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.

Philanthropic Degrees: 4 Programs That Improve the World Reply

Though almost every college student thinks about the earning ability a degree will produce, there are often other reasons that people choose to go into certain fields. Among the most common considerations outside of a pay rate is the amount of good a certain degree will allow people to do in the world.

If you want to make a positive impact with your studies and career, here are four degrees you should consider pursuing in college.

Diplomacy Degrees

The range of degrees surrounding the field of diplomacy, such as international studies and political science, can all be put to good use in promoting peace and understanding internationally. Public service in a diplomatic capacity can be incredibly fulfilling, especially for those who love to travel and learn about other nations and cultures.

Diplomatic careers can improve the world in both political and economic ways. A degree in a diplomatic field can also open the door for you to take part in UN peacekeeping missions in places such as Africa, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.

Social Work

A degree in social work can equip you to help your fellow humans in a variety of different ways. Social workers often work with the poor, the homeless and other disadvantaged people to help them work their ways into better positions in life.

If you are passionate about helping individual people improve their lives, social services may well be the right path for you. Social work offers both public and private sector opportunities, making it a robust career path.

Education

There are few fields that will help you make as large a positive impact as education. Teachers are an integral part in shaping and improving the lives of young people. Great teachers can make all the difference in the classroom, especially in low-income or inner city schools.

A degree in education can give you the opportunity to help children improve their minds and carve out better futures for themselves year after year.

Medical Degrees

When it comes to saving lives, no career or field of study can equal medicine. Whether you go in for nursing, medical support or a full-fledged doctoral degree, healthcare will give you the opportunity to help people either at home or abroad.

Best of all, there are several online programs that can help you enter into the medical field on your own schedule. Bradley University, for example, offers nurse practitioner programs in Indiana, but also has master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner degrees in an online format. With such degrees readily available online, it is easier than ever for students to start a career in medicine.

If your aim is to make the world a better place with your career, these fields of study will give you the chance to make it happen. If you’re already pursuing another field of study, however, don’t worry. With dedication, almost any career path will give you at least some opportunities to help others and improve the state of the world.


About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


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