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Psychology

Careers in Psychology

Psychologists study animal and human behavior and related mental, physiological, and social processes in an attempt to understand the causes of behavior. They also apply this knowledge to the prevention and solution of both individual and social problems.

The Psychology Major’s Skills and Abilities

Interpersonal Relations

Counseling
Analyzing/modifying behavior
Motivating
Perceiving and understanding individual differences
Fostering group dynamics
Exhibiting empathy toward others
Identifying and understanding needs

Communication

Influencing and persuading people/groups
Informing/explaining ideas
Mediating/negotiating conflicts
Writing clearly
Presenting information effectively

Research

Observing people/data/things
Framing a research question
Developing ideas and theories
Gathering information
Clarifying goals/problems
Organizing and analyzing data
Summarizing results
Synthesizing conclusions

Analysis

Defining problem areas
Creating a system to analyze data
Offering new perspectives
Developing new solutions for recurring problems
Evaluating theory and evidence
Comparing/contrasting ideas and information


The bachelor's degree in psychology can provide an avenue into employment in one of the many areas for which behavioral science skills and knowledge are important. To be a professional psychologist, a student must obtain at least a master's degree in the field. Some areas of study, especially clinical psychology, are becoming very competitive and often require five years or more to obtain a doctorate.

Some Employers of Psychology Majors

Private PracticeMental Health AgenciesCommunity Agencies
Rehabilitation Agencies

Social Service Providers

Correctional Facilities
SchoolsSenior Citizens CentersColleges/Universities
Market Research FirmsNonprofit OrganizationsHospitals
Insurance CompaniesEmployment AgenciesZoos
Private SchoolsRetail Stores and WholesalersManufacturers
State and Federal Government Especially Departments of Health and Human Services, Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Justice, and Veterans Administration; psychiatric hospitals, centers for people with developmental disabilities, and probation and parole services.Large Corporations Especially in personnel, labor relations, sales, management, research, data analysis, customer service, media relations, and public relations divisions