Jobs and Careers in Psychology
Most students who obtain an undergraduate degree in psychology go into careers that are not clearly related to their degree in psychology. The Career Development Center helps psychology students explore the many possibilities. Many entry-level jobs require only some on-the-job training after obtaining an undergraduate degree in any field. These include federal and state management internships, and jobs in banking, finance, insurance, manufacturing, publishing, advertising, nonprofit services, and sales and marketing. Psychology graduates are attractive to job recruiters because they often possess strong "people skills" and are also comfortable working with objective data. Graduates who want "helping" careers are often pleased to discover that opportunities to help arise in many work settings. It all depends on the philosophy of the organization, your immediate supervisor, and yourself.
Psychology graduates can also enter many psychology-related careers with a Bachelor's degree. Some find work in rehabilitation centers, child care, crisis centers, substance abuse counseling, etc. While entry-level salaries are often low, these jobs are very rewarding in that they provide much needed services to individuals and to the larger community. In addition, possibilities for advancement definitely exist. Information about mental health careers, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, can be found at the Mental Health Workforce & Education Exchange website. Psychology graduates also work as employment counselors, correction counselors, interviewers, personnel analysts, probation officers, and technical writers. Public relations and recreation are other possibilities. Psychology graduates who also meet state teaching certification requirements can teach psychology in high schools.
Some industrial psychology graduates who specialize in particular areas find employment as human resources specialists, employee counselors, trainers, or in market research. Others work as independent contractors providing services to companies and government agencies (e.g., OSHA-mandated health and safety training, periodic program evaluations).
Most careers as a professional psychologist require an advanced degree. The Master's degree usually requires about two years of full time study beyond the Bachelor's degree. Doctoral degrees usually require about four years of full time study beyond the Bachelor's degree.
If you really haven't a clue what you want to do, you can get lots of personal help from the Career Development Center. If you just want a very brief, non-scientific way to assess your career interests and skills to get yourself thinking, click here.