Congratulations — and thank you — for your decision to major in Psychology so that you can use the professional skills you develop in your Bachelor’s program to serve, love, and help others in psychologically-focused careers. While the curriculum provides you with everything you need to go on to graduate-level study, there are a wide array of career paths you can travel with an undergraduate degree.
Psychology is a discipline that’s comprised of many subfields and specializations, including:
Let’s explore a few of the numerous career options an undergraduate psychology major can pursue, as well as some of the most exciting that require a graduate degree.
Behavioral Health Case Manager
In this role, you coordinate treatment plans for people with issues including mental illness or eating disorders. Some case managers specialize in a specific population, such as the elderly or children’s services. These professionals assess their clients’ overall mental states, help them establish long-term goals, and connect them with the resources they need to successfully manage their situations, such as housing, employment, or support groups.
Substance Abuse Counselor
This is one of the fastest-growing careers in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 23 percent growth in employment from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. This is attributable to the large number of people who continue to seek addiction and mental health counseling. It’s also partly due to the shift in the legal system that finds courts recommending rehabilitation over incarceration. Some state laws require certification or licensure to be a substance abuse counselor.
Psy Techs work in psychiatric hospitals, residential mental health facilities, and other health care settings providing care for people who have mental illness and developmental disabilities. Technicians typically monitor their patients’ conditions and assist in the rehabilitation programs. They often assist in the administering of oral and injectable medications to mentally ill patients. Psy Techs may also help patients with self-care and personal hygiene tasks. The BLS notes that the demand for this occupation will be affected “by the growth of the older population. Older people typically experience higher rates of cognitive illnesses than younger people do.”
If you love working with young people and seek out a career in the education field, school counselor is an ideal choice. In this capacity, you help students develop the academic and social skills needed to succeed in school. You might work with troubled children having problems both at home and in school, while also supporting their parents through stressful times. You’ll need a master’s degree, and possibly a state-issued credential to practice. Some states also require a teaching license or classroom experience, notes the BLS.
Many of the skills you learn within a psychology bachelor’s program provide training for jobs outside the field, and Human Resources is a great example. If you enjoy a corporate or organizational setting, working in HR gives you the chance to create and implement personnel strategies and policies. You might recruit and screen job applicants, oversee the administration of employee benefits, assess worker performance, and execute a variety of other duties that are essential to organizational and company success.
Marriage and Family Therapist
This is another rapidly growing field in psychology, with employment projected to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026 due to the increasing use of integrated care. While you will need a master’s degree, licensure, and thousands of intern hours to practice, it’s the perfect career choice if you’re passionate about helping people manage and overcome problems with family and other relationships.
Want to combine your interest in criminal justice with a career in psychology? A forensic psychologist is a court-designated expert witness who’s responsible for determining if a defendant is competent to stand trial. They perform thorough psychological questioning and extensive testing to evaluate the individual and provide treatment and sentencing recommendations. Forensic psychologists are well-versed in the standards of the American justice system, and typically work with law enforcement personnel, the State attorney, and public defenders. You’ll need a graduate education for this career, but it’s a dynamic and rewarding one.
If athletics is your passion, a career in sports psychology puts you face-to-face with athletes and others hoping to improve their performance. You might serve as a consultant for a high school, university, or professional sports team helping training coaches develop injury rehabilitation and team-building programs. You could enjoy a private practice in which you provide counseling to athletes undergoing career transitions. Equal parts psychology, physiology and kinesiology, a career as a sports psychologist lets you help athletes and other sports professionals optimize performance in their chosen game.
If you’d like to learn more about that which will allow you to serve others faithfully and wholeheartedly and you’re interested in a Christ-centered education, we’d love to introduce you to our Christian perspectives in Psychology at OKWU. To learn more about how Oklahoma Wesleyan University can help you pursue your calling, call us today at 918-335-6200 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.