One of the most common questions that gets asked by people looking into careers in psychology would have to be
The thing with a degree in psychology is that it does not directly lead into a specific career.
So for example – if you study medicine, you become a doctor. If you study engineering, you become an engineer.
But a psychology degree is more like a gateway degree – in and of itself there aren’t a huge range of careers that are directly related, but it is a necessary step on the way to further study in the field which does lead to specific jobs and careers.
So there are two basic options once you have completed your Bachelor degree in psychology
- You can enter the workforce.
- You can enroll in a graduate program
Option 1 – Enter The Workforce
So just exactly what can you do with a psychology degree if you decide to enter the workforce upon graduation?
Well just because you’re not going on to further study doesn’t mean that what you’ve already learned isn’t useful.
In fact there are a number of relevant job options which will allow you to use your knowledge of human behavior to your advantage. Some examples of these ares where you can find work include:
- Social work
- Sales and marketing
While it may not seem to be the case at first, all of these job areas have something in common – they all involve jobs where people skills are important.
One of the key things you learn in a psychology degree are the different aspects of human behavior and this knowledge can be extremely useful in jobs that involve dealing with other people either as colleagues, staff or on a client or patient basis.
Option 2 – Graduate Programs
When most people are trying to work out what you can do with psychology degree, they’re possibly of the belief that once you’ve completed that degree you can then move into the field of psychology of your choice.
But the truth is that the degree in psychology is just the start. If you’re serious about pursuing a career in psychology, whether it’s on the therapy side or in research and teaching, then you’re going to have to enroll yourself in a graduate program and work your way towards a Doctorate in Psychology or Philosophy.
There are two main options you can choose from – the Ph.D and the Psy D. Which one you choose depends on the path you think you’d like to take within you psychology career.
If you think you’re interested in the research side of psychology, and possibly teaching psychology in some capacity as well then it’s more than likely a Ph.D that you’ll want to pursue.
This doctorate focuses more on teaching graduates how to effectively conduct research into human behavior.
If you think you might be interested in pursuing a career as a clinical psychologist, then a Psy.D may be more relevant for your needs. This has more of a practical focus designed to give you the skills you need to help people in a clinical setting with their psychological problems.
What Can I Do With A Psychology Degree & A Ph.D/Psy.D?
Once you have attained your Doctorate in Psychology or Philosophy then there is a whole world of psychologist careers that are open to you.
These range from working one on one in a clinical setting with children or adults, perhaps working with business and industry to improve the efficiency of the workforce, to working with athletes and helping them achieve success in their chosen sport.
Then there are the jobs that can be found in research and teaching. So while the length of time studying is obviously longer, if you’re serious about a career in psychology then continuing your education through to a graduate program is going to guarantee that you can work in the field of your choice.