Career Options for Students of Psychology

Psychology is a field that has grown in popularity over recent years, with no real signs of slowing down. The benefits of studying psychology are well understood by prospective employers and are applicable to each and every walk of life. Not only does studying psychology or a related subject give you an enhanced understanding of how relationships work, it will also develop your communications skills, critical thinking and understanding of group dynamics. All are highly prized qualities for many employers and can lead to a variety of roles, both in the field of psychology and outside it.

Psychology is currently one of the most popular degree majors, and the good news is that career prospects are wide and varied once you graduate. You will need to undertake a Masters degree and a Doctorate in psychology before taking a national exam to enable you to practice as a licensed psychologist. However, before choosing a study path, it is wise to look at the career options and see if a specialized course might be more suited to your interests.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Industrial and Organizational Psychology focuses on the workplace and ways to create a more productive and satisfying environment, looking at individuals and their relationship to their workplace. If you have an interest in increasing productivity and maximizing the growth of a working environment, then this could be the field for you. This is great for critical thinkers and those who are always looking to improve a person’s work environment for the better.

Social Psychology

This is the area that explores why individuals might act a certain way within a social context, examining the social pressures or group dynamics that influence behavior. Through analyzing human behavior in a social setting, they seek to determine what factors can affect behavior. Perhaps your interest is in intergroup dynamics or prejudice, discrimination and attitude formation, in which case this might be the right direction for your career.

Sports Psychology

Are you interested in what makes the top athletes tick and how mental processes can help athletes reach the top of their game? Sports psychologists focus on the psychological factors that affect athletic performance and how they can manipulate psychology to help people perform to the best of their ability. They work with individual athletes, teams, coaches and referees to implement strategies to help improve performance, increase motivation and to deal with the stresses of competition.

Clinical Psychology

Perhaps working one-on-one with a client to diagnose and help them manage their condition is more appealing to you. Clinical psychology incorporates assessing a client's needs, developing treatment programs and working in partnership with health and education professionals as necessary to diagnose and treat a variety of mental, behavioral and emotional disorders. You may wish to work with vulnerable groups, helping people to overcome obstacles; if you do, then you can gain a degree in addiction studies and see what addiction studies jobs are available.

If you are interested in learning about human behavior and what makes people act a certain way, as well as helping them to be happier and more able to deal with life events, then there is a role using psychology for you. Whatever avenue of psychology appeals to you, it is clear there exists the career that matches it.