As the study of the mind and behaviors, psychology is really the study of us—of how we think, why we act, and what drives us, frightens us, inspires us, and frustrates us. It covers a lot, so it should be no surprise that careers in psychology cover a lot, as well.
If you’re looking to transform a psychology degree into a rewarding career, you can find opportunities in numerous fields. You just have to decide which psychology career is right for you. Some of the most interesting jobs you can pursue with a psychology degree include:1
Those working as psychology researchers explore everything from neurological impulses to the way our environment and upbringing affect our decision-making. If you like finding answers to questions, psychology research is a career path to explore.
How can a psychology degree lead to a job in education? Most directly, you could teach psychology. But you can also use psychological research into how we learn to help train teachers to improve learning outcomes. Or you can work at an administrative level, where your psychology expertise can help you develop curriculum and/or address disciplinary issues. A psychology degree can even lead to a job at an educational nonprofit or government agency, where you can help make sure policies and programs are based on the best research into learning. If you like the idea of improving education, you’ll find plenty of ways a psychology degree can be useful.
As with education, law enforcement needs people with an understanding of psychology. For instance, forensic psychology professionals are specifically focused on determining the motivations and behavioral patterns of criminals. But forensic psychology isn’t the only psychology career within law enforcement. If you’re interested in helping make communities safer, you can work in community outreach programs focused on reducing the causes of crime, help train law enforcement officers to better read and react to potentially dangerous situations, or provide psychological data and expertise to crime prediction/prevention systems, among numerous other opportunities.
Consulting is a broad field, but many organizations use consultants, and many consultants utilize the principles of psychology. That’s because industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology consultants exist to help organizations address challenges and/or develop new strategies to overcome problems, which often requires an understanding of personnel and their behaviors. If you like solving real-world problems, you might excel as an I/O psychology consultant, helping organizations identify their employee’s strengths, improve their weaknesses, and develop high-performance teams that achieve organizational goals.
Influencing behavior can be a goal of many laws and regulations. “Sin taxes” exist to reduce our desire to indulge in harmful behaviors. Educational policies often include rewards and punishments designed to encourage schools to meet standards. To get these influencers right, policymakers need professionals who understand human behavior. If you like the idea of putting in place the laws and regulations that can better your community and/or nation, your psychology degree—and your understanding of behaviors—can help you launch a career at a think tank, in a government agency, or on the staff of an elected official.
Why do people buy what they buy? How can you convince them to buy something else? These questions are primarily about psychology, which makes most marketers amateur psychologists. But amateurs can only do so much without an assist from a professional. And that’s where you and your psychology degree can become valuable. The more you understand about human behaviors—and the more interested you are in creative persuasion—the more likely you are to succeed in a marketing career.
Regardless of which psychology career feels most suited to you, you can give yourself a leg up by earning a PhD in Psychology. With a doctorate in psychology, you’ll be able to provide advanced knowledge to any employer, which can elevate your credentials and help you qualify for the best jobs.
Many colleges of psychology even include specializations to help you focus your skills. Common specializations within PhD in Psychology programs include Educational Psychology, Health Psychology, Social Psychology, Research in Psychology, and Teaching in Psychology. You may decide to design your own specialization. You can also choose a specific doctoral program in psychology, such as PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (I/O). And, thanks to online learning, you can earn your doctorate without significantly disrupting your life.
When you earn an online PhD in Psychology, you can study from home at whatever time of day works best for your schedule. All you need is internet access. With it, online education gives you the power to complete your courses and earn your degree without driving to a campus. It’s a level of convenience well-suited for working professionals. There is so much you can do with a psychology degree. With a PhD in Psychology, you can do even more—and qualify for the career in psychology you want most.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a PhD in Psychology degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
1Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of a degree program.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.