Why do people behave the way they do? Make the choices that they do? What does it mean to be human?
Is there really anything more fascinating than people?
For so many of us, the answer is a clear, “Of course, not!”
Which is probably the reason why psychology remains one of the most popular college majors.
According to Department of Education statistics, colleges and universities awarded more than 100,000 bachelor’s degrees in psychology in 2010-2011. (In case you’re curious, psychology degrees conferred placed between bachelor’s degrees in education at about 104,000 and bachelor’s in visual/performing arts at nearly 94,000.)
Which brings us to the question what can I do with a bachelor’s degree in psychology? Isn’t graduate school inevitable for a psychology undergrad?
Saint Leo psychology professor Dr. Tammy Zacchilli says the notion that the only career path for psychology majors is through graduate school is one of the biggest misconceptions about psychology.
A versatile field of study
When asking, what can I do with a bachelor's degree in psychology, it's important to first realize how versatile the field truly is.
“In reality, psychology is one of the most versatile degrees of study,” said Dr. Zacchilli. “It enhances your marketability and prepares you for work in more diverse settings than just about any other degree – from business and law to education and social services.”
The reason why is simple.
Psychology graduates possess the skills, knowledge, and attributes employers desire opening the door to a wide array of career options.
Since psychology involves the study of human behavior, psychology majors understand what it takes to work well with others. Generally speaking, they’re sensitive to social signals, know how to facilitate discussion and team building, as well as how to manage conflict.
Not to mention all those research, communication, and problem-solving skills you develop as an undergraduate.
Psychology Bachelor Degree Jobs and Graduate Jobs on the Rise
For those with bachelor’s degrees in psychology who do decide to continue on to graduate school, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of psychologists is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the national average. Industrial-organizational psychologists are at the head of the pack by specialty at 35 percent projected growth.
For graduates holding a bachelor’s degree, the outlook is not bad either.
Psychology bachelor degree jobs are on the rise as well. In its Job Outlook 2013 report, the National Association of Colleges and Employers said that of the responding employers who plan to hire liberal arts graduates, 70.4 percent plan to hire psychology majors.
This makes psychology the top in-demand liberal arts degree.
Katrina Wahlstrom is Saint Leo’s career services advisor dedicated to Center for Online (COL) students. During a career webinar she conducted for psychology majors, she said that it is true that if you want to do any kind of counseling, be it in a school or private practice, a graduate degree and often certification is required.
“However, many people major in psychology because they want to help people, and there are lots of ways to do that other than counseling with a bachelor’s degree.”
Social and human service assistants, for example, work in a variety of settings – non-profit organizations, for-profits, state and local governments. While they are not typically high-paying positions, and usually require heavy workloads, the good news is that these jobs are growing faster than the national average at 28 percent, and individuals with college degree have more advancement opportunities.
Combining psychology with your passion
“Human behavior and interactions encompass everything that we do on a daily basis.” said Katrina. “Since psychology applies to all industries and professions because every industry involves some aspect of human behavior, consider combining a personal interest or hobby with psychology.”
Combine your study of psychology with your love for the outdoors managing youth rec programs or camps.
With your compassion for senior citizens running programs at an assisted living center.
Or your passion for writing doing content marketing.
Read more about what you can do with a bachelor’s degree in psychology by downloading the free resource, “Your Career in the Real World | Psychology.”
It lists a number of the work settings where psychology majors find employment, as well as a list of job titles.
You’ll see that not only is psychology a great major for people who are interested in human behavior. But because it also provides solid undergraduate training and career preparation makes it a viable choice for any student who may be unsure of what major to pursue.
Are you majoring in psychology? Tell us where you would like to go with your degree?
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