What Can You Do With A Psychology Degree?

Psychology according to Wikipedia is the scientific study of the mind, feelings, thoughts, behavior, and conscious and unconscious phenomena. Psychology borders across social sciences and natural sciences.


Psychologists attempt to understand human behavior from both the individual and social aspects.

They are also involved with the research on intelligence, perception, brain function, personality, experiences, and motivation of humans and animals alike.

Psychology is one of the most popular college majors in the United States. Over 10,000 students graduate with a psychology degree every year.


Despite the fact that this course is one of the most popular college majors, there are questions surrounding the minds of a lot of potential students as to what type of jobs one can get with a degree in psychology.

In order to become a fully licensed psychologist, students are required to have a doctorate in psychology. A bachelor’s degree in psychology can afford a graduate an immediate employment opportunity in the marketing sector, education, or human resources. They can also work in social service, as counselors, or work in occupational therapy.

Is a Psychology Degree Worth It?

It is imperative for students to make informed choices in their educational journey. There has been a steady decline in the number of people earning a psychology degree since 2013.


About 85% percent of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology are satisfied with their jobs. The satisfaction rate was, however, higher for psychology graduates who have a  doctorate degree; their level of responsibility and their salaries are considerably higher than that of those with a bachelor’s degree.

Graduates who have a master’s degree in psychology were also reported to be satisfied with their jobs and their level of responsibility but were not so satisfied with their pay, and benefits.

A psychology degree’s worth solely depends on you and your needs and expectations careerwise for instance, salaries and benefits for bachelor’s and master’s degree holders may not appeal to you, if have to borrow money in order to finish school.

What Jobs Can You Get With a Psychology Degree?

A lot of undergraduates begin their studies without a knowledge of the career the degree can lead them to. The general misconception about psychology is that without a doctorate, one can not obtain gainful employment.

This perception is wrong in many ways because there are so many job prospects for a psychology graduate. Becoming a licensed psychologist requires a Ph.D or a Psy.D, and for graduates who want to venture into social work, clinical and mental health counseling, social work, and school counseling, a master’s degree in psychology is required.

Despite these requirements for graduates who want to start careers as professional psychologists, graduates who hold only a bachelor’s degree also have a lot of employment prospects too.

Psychology graduates with only a bachelor’s degree can venture into careers in business, education, healthcare, healthcare, and nonprofit social work.

There are a lot of employment opportunities for psychology graduates in the business sector because they are qualified to work as recruiters, sales analysts, and Human Resources personnel. There is also a large market for the employment of psychology graduates in law enforcement offices and federal agencies.

The list of jobs for psychology bachelor’s degree graduates offered by the APA includes correctional officers, preschool teachers, and psychiatric technicians.

What to Expect from the Psychology Major

Understanding the basics involved in earning a degree in psychology is of utmost importance if the career prospects attract you.

Firstly, a prospective student should know that psychology majors study human behavior by applying scientific research methods. Their studies may also be designed around studies clinical work, involving theory, and qualitative and quantitative research.

Knowing the differences between a bachelor of science in Psychology and a bachelor of arts in psychology is also very important.

A Bachelor of Science in psychology concentrates on quantitative skills, while a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology involves more of theory and requires a broader selection of classes in the humanities and social sciences.

A few bachelors of Arts Program e.g Iowa State’s Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program requires students to have a second major or a minor in another area. This provides students with a wider area of study which leads to the provision of more employment opportunities after graduation.

The curricula for both Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Psychology are heavily focused on research.

How Does Graduate School Improve Job Prospects?

Most graduates end up not going for a graduate degree to augment their qualifications, but earning a master’s in psychology opens graduates to a wide range of choices of jobs. Many jobs relating to psychology require a master’s degree or a doctorate. A lot of students get to realize this when they are job hunting.

If you want to start a private practice as a psychologist, you will need a practice license and this license will not be given to you unless you have a doctorate in Psychology, but if one wants to practice as a school psychologist, a master’s degree is required.

As a master’s degree holder in psychology, you have the opportunity to practice as a marriage counselor, a family therapist, a career counselor, or a school counselor. For graduates who are interested in creating surveys, designing studies, and analyzing data can get jobs as survey researchers using their master’s degree.

Students who are interested in clinical psychology are required to earn a Ph.D or a Psy.D in order to practice. The annual median salary of clinical psychologists is about $81,040, and the growth spurt of jobs in that field is expected to increase by 8% by 2020 – 2030.

It is worthy of note that the growth rate and the pay rate differ for different specialties in psychology.

Is Graduate School Right for You?

The decision to pursue a graduate degree is not one to be taken lightly due to the high cost of a lot of graduate programs. Students are advised to take a year off to garner experiences and build skills that will help students get a clearer view of what they intend to do careerwise.

It is imperative to note that each state has different requirements for getting a license to practice psychology, so you need to plan according to the requirements of the state you plan to work in before taking the big step toward a graduate degree.


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