What Can I Do With a Major in Psychology?

Marketable Skills

  • Ability to Observe, Analyze, & Interpret Information
  • Ability to Promote Healthy Relationships
  • Ability to Resolve or Mediate Conflicts
  • Concern for and Sensitivity to Others
  • Critical and Inferential Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Engagement in Ethical Practice
  • Good Listening
  • Insight to Deal Effectively with People
  • Interpersonal Communication (oral and written)
  • Interviewing Techniques
  • Knowledge of Human Development & Behavior
  • Problem Solving
  • Understanding of Group Dynamics

Related Career Titles (some require additional education)

  • Account Executive          
  • Activity Leader 
  • Admissions Evaluator    
  • Advertising Assistant     
  • Art Therapist     
  • Assist. Account Executive            
  • Career Planning Professional
  • Case Worker     
  • Child Psychologist           
  • College Student Affairs Administrator
  • Community and Social Service Worker  
  • Community Relations Director  
  • Community Relations Rep           
  • Copywriter        
  • Corporate Merchandising           
  • Correctional Caseworker             
  • Corrections Officer         
  • Cottage Parent
  • Counselor: Alcohol/Drug             
  • Counselor: Career          
  • Counselor: Guidance     
  • Counselor: School           
  • Counselor: Vocational   
  • Creative Director             
  • Crisis Intervention Counselor    
  • Crisis Intervention Counselor    
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Customs/Immigration Officer    
  • Employee Assistance Director   
  • Employment Agency Counselor
  • Financial Advisor
  • Financial Aid Director     
  • Food and Beverage Assistant Manager 
  • Health Club Assist. Manger
  • Health Educator
  • Hospice Coordinator      
  • Hotel Event Management           
  • Human Resources Administrator             
  • International Student Advisor
  • Job Developer
  • Junior Market Analyst
  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Marketing/Sales Manager
  • Media Buyer
  • Media Planner
  • Mental Health Coordinator
  • Music Therapist               
  • Occupational Therapist 
  • Personnel Assistant
  • Personnel Interviewer
  • Personnel Manager       
  • Physical Therapist           
  • Probation Officer            
  • Professional Employment Recruiter       
  • Program Developer       
  • Psychiatrist        
  • Psychologist      
  • Public Opinion Surveyor               
  • Public Relations Assistant
  • Recreation Specialist     
  • Sales Representative    
  • Social Service Professional Staff
  • Sociologist
  • Statistician Assistant
  • Teacher
  • Technical Writer/Communicator
  • Television/Media Researcher
  • Training & Development Professional
  • Wage/Benefits Analyst
  • Youth Corrections Officer 

Potential Employers

  • Apartment/ housing complexes
  • Boards of probation and parole
  • Call centers
  • College and university counseling centers and career centers
  • College prep programs
  • Community mental health centers
  • Consulting firms
  • Department stores
  • Departments of Justice
  • Educational institutions
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
  • Facilities for individuals with intellectual impairments
  • Federal Trio programs, e.g. Upward Bound, Talent Search
  • Financial institutions
  • Government agencies
  • Health and Human Services
  • Hospitals/healthcare providers
  • Insurance companies
  • Large companies
  • Manufacturers
  • Market research firms
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Nursing homes
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Pain clinics
  • Private practices
  • Property management firms
  • Psychiatric facilities
  • Public and private K-12 schools
  • Public relations departments of large businesses or nonprofit organizations
  • Real estate companies
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Religiously-affiliated service organizations
  • Research organizations
  • Retail businesses
  • Senior citizens’ centers
  • Service providers
  • Social service/nonprofit organizations
  • Staffing and employment services
  • Testing centers
  • Veterans Affairs
  • Wholesalers

Strategies

  • Psychology provides a broad, liberal arts background.
  • Some students may choose to study psychology because they enjoy the subject but wish to pursue careers requiring “any major.” In this scenario, it is critical to develop desirable skills through internships, part-time or summer jobs, or volunteer experiences. Some skills valued most by employers include:  communication, interpersonal, leadership, teamwork, and computer skills.
  • Other students may major in psychology because they want to work in a related field. Many entry-level helping positions are available, however the amount of direct client contact is limited for those who have a bachelor’s degree. Students may wish to pursue graduate education in psychology, social work, counseling, college student personnel, or other related fields to increase opportunities and earning potential. Research career fields to learn what type of degree (master’s, educational specialist, doctoral) and subject area are most appropriate. The following list provides some examples:

Master’s Degree:
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Professional Counselor
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
Rehabilitation Counselors
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists

Educational Specialist:
School Psychologist

Doctoral Degree:
Counseling Psychologist
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Experimental Psychologist
Sport Psychologist
Industrial/Organizational Psychologist
Social Psychologist
Developmental Psychologist
Forensic Psychologist
Health Psychologist

  • For those wishing to pursue graduate education, maintain a high grade point average, secure strong faculty recommendations, and gain experience through volunteer or work opportunities. Assist a faculty member with his or her research.
  • Many applied positions require licensure. This can take an additional one to three years of supervised experience after earning a graduate degree depending upon state requirements. Graduate programs in clinical work should be accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) in order to ensure a smooth transition towards licensure. Graduate programs in counseling should be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
  • Research the availability of certifications for specialities like the Board Certified Behavior Analyst if interested in working with people with disabilities.

Career Planning Links

Occupational Outlook Handbook:  Psychology

Psychology as a Career by APA

Careers in Psychology

Nonacademic Careers in Psychology

Human Services Career Network

Nursing for Psychology Majors

Opportunity Knocks

Idealist

Social Psychology Network

The Mentor Network

Professional Associations

Psi Chi (International Honors Society)

Americn Counseling Association

American Psychological Association

American Psychiatric Association

Association for Psychological Science

Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Association for Applied Sports Psychology

National Association of School Psychologists

American Board of Forensic Psychologists

American Academy of Clinical Psychology

American Association of Suicidology

American Board of Professional Psychology

Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Miscellaneous Links

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

Encyclopedia of Psychology

Pysch Web

National Institute of Mental Health