Psychology studies the mind and behaviour of humans. It allows us to probe unanswered questions such as how the brain functions under stress, learn the language, remembers facts, or how mental illness may affect its functioning. You can specialize in certain areas of psychology during your psychology degree, such as clinical, educational and counselling, neuro, sport, exercise and forensic.
What can you do with a psychology diploma?
Psychology degree holders have many options depending on their interests and specializations.
- Social worker
- Educational psychologist
- Human resources manager
- Research positions
- Media roles
While you can get many jobs with an undergraduate degree in psychology, certain roles require more study. Even if you don’t need to study further, most psychology jobs can be trained on the job. This will allow you to continue your professional development.
A psychology degree can help you pursue a career in the arts or science, depending on your interests. There are many career options in public and private healthcare, education and mental health support. These roles can be advisory, research-led and treatment-led as well as therapeutic.
Other roles that psychology graduates may not be familiar with include those in media or other creative industries. Below are brief descriptions of some of the more common and less-common careers that a psychology degree can lead to.
Therapy and healthcare psychology careers
You can become a chartered psychologist by further training and study. This highly skilled role will allow you to work with clients and patients of all backgrounds. To better understand and help with psychological and/or behavioral issues, you will analyze thoughts, behaviors and emotions. You can choose to become a chartered psychologist and specialize in any of the following areas: occupational psychology, education psychology, mental health, or sport psychology.
Psychotherapists work with people, couples, families and groups to help them overcome their psychological problems, such as stress, addiction, and emotional issues.
You can be a psychotherapist with a variety of approaches depending on the area you chose to focus in your degree. These include cognitive-behavioural techniques, psychoanalytic, and psychodynamic therapies as well as drama therapy, art therapy, humanistic, integrative, and experiential psychotherapy.
Social workers are people who work with people going through difficult times in their lives, including children and the elderly, victims of crime or abuse, and people with disabilities. Social workers are responsible for protecting these people and providing support to help them improve their lives. Social workers can work in schools, hospitals, or other public agencies. They may specialize in helping vulnerable adults or children.
Counselors help people to come to terms with their lives by exploring emotions and feelings. Your clients will be treated confidentially and you’ll need to listen carefully. Counselors must be able to listen, empathize and offer respect to their clients. They also need to be able to analyze the issues in order to help them make better decisions and cope with their circumstances. Counseling, like psychotherapy, can include areas such as marriage, family, addiction, rehabilitation, education and grief. It can also be used to guide clients in career planning and parenting.
Education psychology careers
There are many options for psychology graduates who want to work in education. Psychology graduates can become teachers at primary, secondary, or tertiary levels. They might work in social services, supporting learning at all ages, and/or within prison to support young offenders.
You will need to have the same qualifications as other psychologists (a master’s degree) and additional training in order to become an educational psychologist. This role is responsible for the development of young people in education settings. It aims to enhance learning and deal with emotional and social learning problems.
You will need additional teaching qualifications to teach psychology depending on your level. You will need to have a second qualification in order to enter tertiary education (colleges or universities). Higher education roles are likely to include both research and teaching (see below).
Research in psychology is a career path for psychologists
Research careers in psychology can be found in universities, research agencies, and public and private companies. Although there are many university-based careers, they tend to include teaching and research. Other research careers are more diverse and could include contributing to industry-relevant issues or policy development. A charity or non-profit organization could also be a place you work. This would allow you to conduct research on issues such as brain damage, speech impediments, and the effects of illegal and legal drugs on psychological health.
Psychology degrees are less common than other careers.
There are many opportunities available for psychology graduates at bachelor’s level outside of healthcare and education if they know where to look. Because of the many transferable skills that you will gain from your degree and the widespread recognition of the benefits of analytical and psychological expertise, this is a great opportunity. Psychology graduates can work in many sectors of society including media, criminal justice, rehabilitation, business, management, sports and public agencies, the legal sector, and other areas. Below are some less common career options for those with a psychology degree.
Media and advertising jobs
Although it might not seem like a natural choice for psychology students, media careers offer many opportunities and the opportunity to use the skills that a psychology degree will teach. Psychology graduates have the ability to provide valuable insight into human behavior and can also offer insight. Psychology graduates can take on media roles in all departments, including production, scheduling, management, and writing.
Human Resources and Communications Careers
Psychology is about understanding people and their thinking, which makes human resources and communications careers a good match. These roles are available in the private and public sectors and include areas like employee satisfaction, professional growth, training, recruitment and PR, payroll, and internal communications.
Management and business careers
Psychology graduates can also pursue business and management careers because they have a good understanding of people and data. While you will need to have more experience and training before becoming a manager, it is possible to start your career in business consulting, marketing, sales or business development.
A psychology degree can also be a great foundation for IT, finance, legal sector, government administration, and market research careers.