What Can You Do With a Psychology Degree?

Are you interested in studying psychology and wondering what your job prospects are when you graduate? Check out this article for all you need to know about what you can do with a psychology degree!

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What do you study in Psychology?

Psychology refers to the study of the mind. It is a discipline that examines how the mind works and how this affects behaviour. Psychology majors undertake various modules that cover different aspects of psychology. These include extensive studies in developmental psychology, biological aspects pertaining to psychology, cognition, the role of society in relation to psychology, and more. This equips psychology graduates with a solid understanding of behaviour and cognition which is a highly valuable and flexible skillset that can apply to many industries outside of the mental health industry.

While we most often associate the study of psychology with clinical psychologists, who are mental health professionals, psychology as a career is actually more diverse than that. Within psychology, there are many subdisciplines such as forensic psychology, business psychology, and sports psychology. Outside the discipline, psychology could be helpful for roles in human resources, consultancy, social work, media, sales, and more!

If you’re intent on studying psychology but you’re wondering what other career options are available to you, here are some alternative job prospects for psychology graduates!

5. Public Relations

Public Relations is a specialised part of the media industry that uses strategic communication to maintain or boost a brand’s public image. A brand’s positive image can influence customer loyalty and trust so it is an essential aspect of many large businesses which is thoroughly scrutinised and curated. Public relations professionals are often the ones assigned the critical job of taking over communications, deploying strategies, and controlling what is being said of their client especially in moments of crisis. 

The two main aspects of the job are to create a positive image via storytelling and to do damage control where necessary. This is where a psychology major’s prowess comes in. Psychology graduates would be best equipped in understanding how the brand would be perceived by the public and what needs to be done to improve this image. With a careful selection of words, a major problem can be mitigated effectively and leave no trace of it ever happening. Conversely, when PR is done poorly, it can worsen the situation on hand.

4. Life Coach

Life coaches are wellness professionals who help their clients attain their goals in life. In some cases, life coaches are more akin to mentors who provide guidance and motivation, but their job scope extends beyond just the career aspect.

While there are some similarities between being a psychotherapist and a life coach, there are some essential differences. Therapists are more focused on mental health and work closely with clients to devise plans to improve their wellbeing. Meanwhile, life coaches help clients realise their potential in life and reach their life goals. The chief difference between these two professions is that life coaches are not mental health professionals and do not dispense mental health advice (unless they’re trained as psychotherapists too). 

This would be best suited for psychology graduates who like the idea of working with clients on an individual basis and help them in some way but do not necessarily want to be in the mental health industry.

3. Social Worker

In general, social work refers to the industry concerned with the protection of the most vulnerable people and providing them assistance where necessary. Psychology graduates may find that they fit well in the industry as the demands of the industry are well-matched to their skillset.

For example, as a caseworker, they would be working closely with people who may be in vulnerable positions and help them to find ways to improve their situation. As these cases are often crisis situations such as emergencies, abuse, poverty and so on, it calls for a person who is especially empathetic and good at listening. Alternatively, they could go into policy-making which is also an important part of social work as it is a form of advocacy that helps improve communities.

This career choice is well suited for those who would like to assist vulnerable groups and work in an organisation.

2. Market Researcher

Psychology students undergo intensive training that prepares them for doing research in an academic setting. This skill is transferable to industries that are built on research – market research is one such example of how research can be applied in business settings and help marketing teams understand how best to sell their products.

A market researcher looks at existing trends in the marketing and sales of a product. They are able to determine which strategies were most effective and make short-term forecasts about the trends. An essential part of the job is being able to interpret statistical data as consumer behaviour. A market researcher needs to have a good grasp of how the consumers behave and perceive the brand.

Market research would be best for graduates who enjoy conducting research and prefer working independently.

1. Human Resources

Human resources form the foundation of any company – it is the department that is tasked with hiring, retaining, and administration of staff. Apart from that, they also serve as an impartial party in the case of disputes between employees and their managers. The HR department is also tasked with keeping staff up-to-date on necessary skills in the industry.

One of the most important skills for an HR professional is communication skills. Quite often, the way in which messages are received by staff lies heavily on the way the message is conveyed. With the right amount of tact and assertiveness, a difficult message can be delivered well.

Psychology students who wish to work in this industry can benefit from modules about organisational psychology and interpersonal communication.

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