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pinkparaluies's avatar

What can you REALLY do with a degree in Psychology?

Asked by pinkparaluies (1878points) October 27th, 2009

Deciding if I want to actually get my degree in psych. Any kind of help would be… helpful.

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22 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

You can get into grad school. Other than that, not much. Didn’t they warn you of that when you were deciding on a Major? They did us.

pinkparaluies's avatar

@pdworkin I’m signing up for my first classes right now. I’d enjoy working in a rehabilitation facility – but we’ll see. /n00b-question

dpworkin's avatar

Check with the rehab facilities first. Not that Psychology is a bad Major: I’m loving it, but it doesn’t qualify you, for instance, to become a psychotherapist. For that you need an advanced degree.

pinkparaluies's avatar

Thanks a lot. ‘Really appreciate the help. Also, very glad that youre enjoying Psych! :)

ragingloli's avatar

mess with people’s heads, manipulate them into doing your bidding without them even realising.

that is what I would do.

pinkparaluies's avatar

@ragingloli – I will become the puppet master.

robmandu's avatar

Something you realize after you’ve been working for a while is that often, just having a college degree in anything is all that you need.

I work with one programmer (15 years experience) who has his B.A. degree in English.

So, while a bachelor’s degree in Psych might not get you gainful employment in that particular field, just having a degree at all can often be your foot in the door.

Oh, and I went to Seaworld this past weekend and one of their new killer whale trainers has her B.S. in psychology. It took her years prior to her degree to prepare for working with orcas, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some form of college degree was required for the (highly coveted) position.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Shouldn’t the question be, “What do you want to do with it?” If you intend to pursue any major at all, that’s the question you should be asking.

If you mean to help people with their problems, you might consider a degree in social work instead. There is a shorter path to clinical certification than in psych, where you pretty much have to have a Ph.D. to get into clinical practice. Most psych majors who do go on past undergrad don’t end up in clinical practice; they wind up in academia, education, or go to the dark side and become “Human Resources Specialists.”

inkvisitor's avatar

One of my undergraduate degrees is in psychology (BA, not BS) – I was on my way to graduate school for clinical psychology but after the psychology GRE something clicked and I knew it wasn’t for me. Other than graduate school, though, there wasn’t much “professional” work out there. Maybe on the social work end, but again, graduate degrees are preferred. The BA was a good experience, though…

avvooooooo's avatar

Go to grad school.

Or get on a Q&A site and spout psychobabble citing your degree as “proof” you know what you’re talking about.

proXXi's avatar

Criticize and mindfuck others.

gailcalled's avatar

@robmandu: As usual, I was speed-reading and thought you said that one of the killer whates had a degree in Psych. Why not? They’r smart mammals and have their handlers well-trained.

Facade's avatar

You can do whatever you want. People just want to see that you a degree in something.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I have a degree in psychology and may be able to help you. It really depends on what degree you are talking about. I have a BS as opposed to a Masters.

With a Bachelors in Psychology you can do a lot of social work positions. But only lower-level ones. You can work for the state as a case-worker. You can work for nonprofits. You can work for counseling centers at lower end positions. I worked in a counseling office as a Behavior Support Specialist. I took children who were in counseling out into the community and reinforced their positive behaviors. It was a really great job. Right now I work in low-income housing. I provide events and resources to those who live there.

You can also do office work and other random jobs as many work positions don’t require a specific degree.

With a Masters level degree you can do direct-therapy and higher level social work.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

You really need a Masters degree or higher to get into the serious psychology stuff you learn in your college classes, i.e., therapy. It’s not the most useful major if you don’t intend to go on to higher education. But as @RedPowerLady said, it’s not like you won’t have certain job opportunities available to you.

Until the economy improves, a Psychology bachelor’s is less likely to land you a job right out of college. Then again, any bachelor’s isn’t guaranteed to land you a job right now. My sister majored in Psychology and she’s currently working at a fancy lingerie store. Not exactly what she spent those four years to do. She wants to be a school counselor or something, but for that she’ll need to go back to school for a while and get certified.

Psychology is a really interesting field. Don’t shove it off because it’s not the most useful BA without a higher degree to go along with it. It all depends on what you want to do once you get your degree, whether it be going to grad school or straight to the work force.

avvooooooo's avatar

Bachelor’s level jobs are very limited and few and far between. Graduate school allows you to specialize and do something useful.

Judi's avatar

You can get an interview for a government job that requires you have a degree. A lot of those jobs don’t care what the degree is in.

loser's avatar

My ex sells insurance with her degree.

RedMosquitoMM's avatar

I’d advocate getting an internship or part-time job in the field or something similar. That way you’ll know if you really like psychology in practice instead of just in the text book. That’s a common problem among many friends and classmates who started off or even finished college with psych degree…and my dad.

snowberry's avatar

I know a young woman who has a double major in Psychology and Japanese. She’s also had a bunch of classes in French. She’s on her way to Japan to study for a semester.

She plans to get a job with the CIA. She’s a brilliant girl, and I’m guessing she’ll do really well.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

@snowberry Psychology and Japanese, huh? Interesting! Maybe she’ll become a therapist for all the overworked Japanese people out there? Lord knows there are plenty of them!

smudges's avatar

Human resources, parole officer, sales reps, psych technicians, career counselors(like in high schools or colleges), market researchers, child care workers…the list goes on. Some may need a few classes in another field, like a parole officer, but basically any job that requires a knowledge of behavior would be applicable. I have a BA in psych and right out of college I got a job at a psych hospital doing testing – including IQ and the mother of psych testing, (and the most fun), the Rorschach. I had planned on getting a PhD, but got distracted by marriage. :(
I’ve never regretted going into psychology and throughout the years it has served me well.

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