Students who fear a bachelor’s degree in psychology won’t take them places unless they sign on for a master’s or doctoral program, as well, may want to rethink that assumption. Even at the bachelor’s level, a psychology degree can open the door to some very interesting careers.
Why the Degree Translates So Well
Students who pursue psychology at the bachelor’s level tend to gain a number of characteristics that are highly prized in a variety of fields. These skills, according to a white paper about psychology majors prepared for the State University System of Florida Board of Governors, include:
- Ability to predict group and individual behavior
- Ability to understand and interpret data
- Understanding how learning and memory work
- Having the ability to evaluate claims about behavior
- Having insights into problematic behaviors
- Ability to withstand challenging situations and manage well in high-stress environments
Interesting Fields to Consider
While social work, entry-level counseling and other similar posts are common paths for those with bachelor’s degrees in psychology, there are a variety of opportunities that students might not necessarily stop to consider. When the characteristics of psychology graduates are taken into account, however, the dots begin to connect. Some of the more interesting career possibilities for those with undergraduate degrees include:
- Public relations – Public relations, marketing, advertising and government agencies seek out psychology majors because they understand human behavior and can provide insights into how and why people communicate. Public relations specialists might work for private companies or government agencies promoting brands or keeping lines of communication open with the public. The job may include public interviews, writing press releases, mapping out advertising and/or awareness campaigns and more.
- Journalist – Having a keen understanding of human behavior can be tremendously beneficial in this fast-paced career. Journalists with a psychology background are uniquely situated to conduct interviews, vet the voracity of interview subjects and communicate in writing or verbally with readers or viewers.
- Public information or community relations officers – Similar to public relations, these positions, most often reserved for government agencies or corporations, have professionals serving in the capacity of official spokespeople on their behalf. They may work almost exclusively with the media, as is the case with police public information officers, or with community members and organizations to spread a government agency’s message, mission and/or agenda.
- Training officer or learning consultant – People in this field may work with individuals from a community or within an organization to assess educational needs, develop training records and plan and coordinate training classes. Having the insights a psychology degree provides can be especially helpful in this field.
- Program coordinator – Organizations may hire those with psychology degrees to coordinate, facilitate and manage programs, such as those geared toward people with learning disabilities, special needs or medical concerns.
- Employee relations and or human resources specialist – Psychology degrees are quite helpful in this field that has professionals recruiting and interviewing potential employees, overseeing onboarding, managing staff relations and navigating and investigating sensitive claims, such as sexual harassment.
- Teacher – Teachers with psychology backgrounds can be especially effective in middle, high and special needs classrooms although the skills translate well to all levels. This profession might require additional training or licensing to pursue.
- Nurse – This field will require additional education and licensing to pursue, but a psychology background can be very helpful in all aspects of patient care.
Psychology managers don’t have to go on to earn masters or doctoral degrees to find themselves working in interesting fields. This degree translates well into a number of other career areas at the bachelor’s level.