Career Development

Career Planning

Psychology Major Career Planning Options

  • Human Development
  • Psychology
  • Social Work Minor 

Psychology consists of the study and understanding of how people and animals behave, perceive, sense, and feel. In particular, study efforts at the college undergraduate level delve into the neurological underpinnings of behavioral human development, personality, mind/body health issues, abnormal behavior, social interactions, and research methodology. As a branch of study with a relatively short history, psychology students play a role in witnessing, exploring, debating, and clarifying the dynamic changes and growth that are occurring and will continue to occur in the field for some time to come. In the liberal arts tradition, Rivier psychology majors develop skills in analysis, synthesis, critical thinking, research, writing, and in understanding and relating to people. Visit Rivier’s Psychology Department for information on degrees and course offerings.

Psychology Major Skills 

Decision Making Critical & Inferential Thinking
Concern for & Sensitivity to Others Written & Oral Communication
Insight to Deal Effectively with People Engage in Ethical Practice
Researching Interviewing Techniques
Good Listener Able to Promote Healthy Realtionships
Ability to Resolve or Mediate Conflicts Problem Solving
Able to Observe, Analyze, & Interpret Information Knowledge of Human Development & Behavior


Career Paths in Psychology 

Careers for new psychology graduates are diverse and dependent upon one’s interests, abilities, work values, academic emphasis, and practical experience in the field. As with other liberal arts oriented areas of study, there can tend to be some confusion about the nature of career opportunities for these graduates.  Psychology majors gain much more than mere “people skills” and can pursue a variety of career options including therapy, human resource management, residential care, teaching or education administration, community and social service, research, public relations and business/marketing. Psychology majors are encouraged to combine their liberal arts studies with experience and course work related to specialized areas of interest. For example, those with an interest in human resource management can round out their studies with hands on experience in human resources and related courses. Majors with a career interest in applied human services may opt to minor in Social Work, where they’ll learn the history and methods of the social work profession while integrating a practical internship at a social service agency into their educational experience. Some graduates pursue further education in psychology, counseling, social work, business, law, or yet another discipline. Advanced studies are required for work as a psychologist or professional counselor.

Psychology graduates may work as . . .
(The following are titles from across the industry. Some of these jobs may require education or experience beyond a bachelor’s degree.)

Specialist Career Counselor
Case Manager Human Services Worker
Child Care Worker Job Analyst
College Professor Labor Relations Specialist
Community Support Clinician Occupational Therapist
College Student Personnel Opinion Survey Researcher
Employee Benefits Manager Outreach Worker
Probation Counselor Public Relations Assistant
School Counselor/Psychologist Rehabilitation Counselor
Teacher/Professor Residential Counselor
Family Therapist Research Assistant
Psychologist Program Coordinator
Volunteer Coordinator Training Coordinator


Psychology graduates may work at . . . 

Personnel Departments Business & Industry
Colleges/Universities Rehabilitation Agencies
Head Start Youth Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations Churches/Religious Groups
Hospitals/Health Departments Public & Private School
Private Practice Mental Health Agencies
Adoption/Child Care Agencies Human Services Agencies
Courts/Correctional Facilities Public & Private Schools

Research Firms

Community Agencies


Ways to Increase Employability 

  • Pursue elective course work or additional training related to one’s professional field of interest.
  • Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities.
  • Become an active student member of university, community, or professional organizations, which enhance leadership skills and promote networking relationships with fellow professionals.
  • Obtain quality practical experience prior to graduation through relevant part-time, full-time, and summer job/internship positions.

Sources of Information on Majors, Careers and Employment in Psychology 

  • Rivier University Faculty Advisors, Academic Advisors, & Psychology Department Resources
  • Professionals Working in the Field
  • Professional Organizations

Professional & Rivier University Organizations Related to Psychology 

Career Related Websites for Psychology Majors and Social Work Minors