Are you trying to find a job with a bachelor’s degree in psychology? While earning a graduate degree is required for many psychology jobs, the fact is that approximately 75% of students who earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology do not go to graduate school. According to one study, only about 25% of psychology undergraduates end up working in a field that is closely related to their major.
Some students may find these numbers discouraging, but what it really means is that a bachelor’s degree in psychology is more robust than many might think. While you might not end up working in a field directly related to psychology, you will be taking the many skills you learned while earning a degree and applying them to your chosen line of work.
Check Out All of Your Options
When you begin searching for a job with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, it can be all too easy to become fixated on specific job titles. Instead of looking only at a particular job title you have in mind, start your search by casting a wide net. Look at related positions that require similar skills. Keep an open mind about jobs in different fields that may require a similar skill-set.
For example, a bachelor’s degree holder might start an online search for jobs as a psychiatric technician. In reality, a variety of related positions job titles might include ‘program manager,’ ‘developmental coordinator,’ ‘mental health specialist,’ ‘behavior specialist,’ and ‘case manager’ might also be a great match for the job candidate’s particular interests and skills.
As you begin your job search, particularly when looking online, start by focusing on geographic location and degree requirements rather than on specific job titles. Don’t become fixated on the keyword ‘psychology’ in your job search, because many employers won’t be using it in their job description. Instead, focus on looking for positions that match your skills.
As you plan for your future career, start by making yourself aware of the many different options that are available. By carefully planning your future and being aware of the different opportunities that are out there, you can find a career that is perfectly suited to your educational background, skills and personality.
Develop Your Resume
Once you have a better idea of what you are looking for in terms of your job search, it is time to write or polish your resume. The Job Search site here at About.com has tons of excellent resources, examples, and advice that can get you started.
One thing to remember – you might need to go through several revisions and rewrites before you get your resume to be what you want and need it to be. Be sure to highlight your strengths and skills and how these abilities will help you succeed in the position for which you are applying.
Evaluate Your Skills
When you are looking for a job with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, it is important to start by assessing your marketable skills. While the majority of students who earn an undergraduate degree in psychology do not go on to graduate school, it is important to remember that having a bachelor’s degree in psychology is great preparation for careers in a wide variety of fields.
Psychology undergraduate programs can vary considerably in terms of goals, but there are some very useful skills that these programs tend to focus on including:
- Communication skills: In addition to gaining a solid understanding of how people communicate, psychology majors also learn how to read, write and present information to others.
- Research skills: Psychology undergraduate spend a great deal of type researching, analyzing and synthesizing complex information.
- Interpersonal skills: Understanding the needs of other people, solving problems in a group and interacting well with others are skills valued by virtually all employers.
- Statistics skills: Knowing how to interpret, evaluate, and present numerical information can be an extremely valuable job skill, particularly if you are in a position such as a program manager or a market research.
- Computer literacy: All of that online research, writing, and statistics homework you did paid off in another way – it helped you develop great computer skills. You probably have a solid grasp of how to use a computer, the Internet, and many different types of software programs.
- Problem-solving skills: Psychology students are able to strengthen their problem-solving skills by learning about how people solve problems, the best strategies for different situations, and how to systematically evaluate all different types of problems.
No matter what type of job you ultimately decide to apply for, be confident in your skills at abilities. Be sure to highlight your strengths and don’t sell yourself short. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree often overlook many of the important skills that they have acquired during their education, but stressing this knowledge and expertise might just be the key to landing that job.
Learn more about what you can do with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.