What Can I Do with a Psychology Degree? – Guest Post

Psychology Degree

A psychology degree lays the groundwork for a variety of exciting career opportunities. These careers could be in traditional mental health roles or applied to careers unrelated to healthcare. The skills acquired during your psychology studies can be applied across several disciplines to increase empathy and effective communication.

What is Psychology?

Psychology studies human behavior and the human mind. It aims to understand how thoughts, perceptions, and emotions impact behavior. In essence, psychology strives to understand and explain the complexities of the human experience.

This field also explores underlying mental processes and potential structural components which can contribute to behavior. It explores development, social behavior, cognition, and more to assist in improving well-being and mental health.

The Difference Between Psychology and Psychiatry

Psychology studies the complexities of human behavior. Psychologists are mental health professionals who provide cognitive-behavior therapy to help others improve their mental health and well-being. They help patients reshape negative thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes into balanced and adaptive thinking patterns.

Psychologists may also provide coping skills and problem-solving strategies to help navigate difficult situations and emotions.

Psychiatry is a branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists diagnose and treat mental illnesses through medical and therapeutic techniques. As MDs, psychiatrists can prescribe and manage medications when necessary.

In other words, psychologists are mental health professionals while psychiatrists are medical doctors (MDs) with a specialty in mental health.

Why Study Psychology?

Whether as a psychology major or minor, having a background in psychology provides a deeper insight into interpersonal dynamics. Psychology education allows students to study the shifts in individual and group behavior. It also trains students to consider the impact emotional, experiential, and perceptual factors may have on behavior.

Berry College’s Psychology program provides additional depth by exploring cultural diversity, sexuality, age, and gender.

Studying psychology can greatly improve a student’s interpersonal and communication skills. It also provides an opportunity for students to gain a better understanding of themselves and others. Psychology programs with courses on cultural diversity can help shape empathetic, culturally sensitive mental health professionals, doctors, and adults.

Career Options for Psychology Majors

Earning a bachelor’s in psychology provides an invaluable yet flexible skillset that can be applied across industries. This knowledge can be refined into a specialty through post-graduate education or to enhance secondary interests. Psychology majors can specialize in criminal behavior, education, interpersonal relationships, and more.

Interested in Graduate Degrees?

For students interested in post-graduate studies, consider careers in:

Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychologists use their knowledge of human behavior and mental processes to inform legal decision-making. They assess a defendant’s mental competence to stand trial and conduct risk assessments to determine the chances of repeat offenses. They provide expert testimony and provide treatment and rehabilitation services to offenders.

Forensic psychologists may also conduct research on matters in the crosshairs of psychology and law. These matters can include eyewitness testimony and jury decision-making. The influence of expert witnesses, group dynamics, demographics, and individual biases play crucial roles in how juries reach their verdicts.

Verdicts and how they are reached impact the lives of the defendants, victims, and the administration of justice. Forensic psychologists strive to ensure legal decisions are reached based on accurate information to protect the rights of all parties.

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychologists are licensed mental health professionals who specialize in assessing, diagnosing, and treating mental illness and emotional difficulties. They can work with individuals and groups to assess and treat mood disorders, anxiety, trauma, and addictions. They work with their clients to develop individualized treatment plans to address a client’s specific needs and goals.

Clinical psychologists can perform general mental health services or focus on a specialty. Some clinical psychology specialties include:

  • Adolescent psychology
  • Chronic illness
  • Psychological disorders
  • Couple and family psychology

Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Industrial-organizational (I/O) psychologists examine interpersonal dynamics in the workplace. They apply psychological theories and methods to understand, predict, and improve interactions and behavior in the workplace. They assist HR during the recruitment, selection, and training stages as well as provide leadership tips to improve effectiveness and efficacy.

I/O psychologists may also study the effects of work-related stress on employee health and well-being. They use this information to assist leadership in creating and implementing programs intended to reduce stress.

Interested in Working Right After Graduation?

We understand not everyone is interested in pursuing additional education or plan to pursue it at a later date. Here are some career options for psychology majors seeking work right after school:

Human Resource Representative

Human resource representatives, or HR coordinators, perform administrative tasks such as processing payroll and answering employee questions regarding policies. HR representatives may also conduct initial screenings of job applicants.

As a psychology major, you can use your understanding of human behavior to improve workplace communication and manage conflict. You could also provide insightful feedback on ways to create a positive and supportive work environment for employees.

Career Services Specialist

Career services specialists help others make informed decisions about their work lives and career paths. They can work in universities, colleges, career centers, or private practices. They assist in resume and cover letter writing, interview prep, exploring placement options tailored to student interests and more.

As a psychology major, you could provide informed suggestions based on your understanding of each student. You could help students choose career options tailored specifically to their personality which could improve their overall work experience.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts use data and research to understand buyer habits and decision-making processes. Your background in psychology could help you design marketing strategies with the customer’s motivations in mind. It could also help you better understand your target audience to increase target audience engagement.

In Summary

Your understanding of human behavior and dynamics can be applied to a variety of careers. Regardless of the paths you choose, your skills create a solid foundation for personal and professional development. You could use your degree to help others form healthy coping mechanisms or choose the career of their dreams.

Your skills can create positive impacts on individuals and organizational practices.

About the Author:

DeAngelica Rose has a BS in Japanese with a double minor in Linguistic Studies and Asian Studies from MTSU. She earned her MFA in Creative writing from SNHU and currently works as a copywriter for Level Agency. Dee spends her free time drawing, having meals with friends, or gaming.

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