If you have an interest in how the human mind works and you enjoy helping people solve personal problems, studying for a psychology degree might be the best path for you. Whether you choose to attend a traditional university or take online psychology courses, you will emerge from this valuable education as an expert in this field.
Before you get started, however, you might be wondering: “ what can I do with a psychology degree?” The answer is complex, as there are many different career paths upon which you can embark upon once you have completed your degree.
An education in psychology is a brilliant ‘jumping off’ point for a long list of exciting and rewarding careers in both the science and arts spheres. By demonstrating that you have the commitment and intellect to complete this degree, you are showing employers that you have what it takes to be a valued member of their team.
If you are interested in becoming a psychologist, you first need to earn a bachelor’s degree, preferably in psychology. Your prerequisite courses will likely include general psychology, statistics, neurosciences, and developmental psychology.
While you are studying for degree, it is a good idea to start gaining valuable experience. Choose the area of psychology that you are most interested in, and start looking for an internship or volunteer opportunities that fit the bill. Many professors will be happy to have an extra pair of hands and set of eyes for their research projects, or you could volunteer in a mental health clinic.
The next step is to research graduate programs that specialise in the areas in which you want to focus. Choose your MA degree path, and reach out to potential supervisors who might be well suited to your skills and goals.
In some fields you will also need a PsyD, PhD, EdD or EdS. Many areas of psychology require a doctorate, and you will need to write an original dissertation to complete your studies. A great starting point into the world of psychology is taking an online psychology course.
What Are The Different Types Of Psychologists?
- Clinical Psychologist – focuses on diagnosing and treating emotional, mental, and behavioural problems
- Educational Psychologist – concerned with the diagnostic and psycho-educational assessment of children and students
- Forensic Psychologist – assists with criminal investigations and proceedings
- Counselling Psychologist – counsels people in one on one, couple, family, or group settings
- Occupational Psychologist – helps to increase the productivity of an organisation
- Health and Sport Psychologist – works with clients to overcome mental distress or blocks around health and sport
What Kinds Of Skills Will You Learn In A Psychology Degree?
- Understanding Data and Statistics – Studying for a psychology degree gives you a lot of experience working with complex data. Your degree shows employers that you can manage, collect, parse, and synthesise all kinds of qualitative and quantitative data.
- Excellent Writing Skills – As a part of any psychology you will be required to write essays and research reports. Your writing skills will become honed over time, and your degree demonstrates that you are a skilled writer who can produce high quality reports and documents.
- Commitment and Hard Work – By completing the education necessary to earn a degree in psychology, you are demonstrating to employers that you have a high level of commitment to hard work.
- Communication Skills – Anyone who hires a psychology graduate knows that they are getting a clear communicator. Your degree shows that you can effectively communicate in written and verbal form.
- Knowledge of Human Behaviour – During the course of your studies in psychology, you will learn all about the intricacies of human behaviour. Your education will help you to understand motivation and generate knowledge and ideas about the best ways to handle interpersonal problems that arise in any workplace environment.
Job Options For Psychology Graduates
Of course, many people with a degree in psychology choose to go on to become a psychologist, specialising as a clinical psychologist, counseling psychologist, or forensic psychologist. However, there are many other career paths open to psychology graduates.
Here are just a few of the most common job options with a psych degree:
- Human Resources – As an HR professional, you will be responsible for recruiting and interviewing potential employees, and dealing with employee issues and problems in the workplace.
- Counsellor – Using what you have learned in your psychology degree, you can help people identify their problems and guide them to solutions. You can take a more specific online counselling course to hone your skills in this field
- Mediator – Mediators provide alternative conflict resolution solutions by carefully listening to both parties.
- Life/Career Coach – Help clients assess their skills and achieve their career and life goals.
- Secondary School Teacher – Your broad knowledge and the ability to empathise with others will make you a skilful and passionate secondary school teacher.
- Journalist/Writer – Completing a psychology degree requires completing a lot of essays, resulting in strong writing skills.