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What Can I Do with a Major in Psychology?

Psychology is a discipline that attempts to understand what motivates people to make decisions and why they have certain reactions to the events in their lives. It seeks to understand human and animal behavior that is both normal and abnormal, as well as to define the terms normal and abnormal. Different disciplines in psychology focus on different approaches to understanding why people do what they do. These focuses include the subconscious, environmental and biological make-up, as well as many others. Because a psychology major is someone who has learned to understand what motivates people to makes decisions, he/she is qualified to work in many people-oriented industries such as advertising, human services, market research, personnel, public relations and sales. With a master's degree or Ph.D., many psychology majors go on to work in areas of clinical psychology which involve counseling, industrial psychology which analyzes groups of workers in private industry, or research psychology which involves conducting research on human and/or animal behavior and analysis of the results.

What will I learn from studying Psychology?


Knowledge:

A psychology major will have a broadened sense of what types of human and animal behaviors are normal and abnormal. Psychology majors will understand the different theories and concepts related to the six major disciplines in psychology. He/she will learn to design and execute large research projects and experiments, as well as to organize the resulting data. The study of psychology will lead to a better understanding of relationships, individuals, different perspectives, values and experiences related to sexuality, gender, culture, race and ethnicity. It will also help one to understand how self-concept, attitudes, values and behavior are influenced by the social and cultural contexts in which they occur.

Skills:

  • Performing statistical analyses
  • Designing and carrying out research projects
  • Selecting, administering and interpreting psychological tests
  • Writing proposals and reports
  • Systematically recording and observing behavior
  • Constructing tests and questionnaires
  • Understanding and applying scientific reasoning
  • Understanding research methodologies used in various disciplines in psychology

What are some of the interests and values related to Psychology?

  • Scientific curiosity about the behavior of people and animals
  • Desire to prevent social problems by understanding why they exist
  • Sensitivity to individual differences and diversity of behavior
  • Desire to understand what motivates people to make decisions
  • Compassion/caring for the welfare of other people
  • Integrity

What are related student and professional organizations?

UW-Eau Claire Psychology-related Student Organizations

Professional Organizations:

What career fields are related to Psychology?


Potential Employers:

A psychology major will appeal to different employers for different reasons. Psychology majors will have a unique mix of understanding scientific reasoning and statistical analyses, as well as a more liberal understanding of what motivates people to make decisions and carry certain personality traits. With an undergraduate degree, jobs loosely related to psychology are abundant, whereas jobs specifically related to psychology are more difficult to find. Jobs loosely related to psychology include any job in human resources, personnel, public relations, market research or sales, in addition to many others. A job more specifically related to psychology may include working in a group home as a direct care provider or helping to carry out psychological research and testing for government or private industry, although these jobs are more difficult to attain without a master's degree or Ph.D.

Potential Job Titles (with B.A./B.S):

  • Human resources
  • Camp staff director
  • Personnel
  • Youth worker
  • Public relations
  • Retail manager
  • Market research
  • Day-care director
  • Sales
  • Group home counselor
  • Direct care provider
  • Rehabilitation aid
  • Substance abuse
  • Community outreach
  • counselor
  • coordinator

What are some career paths of UW-Eau Claire Psychology graduates?

  • Resident Treatment Worker, Eau Claire Academy, Eau Claire, WI
  • Living Unit Supervisor, Community Living Services, Victoria, MN
  • Human Services Counselor, Wilder Foundation, St. Paul, MN
  • Program Coordinator, Alternative for People with Autism, St. Paul, MN
  • Management, Hertz Corporation, Minneapolis, MN

How can I learn more about Psychology?

Psychology Department, HHH 277, 836-5733

Career Services:

  • Meet with a career counselor
  • Take interest inventories and self-assessment tests
  • Ask An Alum Program, a database of UW-Eau Claire Alumni & Friends available for informational interviewing

Career Resources Lab:

There are many books available, such as:

  • Opportunities in Psychology Careers, Charles M. and Donald E. Super
  • Great Jobs for Psychology Majors, Julie DeGalan & Stephen Lambert
  • Career Choices for the 90s: Psychology, Peggy J. Schmidt & Ramsey Walker

Internet:

These pages offer lists of related jobs and first jobs for Psychology majors, ideas about how the skiIIs you learn as a Psychology major transfer into the professional world and lists of several related sites.

What are some opportunities for experiential learning in Psychology?

  • Directed Study (Psyc. 395) or Independent Study (Psyc. 499): See course catalog and/or Psychology Department
  • Internships: Visit the Career Services Internship Center
  • Counseling Research Group-Psychology Department: Work with the counseling department to conduct research in many areas, such as student alcohol use/abuse.
  • Behavior Science Research Group-Psychology Department: Work with students researching the effects of environment on humans and animals.
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