5 Career Paths for Applied Psychology Majors

5 Career Paths for Applied Psychology Majors | UMassOnline.net

Earning a degree in psychology is the first step into a field that can take your career to many different - and very interesting - places.

Psychology includes a variety of specialties, each presenting its own set of rewards and challenges. They offer graduates from psychology programs a wealth of opportunity.

One of those specialty fields is applied psychology. Earning a Bachelor’s of Arts, Applied Psychology Concentration opens the door for graduates to enter this fascinating area of psychology where the focus is on applying your skills and knowledge directly to real-world challenges.

About Applied Psychology

While some psychologists spend much of their time in theoretical work, applied psychology is firmly rooted in the practical application of psychology to helping individuals, families, groups and organizations tackle mental health issues they are experiencing right now in their lives.

Those who work in applied psychology use a deep understanding of human emotions, behavior, motivations and disorders to observe and evaluate patients. The goal is to improve mental health outcomes for patients.

Applied psychologists, as with other healthcare professionals, spend their careers helping others.  It’s as much a calling as a career. But with advances in the understanding of the human mind, psychologists can have more impact than ever on the well-being of patients.

The following lists some of the specific career fields that applied psychologists can enter. Demand for these professionals has increased by 65 percent since 2010.

Clinical Psychologist

This is perhaps the best known - and one of the most popular - careers in psychology.  They work with individuals, families and groups both on short-term mental health issues and to help manage long-term mental health. Clinical psychologists often specialize with certain groups, such as children, the elderly or those diagnosed with chronic mental disorders.

Forensic Psychologists

Thanks to many movies and television shows, forensic psychology is perhaps the most famous of all branches of applied psychology. They work for law enforcement agencies such as the FBI or for a prosecutor’s office and court system. They focus on helping those in the law enforcement and legal system understand the psychological issues involved in criminal and civil cases. Forensic psychologists are often called on to provide expert testimony in court.

Developmental Psychologists

Psychologists in this field used applied psychology to explore various mental health issues and psychological development that is tied to certain stages in life. Many focus on children and adolescents, although some may focus on issues facing senior citizens.

Industrial–Organizational Psychologists

Some organizations hire applied psychologists to address psychological issues in the workplace and play a central role in designing an environment that improves the quality of the employees’ professional lives. This includes developing training methods and policy standards in collaboration with human resources leaders and company executives.

School Psychologists

Much like many developmental psychologists, school psychologists work with children and adolescents. However, they work directly in education, addressing learning and behavioral problems specific to a school setting. They counsel both students and families. In some cases, they will provide recommendations for changes to teaching and administrative approaches that could positively impact student health.

These represent just some of the challenging and rewarding careers available to those who work in applied psychology. Those interested in the field can take the first step toward these careers by earning a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology.

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