Step I: Identify the marketable skills you gain from a psychology major.
For example, psychology majors cultivate the ability to:
- perform statistical analyses and interpret results
- design and conduct research projects
- write proposals and reports
- systematically observe and record behavior
- comprehend and apply scientific reasoning
- understand research methodologies used in various areas of psychology
Step II: Think through the broad range of career options available to psychology majors.
An introduction to how to think about careers in psychology can be found on the Psychology Department webpage.
- There are various jobs available to psychology graduates. However, to be called a psychologist in relation to your title or position requires training beyond the undergraduate degree. A master's degree is the minimum requirement for designation as a psychologist. The training necessary for such "official" designation is based on American Psychological Association Accrediting Requirements and State Licensing Boards. In short, an undergraduate psychology degree does not confer psychologist status. Typically, "helping profession" jobs that specify a psychology or social science major as appropriate preparation are not high paying and offer few opportunities for advancement as a professional psychologist. However, they expose the individual to a variety of career opportunities and often open doors to more advanced and more challenging positions. In general, professional jobs as a psychologist require post-graduate education and/or training.
- Students who complete the Behavior Analysis emphasis in the Psychology Department are eligible to take a national certification examination to acquire the credential Associate Behavior Analyst. Graduates with this credentialing can work as behavioral services providers for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, head injuries, and substance-abuse disorders. The Association for Behavioral Analysis International has great information about this field.
Other career fields related to psychology:
Psychology graduates can use their education in a variety of fields, including human resources, personnel, public relations, market research, government, and private industry.
Sample job titles related to psychology for bachelor's-level students
- Human Resource Employee
- Group Home Counselor
- Substance Abuse Counselor
- Rehabilitation Aide
- Occupational Counselor
- Personal Assistant
- Community Outreach Coordinator
- Correctional Caseworker
- Direct Care Provider
- Youth Worker
For more information specific to careers in psychology, go to:
- American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org/careers/resources/guides/careers.aspx
- All Psychology Careers.com: http://www.allpsychologycareers.com/
- Marky Lloyd's Careers in Psychology: http://www.psywww.com/careers/index.htm
- A Career Decision Tree for Psychology Majors: http://psych.hanover.edu/handbook/career2.html
- Careers in Psychology.org: http://careersinpsychology.org/
Other careers to consider
Many psychology majors apply the skills they have developed to a field not directly related to psychology. In some cases, these jobs require more schooling or other experience. For a great list of potential job titles and steps you can take to prepare yourself for these jobs see:
- "What can I do with this major?" http://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/major/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/psychology.pdf
Step III: See what UW-Eau Claire graduates are doing
Sample entry-level jobs held by UW-Eau Claire psychology graduates:
- Resident Treatment Worker, Eau Claire Academy, Eau Claire, WI
- Psychologist Assistant, Bethesda Hospital, St. Paul, MN
- Case Worker, Pinnacle Services, Minneapolis, MN
- Independent Living Specialist, North Country Independent Living, Superior, WI
- Child Life Specialist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
- Career Counselor-Outreach Specialist, UW Colleges, Eau Claire, WI
- Behavior Therapist, Lovaas Institute Midwest, Minneapolis, MN
More complete listings of jobs held by UW-Eau Claire graduates are available in the Career Discovery Lab, Schofield 230 or check out Blugold Career Network.
Step IV: Investigate jobs that sound interesting
- The Career Discovery Center, Schofield 230, has lots of books.
- There are many websites with great information,
Step V:Participate in informational interviewing
After researching some of these jobs online or in the Career Discovery Center, begin informational interviewing. You can get names of people who are willing to be interviewed at Blugold Career Network.
This site also will give you tips for doing the interviews and sample questions.