Psychology Major Career Planning Options
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|
|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.)
|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|
|Family Therapist||Research Assistant|
|Volunteer Coordinator||Training Coordinator|
Psychology graduates may work at . . .
|Personnel Departments||Business & Industry|
|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|
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
- American Psychological Association
- American Mental Health Counselor’s Association
- National Association of Social Workers
- American Counseling Association
- Association for Humanistic Psychology
- American Psychological Society
- Other Psychology Associations on the Net
- The National Council for The Social Studies
Career Related Websites for Psychology Majors and Social Work Minors
- Careers in Psychology for the 21st Century (Resources to help answer your questions about what working in psychology is like and what educational requirements are needed. It covers the differences among the various degrees available in psychology, types of careers, and what psychologists do.)
- Human Services Careers
- Careers in Psychology – Learn everything you need to know about psychology careers.
- Marky Lloyd’s Careers in Psychology Page
- The Social Work Careers Center – Career and employment information in Social Work
- Social Work Career Profiles – professional advice, career information, and real life stories in various areas of social work.
- The New Social Worker Online Career Center (The Magazine for Social Work Students and New Graduates Career and Employment Info)
- Idealist.org – Career and job information in the non-profit industry
- Social Service and Social Work Jobs (Search jobs submitted by social service employers in every state.)
- Psych Web (Psychology related web resources for students and teachers of psychology.)
- Encyclopedia of Psychology (Links to career information, related organizations and other resources.)
- Internet Mental Health (Encyclopedia of Mental Health Information)
- Graduate School & Careers in Psychology (Information on career options and areas of graduate study related to Psychology.)