- Direct Care:
- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Art Therapy
- Music Therapy
- Case Management
- Mental Health Services
- Physical Health and Wellness
- Crisis Work
- Rehabilitation Services
- Performance Enhancement
- Law Enforcement
- Community Relations
- Development/Fund Raising
- Grant Writing
- Federal government including Departments of:
- Health and Human Services
- Veterans Affairs
- State government including:
- Departments of Human Services
- Departments of Mental Health
- Departments of Justice
- Community mental health centers
- State psychiatric hospitals
- Facilities for individuals with intellectual impairments
- Boards of probation and parole
- Local government
- Senior citizens’ centers
- Nursing homes
- Social service/nonprofit organizations
- Religiously-affiliated service organizations
- Hospitals/healthcare providers
- Private psychiatric facilities
- Outpatient clinics
- Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
- College and university counseling centers and career centers
- Pain clinics
- Rehabilitation facilities
- Testing centers
- Private practice
- Obtain essential practical experience through part-time or summer jobs such as camp counselor, tutor, or resident hall advisor.
- Complete an internship for academic credit.
- Gain experience through volunteering with organizations such as crisis hotlines, Big Brother or Sister, Special Olympics, service groups, etc.
- Many entry-level helping positions require one year of related experience. Volunteer experience and internships can typically fulfill this requirement.
- Learn to work well with different types of people.
- Develop strong communication skills.
- Cultivate the desire to help others.
- Earn a minor in a specialized field of interest, e.g. child and family studies or sociology.
- Take courses to build valuable counseling-related skills, e.g. techniques of counseling.
- Become fluent in a second language to serve clients who may not speak English.
- Be willing to relocate for increased job opportunities.
- Acquire knowledge of government and community resources available for those in need.
- Obtain a graduate degree in psychology, counseling, or social work for positions involving substantive counseling or psychotherapy or for advancement into administrative/supervisory positions.
- Many specialties exist at the graduate level, for example school counseling, mental health counseling, counseling psychology, etc. Pursue particular degrees depending upon interests and career goals. See General Information on the last page for more details on this topic.
- Pursue graduate training or certification programs to establish test administration and interpretation qualification.
- Maintain an excellent academic record and seek experiences valued by graduate programs.
- Social Research
- Market Research
- Data Analysis
- Testing/Test Development
- Experimental Psychology
- Federal, state and local government agencies
- National headquarters of non-profit organizations
- Universities and colleges
- Market research firms
- Market research departments of consumer goods and manufacturing firms
- Private research organizations
- Consulting firms
- Pursue research experience by working on faculty projects through independent study classes, as a student employee, or through other departmental programs.
- Take additional math and statistics courses to develop strong quantitative and statistical skills.
- Obtain related experience through part-time or summer jobs or internships with a market research firm.
- Get involved in the American Marketing Association.
- Earn a graduate degree in experimental psychology, educational psychology, statistics, or marketing depending upon interest area.
- Adult Learning/Community Instruction, e.g. GED classes, life skills, parenting, etc.
- Information/Library Science
- Higher Education Administration and Student Support Services including:
- Financial Aid
- Academic Advising
- Alumni Affairs
- International Education and Study Abroad
- Career Services
- Residence Life
- Student Activities and Greek Life
- Multicultural Affairs
- Recreational Sports
- Public and private K-12 schools
- Colleges and universities
- Government agencies
- Federal Trio programs, e.g. Upward Bound, Talent Search
- Nonprofit organizations, e.g. Project Grad
- College prep programs
- Obtain a teaching certificate for public school positions. Multiple certification will increase marketability. Seek guidance from the education department of your college.
- Earn a doctoral degree in psychology for post-secondary teaching.
- Pursue graduate training in information science for library positions.
- Get a master’s degree in college student personnel, higher education administration for student affairs or administrative positions.
- Maintain a high GPA and secure strong personal recommendations.
- Gain experience working with children, adolescents, or college students through tutoring or other volunteer positions.
- Acquire related experience on campus as a resident hall advisor, orientation leader, admissions tour guide, or peer mentor.
- Develop strong communication skills and learn to speak well in front of a group.
- Employment and Recruitment
- Labor Relations
- Compensation and Benefits
- Organizational Development
- Large companies
- Government agencies
- Staffing and employment services
- Large non-profit organizations
- Educational institutions
- Gain relevant experience in human resources by completing an internship.
- Earn a minor in business or supplement curriculum with business courses.
- Seek leadership positions in student organizations.
- Develop strong computer skills.
- Earn an MBA or a graduate degree in human resources to attain higher level positions.
Business and Industry
- Customer Service
- Public Relations
- Product Design
- Claims Management
- Real Estate
- Property Management
- Service providers
- Retail stores including:
- Department stores
- Specialty stores
- Discount stores
- Super retailers
- Online retailers
- Call centers
- Financial institutions
- Insurance companies
- Real estate companies
- Property management firms
- Apartment complexes
- Public relations departments of large businesses or nonprofit organizations
- Develop career goals and seek relevant experiences to prepare for those goals.
- Earn a minor in business or supplement curriculum with business or communication courses.
- Obtain relevant experience through internships or part-time jobs.
- Work a part-time or summer job in a retail store. Demonstrate a willingness to take on additional responsibilities such as “assistant manager.”
- Participate in student organizations and seek leadership roles.
- Learn to work well with different types of people. Develop a strong commitment to customer satisfaction.
- For sales, develop the ability to work well under pressure and be comfortable in a competitive environment.
- Be willing to start in a management-trainee program or other entry-level positions.
- When job searching, seek employers interested in hiring “any major.”
- Understand the top skills employers desire and be prepared to demonstrate them, such as communication (oral and written), computer, interpersonal, leadership and teamwork, etc.
General Information and Strategies
- Psychology provides a broad, liberal arts background.
- Some students may choose to study psychology because they enjoy the subject but wish to pursue careers requiring “any major.” In this scenario, it is critical to develop desirable skills through internships, part-time or summer jobs, or volunteer experiences. Some skills valued most by employers include: communication, interpersonal, leadership, teamwork, and computer skills.
- Other students may major in psychology because they want to work in a related field. Many entry-level helping positions are available, however the amount of direct client contact is limited for those who have a bachelor’s degree. Students may wish to pursue graduate education in psychology, social work, counseling, college student personnel, or other related fields to increase opportunities and earning potential. Research career fields to learn what type of degree (master’s, educational specialist, doctoral) and subject area are most appropriate. The following list provides some examples:
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
- For those wishing to pursue graduate education, maintain a high grade point average, secure strong faculty recommendations, and gain experience through volunteer or work opportunities. Assist a faculty member with his or her research.
- Many applied positions require licensure. This can take an additional one to three years of supervised experience after earning a graduate degree depending upon state requirements. Graduate programs in clinical work should be accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) in order to ensure a smooth transition towards licensure. Graduate programs in counseling should be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
- Research the availability of certifications for specialities like the Board Certified Behavior Analyst if interested in working with people with disabilities.