If you are thinking about what you want to study in college and you’re considering psychology as a major, you might be wondering about what kind of jobs you can get with a psychology degree. You’ll need a doctoral degree if you’re interested in becoming a psychologist. And in most states in the U.S., a master’s degree is required to become a therapist or a counselor. This article is focused on psychology degree jobs for those who earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Considered a behavioral science, psychology is one of the most popular majors chosen by college students according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Of the two million bachelor’s degrees conferred in the United States in 2018–2019, 58 percent were concentrated in six fields of study: business, health, social sciences, engineering, biological sciences and psychology.
No matter what your ultimate career goal may be, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology is an essential first step in the study of human behavior and mental health. As a psychology student, you will build a deeper understanding of human development, cognition, behavior and emotions. In addition, you will learn how to research, accumulate, analyze and apply information while utilizing the principles and methods of psychology as a scientific discipline.
You’ll also have the opportunity to develop both “soft” and “hard” skills that are highly valued by employers. Soft skills are nontechnical, interpersonal skills related to how you work and interact with others. Hard skills are learned abilities or aptitudes that are easy to quantify.
Many of the skills you’ll acquire as a psychology student are “resilient skills” that consistently remain in demand regardless of the status of the job market or economy. Communication, leadership, problem-solving, teamwork and critical thinking are examples of resilient skills. According to the American Psychological Association, psychology students also develop other transferable cognitive, social and technological skills including creativity, information management, adaptability, integrity, collaboration and computer competency.
Psychology degree curriculum typically covers a wide range of subject matters such as statistics, psychological research, academic writing, interpersonal communication, ethics and data analysis. The diversity of the skills and knowledge a psychology education delivers means that psychology degree holders are well positioned to find meaningful work in numerous fields like human resources, public affairs, marketing, education, business, communications and healthcare.
“People with bachelor’s degrees in psychology often possess good research and writing skills, are good problem solvers, and have well developed, higher-level thinking abilities when it comes to analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information.”
—American Psychological Association, “Careers in Psychology”
Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology will enable you to make a positive impact on individual lives, organizations and communities in many different ways. For all these reasons and more, psychology is an excellent choice when selecting a college major as an undergrad — especially if you have a natural curiosity about human behavior and an innate desire to help others.
Psychology degree jobs and career opportunities for those who hold a bachelor’s degree are plentiful and exist in numerous fields, some of which are outlined below.
Advertising is, on a deep level, all about understanding human behavior and persuading people to perform a certain action or buy a specific product. The creative, analytical, writing and research skills psychology students gain all come into play in this field. There are numerous options for psychology degree jobs in advertising such as copywriter, advertising sales representative, advertising manager, production coordinator, media planner and account manager.
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT JOBS
In addition to studying individual behavior, psychology degree students also learn about industrial or organizational psychology, which gives them the tools to understand and manage workplace dynamics. The problem-solving and information management abilities a psychology degree imparts are also beneficial when it comes to the strategy and planning of operational processes in a business environment. Business management psychology degree careers span numerous industries and include positions such as project manager, business analyst, general manager, administrative coordinator and operations manager.
The prediction of consumer behavior, data analysis, mathematical abilities and negotiation skills are central to the role of a buyer, which is focused on purchasing products or services for an organization or company. Undergraduate psychology degree students develop capabilities relevant to all of these tasks, making them strong contenders for buying positions such as procurement administrator, purchasing agent, associate buyer, purchasing manager, merchandise coordinator and merchant.
By studying the way human beings think and behave, psychology students develop the ability to read people and understand their motivations. This, coupled with their well-developed communication skills, makes psychology majors an ideal fit for the field of fundraising. If you have a bachelor’s degree in psych and you care deeply about social issues and charitable causes, fundraising positions such as manager of donor engagement, development coordinator, major gifts officer, alumni relations specialist, and global corporate giving manager could be suitable career opportunities for you.
HUMAN RESOURCES JOBS
Psychology students learn about a vast array of human traits and behaviors, including motivation, personality and interpersonal communication. This makes them ideal candidates for psychology degree jobs in the realm of human resources. Training, recruiting, mediation, and performance evaluation are just a few of the many career responsibilities in this area that psychology students are primed to take on. Human resource jobs for psychology degree graduates include employee relations manager, benefit specialist, recruiter, training manager, human resources associate and talent management coordinator.
Students studying psychology learn how to conduct scientific research, which helps to prepare them not only for advanced academic pursuits but also for many potential career avenues in the field of marketing. Psychology majors can use their understanding of research design, data analysis and interpretation, technology, written communication and human behavior to succeed in positions such as market research analyst, marketing associate, social media manager, marketing writer, digital marketing specialist, business development associate and brand manager.
PUBLIC RELATIONS JOBS
Many nuances of the human experience are explored when studying psychology at a college level, some of which relate to practices and concepts in the field of public relations. Specifically: relationship building; verbal and written communication; an understanding of perception and image; and the ability to connect to, and influence, others. Public relations jobs that make use of psychology degree-related skills and knowledge include communications and PR manager, public relations representative, account manager, publicist and community relations representative.
If you earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you will qualify for numerous entry-level sales positions right out of college. Many psychology degree majors possess the ability to gauge consumer preferences, as well the requisite skills to communicate effectively and deliver messaging that will convince people to buy a service or a product. Some of the many sales jobs psychology graduates can pursue in different industries include outside sales representative, sales support specialist, sales advisor, sales and marketing associate, sales development representative and sales manager.