7 Great Career Paths for Psychology Majors Reply

If you major in psychology, or you’re thinking about declaring a psychology major, then you’ve probably had many friends and family asking if you’re going to become a psychiatrist. While this can be a great career path, it’s far from the only option for psychology majors after graduation.

Psychology is one of the most popular majors in the United States (it’s currently ranked in the top 10), and for good reason. It’s a fascinating subject, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology can serve as a foundation for a variety of different careers. Job outlook is promising as well—about 19% job growth in these fields is expected from 2014-2024.

So what kind of career paths can you choose from as a psychology major? Here are just a few of the many exciting options open to graduates.

  1. Clinical Psychologist

A clinical psychologist is the first job that comes to mind for most people who are thinking about getting a degree in psychology. Clinical psychologists can focus on general psychology and provide therapy for a range of patients, or they can specialize in disciplines like neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, or even forensic psychology. Becoming a clinical psychologist requires students to complete a doctoral program (PhD), which can be highly competitive. Successful students can earn a good living, however, and have the opportunity to make their patients’ lives easier and more fulfilling. It is important to understand the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist—psychiatrists are doctors who can prescribe medication and must complete MD training, while psychologists focus solely on psychotherapy.

Average salary: $73,000

  1. Counselor

Counselors work with patients in the same way that psychologists do, but they have a smaller scope of work, and are more limited in the tests and services they offer. It is easier to become a counselor than a psychologist, because counselors are required to complete a master’s degree, but not a PhD. Mental health counselors have a good outlook for employment, because many schools and organizations need people with this kind of training to help students and at-risk people through common problems and refer them to more specialized treatment if necessary. Counselors may work with people on a variety of issues, from depression to substance abuse to the negative impact of discrimination.

Average salary: $44,780

  1. Social Worker

Social work is a challenging field that can nevertheless be extremely fulfilling. Social workers help children and families to heal and cope with issues like domestic violence, which affects about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men at some point during their lifetime. Most social workers need a master’s degree, and may work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, shelters, and child welfare organizations. Many social workers also visit families in their homes, to assess living conditions, provide counseling, and assess compliance with court orders.

Average Salary: $46,890

  1. Human Resources Manager

For people who are more interested in applying psychology in a business setting, human resource (HR) management could be an excellent career path. Human resource managers are responsible for hiring and terminations, resolving behavioral issues within the workplace, and often administrative work such as managing benefits. Typically, securing an entry-level job after completing a bachelor’s degree is the first step in becoming an HR manager. After this, many HR assistants can move up in the ranks organically without further education.

Average salary:  $106,910

  1. Marketing Manager

Though many people who are interested in marketing end up getting a degree in that field, psychology can lay a solid foundation for jobs in marketing. Marketing managers have to understand how people think and feel so they can strategize for marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness and sales. Marketing jobs can be entry level, but most organizations want to see a bachelor’s degree and some demonstration of marketing knowledge and communication abilities. Most people start as a marketing assistant and work their way up.

Average salary: $80,673

  1. Parole Officer

Though most people don’t dream of becoming a parole officer, psychology graduates can be excellent candidates for this role. Good parole officers work with offenders to help them turn their lives around, adjust to being back in society, and adhere to the terms of their release, making it a potentially fulfilling career. Because psychology majors have a deep understanding of how people think, they often make excellent parole officers. Most positions require only a bachelor’s degree, although federal parole officers must hold a master’s degree.

Average salary: $47,200

  1. College Admissions Counselor

For students who enjoy the academic setting and helping others, a college admissions counselor career could be an excellent fit. A bachelor’s degree is required for this position, since counselors are advising prospective students, but the position mostly involves recruiting and coordinating different admissions activities and procedures. Experience in an admissions office through work study is a helpful leg up in pursuing this career.

Average salary: $40,752

Endless Possibilities

These careers show just how broad the options are for psychology majors. It’s an excellent field of study if you love to work with people and understand how they think and feel. If you’re not sure what kind of career you want to pursue yet, psychology can be a great choice—simply because the possibilities are nearly endless once you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree. Whether you go on to earn a master’s or PhD or not, psychology serves as a solid foundation for a satisfying career.


Ryan Ayers has been a consultant for over five years within multiple industries including information technology, medical devices and logistics. Many clients call him the BizTech Guru. He is a freelance writer on the side and lover of all things related to business, technology, innovation and the LA Clippers. Read more from Ryan: @TheBizTechGuru


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com.

4 Surprising Degrees That Can Launch Your Career into Upper Management Reply

4-surprising-degrees-that-can-launch-your-career-into-upper-managementSo you are eyeing a career in upper management. You want to be the boss, call the shots, and lead a company to success. While a business degree might be a more straightforward option, there are a number of other, lesser-known degrees that can launch a career into upper management at a high rate.

1. English

The skills learned when acquiring an English degree are some of the most crucial for business success and can even put you on the fast track towards upper management positions. For example, English majors learn how to speak and write well, as well as debate and negotiate—all things upper-level managers have to be able to do well. They also know how to present themselves in the best possible light and think critically, which makes them valued members of a company and puts them in a much better position to be promoted to upper management. English majors also have to be able to communicate well, especially with the written word, which makes them prime candidates for management and leadership positions who have to complete written tasks when managing their teams and employees.

2. Public Administration

Public administration is essentially the public sector version of the business degree. It teaches many of the same things, from economics and law to leadership skills. Your upper management dreams might not be found in the business world, but in the public sector, where you could work for and manage a municipality. While you can find jobs with a bachelor’s degree in this field, a master’s degree opens many more options, and online master’s degree in public administration programs can provide a higher level of flexibility for working professionals. Public administration careers are in demand, and they really are a great place to combine business background with further education and knowledge.

3. Human Resources

HR professionals can become top executives within their company. Since management is really all about managing people, a degree in human resource management might be a good fit for many people-oriented individuals. In this field, you will oversee the hiring of new staff, manage issues with existing staff, and consult with other executives on company planning and policy. HR managers are also expected to enjoy faster than average job growth in the coming years per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

4. Accounting

While business majors take accounting and finance classes, a more in-depth option is available if you want to become an executive financial manager. Financial managers often get a seat at the same table as the CEO during meetings and play a direct role in an organization’s success. Responsibilities might include directing investments, planning out a company’s long-term financial prospects, creating reports and making financial recommendations to other executive managers.

Getting into an upper management position can take a few years or more of hard work and working your way up the corporate ladder, and having a strong educational experience behind you can help you along tremendously. If you want your career to include time spent in upper management, it is important to remember to prepare before you start your career. Choose a career that has growth opportunities for the future, or start with a job that will give you experience to get jobs that have growth opportunities. Unexpected things happen in a career all the time, but it can be nice to have a tentative future plan, with room for changes. Above we discussed four careers that can help provide you with the skills and background that are necessary and sought out for in upper level management positions.


Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2 or Facebook.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.