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.

Considering Entrepreneurship? The Best Degrees to Help You Succeed Reply

Are you full of ideas for products and services that could make everyone’s lives easier? Do you love reading books about famous innovators who built their own companies? Do you have trouble just following the rules when you’re constantly thinking of ways to reinvent them and make them better? Are you disciplined and persistent? If so, then you might be suited to becoming an entrepreneur.

Not everyone is meant to live their lives as an employee. Entrepreneurship can be a great option for people who get bored of simply doing what they’re told and bringing home a paycheck. Although most startups don’t take off in the way companies like Facebook and Apple did, a few do–1.28% of startups become “unicorns” (less than 10 years old and valued at $1 billion or more)–creating the opportunity for uncapped income.

Where Do You Start?

Entrepreneurship is an extremely difficult career path to take, involving many challenges and failures along the way. Many people just don’t have what it takes. However, it’s also incredibly rewarding to build your own company from the ground up and see your business grow and change. If you think you might have the drive and persistence needed to build a business, then you’re probably wondering how to start. Not everyone who creates a successful company goes to college, but getting your degree can give you a leg up in the process by training you in critical thinking and giving you important skills you’ll need as an entrepreneur. Here are some of the best degrees to help you succeed as a self-employed business owner.

Business

Let’s start with the most obvious. If you’re thinking about starting a business, getting a bachelor’s degree in business will give you an overview of the way companies run, management skills, analysis and communications, and other skills needed to be successful in business. Some schools even offer degrees in entrepreneurship! With that said, a business degree is definitely not the only option for entrepreneurs, especially if you’re considering an MBA after you’ve completed your undergraduate degree–people from all different backgrounds excel in masters’ programs. Business degrees can be great for entrepreneurs, but it’s a good idea to explore other options as well.

Marketing, English, or Communications

No one is going to buy your product or service if you can’t communicate the value of what you’re selling and spread the word effectively. Having a background in marketing is very helpful, because you’ll know the principles of what works and what doesn’t in bringing in new business. English and communications are also good degree options for entrepreneurs, because they require critical thinking and writing skills, both of which are essential for entrepreneurial success. English is one of the most versatile degrees, as quality writing and strong analysis skills are great tools for entrepreneurs to have, no matter what kind of business they start.

Psychology

Being a business owner involves communicating with others on a regular basis. Knowing the psychology of why people do what they do can help you become a better communicator, negotiator, and leader. As an entrepreneur, you will need to be persuasive and sensitive to the needs of others–a degree in psychology will give you a deeper look into how people think and what motivates them.

Finance

The harsh reality is that 70% of small businesses fail within 10 years, and 82% of those failures are at least partially due to cash flow issues. The “lean startup” concept isn’t just trendy–it’s essential. Getting a degree in finance can be a good choice for entrepreneurs, because founders need to have in-depth knowledge and a realistic view of the finances involved with their business, including investment capital and money management. Yes, most founders won’t be fully managing the company’s money forever, but those with a finance degree will understand it and be wiser when it comes to expenditures–which could mean the difference between success and failure.

Beyond the Bachelor’s: Considering an MBA

If you’ve already got a bachelor’s degree and you’re interested in taking your business education to the next level with an MBA, you’ll be happy to know that MBAs come from all different backgrounds. If you’d like to pursue an MBA, the first step is to prepare for and take the GMAT test. Your results are good for five years, so if you want to get some experience in the business world, or even start working on your company, you won’t necessarily have to take it again to get into an MBA program. After you have your results, you can start applying to MBA programs of your choice. Each program has its own requirements, so do your research!

Entrepreneurship as a Career

Just because you hear stories about famous entrepreneurs who dropped out of school, that doesn’t mean that finishing college isn’t worthwhile for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is about trial and error, analysis, fortitude, and creativity–all skills that can be improved through earning a degree.


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.