Careers and Opportunities
Careers in Psychology
Psychology is an expanding field, and those with bachelor's degrees in psychology have a variety of options upon graduation. A bachelor's degree in psychology lays a foundation for graduate studies. Advanced degrees (graduate, doctoral) are required for licensing as a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Psychology majors learn a vast number of skills like critical thinking, evaluating data, deductive and inductive reasoning, writing and communication.
These skills are valued in a variety of fields like:
- Graduate school - Many students choose to advance in a particular area of interest by attending graduate school. Advanced degrees are required for many careers in psychology.
- Case management - These individuals work for both profit and nonprofit organizations, daycare providers, half-way homes, youth/adult/senior citizen's programs or group homes.
- Organization research and evaluation - This type of work can be done for community centers, hospitals, adoption agencies, rehabilitation centers or camp programs. Psychology majors research data and write extensively, which is exactly what these positions require.
- Social work - Social workers are found in local, federal and state agencies.
- Department of Human Services - Many DHS departments look for graduates who have a background in psychology to work with children and families.
- Law school - Majoring in a liberal arts field like psychology combines well with a degree in law, as you will have to read extensively while maintaining knowledge of overall ideas, create cohesive arguments and find research to back your arguments.
- Business-to-business sales - Complicated sales processes involve researching alternative solutions, evaluating reviews and communicating findings in a cogent manner. This requires writing, reading and analytical skills, which are exactly what psychology majors learn.
- Public relations - The knowledge of human behavior gained by psychology majors is needed in public relations. Those in public relations write press releases, pitch letters and newsletters; research content for social media; write and edit web content as well as print material. Many campaigns and government agencies also hire public relations personnel.
- Sales - This career choice can be quite lucrative for some, and requires the ability to analyze, communicate, sense customer's needs and empathize. Most psychology majors develop these skills during their academic careers.
- Policy analyst - A policy analyst uses analysis, writing and planning to develop new polices. Both governmental agencies and businesses in the private sector hire people to develop policies and communicate them clearly to the target audience.
- Human relations - Careers in this field combine psychology, communication and research. There are a variety of opportunities in HR like: recruiter, human services worker, labor relations, community development worker, social worker, mental health aide, placement/employer manager
A vast number of sub-fields in psychology exist and continue to expand (clinical psychology, gene therapy, cognitive psychology, etc.). Graduate degrees or advanced degrees are required to specialize in these areas, and students are encouraged to ask professors for insight into graduate schools and specific areas of interest.
To find out more about a specific area in psychology, visit the American Psychological Association website.
Majoring in psychology at JBU means combining a Christian perspective on human behavior with studying the latest methods, research, data and tools of psychology. In this unique major, students can:
- Gain field experience in a variety of off-campus settings and observe professionals in their area of expertise
- Conduct their own student-directed research under the supervision of a faculty member
- Submit and present research papers to a variety of conferences
- Volunteer in a crisis pregnancy center
- Mentor at-risk teens
- Learn major counseling theories and practice interviewing, setting conditions for psychological growth and developing action plans for healthy psychological change