Do You Enjoy Working With Others?
While there are many career options available to those with a psychology degree, the majority of graduates will work in the human services field. If you work in this area, the bulk of your time will be spent working one-on-one with individuals to change maladaptive behaviors or to teach life skills. If you love working with others and enjoy helping people, a psychology major might be an excellent option for you.
What about students who love the subject matter but are not interested in working directly in mental health services? Fortunately, psychology is a remarkably diverse subject with a wide variety of career options. Other options outside of health and human services include research, teaching and consulting.
Can You Cope With Stress?Careers in human services can be both rewarding and challenging, but frustration and burnout are common. However, courses in counseling and stress management can help professionals deal with work-related tension. In addition to completing the basic coursework required by your program, you should also consider taking advantage of research and volunteer opportunities that your school might offer. Contact the psychology department at your college or university to learn more about any hand-on experiences that might be possible.
Do You Plan to Attend Graduate School?Graduates with a bachelor’s degree will find that job opportunities and salaries can be limited. Individuals with graduate degrees often work in research positions or in clinical settings. For example, if you want to work with clients as a clinical therapist, you will need a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical psychology from an accredited university. While graduate school is a substantial commitment, the professional opportunities can make the effort worthwhile.
What Are Your Interests?Do you enjoy solving practical problems, or do you prefer experimenting with different theoretical ideas? Before you decide on a psychology major, you need to consider your own personal preferences and interests. There are a number of sub-disciplines within the field of psychology, each with differing educational requirements.
For example, if you enjoy solving practical problems, you would be well suited for a career in human factors or industrial/organizational psychology.