unique jobs you can get with a psychology degree. (2017, Apr. 14) Retrieved from http://www.tuw.edu/psychology/7-unique-jobs-can-get-psychology-degree/
- Dean Radin. (2017, Apr. 14) Retrieved from http://www.deanradin.com/NewWeb/bio.html
- Psychology; Unusual Occupations. (2017, Apr. 14) Retrieved from http://sites.allegheny.edu/psych/about-psych/careers-in-psychology/unusual-occupations/
- Prospects; Psychology. (2017, Apr. 14) Retrieved from https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree/psychology
Marcus regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research in mental health and explains how findings can impact and improve people’s lives.