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Is There Anything You Can Do to Make a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology More Marketable After School?

by Susan Sherwood, Demand Media

    You’ve passed Intro to Psych, Developmental Psych and Abnormal Psych, among many other psychology classes. You have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and you’re looking for a job. An undergraduate degree doesn’t prepare you to work as a psychologist or counselor, but the courses you took gave you skills that employers look for. As you create your resume and prepare for interviews, think about what you’ve learned that is marketable and present those abilities to potential employers. If you focus on what employers want, and if you are flexible about the field, there’s a job for you.

    Highlight Your Strengths

    Skills you needed for psychology classes, such as reading and writing, are important to many jobs. During your study of psychology, you had to examine vast amounts of content to identify important points and put that information into reports or summaries. Through analytical courses you learned to identify problems and collect, assess and report data. Your knowledge of human interactions can make you good at listening, speaking publicly, working in groups and understanding social cues and body language. Specific psychology classes gave you knowledge of how humans function in areas such as thinking, problem solving, information processing and perception of the environment. With these skills you can lead groups, provide background knowledge for projects and influence others.

    Note Your Other Skills

    Your psychology program has also given you experience in many general job-related skills. You’ve used computers extensively for word-processing, Internet research, e-mail and statistical programs. Locating and evaluating the usefulness of information both in print and online was part of your classwork. You had to consider problems, analyze data and make decisions. To get a degree you needed time management skills. You learned to deal with stress. You set a goal, completed the necessary steps and achieved it. In addition, if you did any work in research or outreach programs, you learned to apply classroom information to the real world.

    Investigate Related Fields

    If you have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, many fields are open to you. Some are related to psychology, and these will generally be support-staff positions. Consider looking into social services, where your degree has prepared you to interact with individuals and groups. Potential jobs include caseworker and employment counselor. Non-profit, school, health and government agencies may have work for you, including career counselor, community organization worker, corrections officer, teacher, fund raiser, coach, financial aid counselor, psychiatric or mental health aide, police officer, recreation leader, veterans counselor or victim advocate.

    Consider Alternative Fields

    If you are open-minded, you can become happily employed in a field that seems unrelated to psychology. However, during your undergraduate program you learned skills that apply to the business world. You are eligible for occupations that require personal interaction, including benefits manager, claims supervisor, customer service representative, real estate agent and retail sales clerk. In addition, in many jobs your knowledge of humans will come in handy, such as advertising representative, employment interviewer, loan officer, market research analyst, news writer and personnel recruiter. If you enjoyed research and statistics, consider wok as a statistician, computer programmer, database administrator or systems analyst.

    Style Your World With Color

    References

    • Princeton Review: Top 10 College Majors
    • Careers in Psychology: Opportunities in a Changing World; Tara L. Kuther and Robert D. Morgan
    • The Psychology Major: Career Options and Strategies for Success; R. Eric Landrum and Stephen F. Davis

    About the Author

    Living in upstate New York, Susan Sherwood is a researcher who has been writing within educational settings for more than 10 years. She has co-authored papers for Horizons Research, Inc. and the Capital Region Science Education Partnership. Sherwood has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany.

    Photo Credits

    • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

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