Psychology is a broad discipline encompassing both research, through which knowledge about the human mind and behavior is acquired, and practice, through which that knowledge is applied to help solve problems and improve the lives of individuals. Given its breadth, psychology offers many future career options to students in this field.
Clinical Psychologists diagnose and treat mental disorders and work in counseling centers, private practices, hospitals, or clinics.
Counseling psychologists advise people on how to cope with problems of everyday living and how to improve their work and family relationships.
Forensic psychologists apply principles of psychology to issues in the legal system and investigate topics, such as the reliability of eyewitness testimony and social dynamics in the courtroom.
Health psychologists develop health care programs and assist people in improving and maintaining their emotional and physical well-being.
Industrial/organizational psychologists apply psychological principles and research methods to the workplace with the aim of improving productivity, safety, and the quality of work life.
Research psychologists work in universities, government agencies, or private research organizations and conduct scientific studies to further theoretical understanding of phenomena.
School psychologists work directly in the school system and assess students’ learning and behavior problems to help determine the best way to educate them.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that opportunities in psychology will continue to expand over the next decade. To work as an independent clinical or research psychologist, a doctoral degree is required. A master’s degree in psychology can qualify a person for jobs in school psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, counseling, and research. A bachelor’s degree in psychology can qualify a person to assist psychologists and other professionals in many settings, including mental health centers, research organizations, and correctional programs. In addition, the study of psychology is good preparation for a wealth of professions, as many employers are interested in the abilities that psychology majors possess, including strong writing, analysis, and critical thinking skills.
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