What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Psychology?

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By Angie Best-Boss

As a psychology major, you will probably be asked many, many times, "What can you possibly do with a four-year degree in psychology?" The truth is that a bachelor's degree qualifies you to work in a variety of settings in the public and private sectors.

Career Paths

Psychology students acquire unique training and a diverse skill set that includes assessing and understanding client needs, keeping detailed and accurate records, and knowing how to express care and empathy for others.

Some of the most important things you learn as a psych major include interpersonal and communication skills, both of which can prepare you for a career in almost any field.

Here are a few careers that you will have a head-start in with a four-year degree:

  • Community Relations Specialist: In this field a graduate might work as a community liaison, an advocate, or even a community outreach coordinator.
  • Public Relations Specialist: PR professionals work with advertisers and the media writing press releases, developing marketing strategies, and coordinating fundraisers and other events.
  • Psychiatric Assistant: Working alongside a psychiatrist, assistants may administer tests and perform other functions under the supervision of the psychiatrist.
  • Lab Assistant: In a lab setting, psychology majors can assist in human and animal behavior research.
  • Daycare Administrator: Working with parents and teachers, a daycare administrator oversees the daily activities of pre-school-aged children.
  • Teaching: Psychology majors can work as substitutes or acquire a teaching license for the instruction of students from K-12.
  • Sales Representative: From textbooks to medical supplies, psychology majors possess interpersonal skills that make them excellent sales representatives.
  • Advertising and Marketing: Since writing effective copy that compels people to act is a huge part of the job, a background in psychology ideal for this field.
  • Probation or Parole Officer: Psychology graduates are well-qualified to serve in these positions and are often chosen to work with adolescent offenders.
  • Recreation Specialist: This job entails planning and coordinating recreation activities and therapeutic recreation programs.
  • Affirmative Action Officer: Working in this position, a psychology graduate would help to enforce equal opportunity laws for minorities.
  • Career Counselor: Career counselors help clients discover their talents, skills, and interests in order to help them find suitable jobs.
  • Case Manager: Case managers often work in human or social services for government and non-profit organizations.

Job Outlook

Because of the wide variety of settings and organizations that employ graduates with a bachelor's in psychology, the job outlook for psych majors is excellent. Training in critical thinking, interpersonal communications, and human behavior make graduates in this field highly versatile and employable.

In addition to the many career options listed above, university alumni surveys find that psychology grads are now working as firefighters, ministers, authors, small business owners and corporate executives. A bachelor's in psychology can not only lay the groundwork for future study, it can open the door to a career in a huge variety of communications-oriented industries.

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