Job Options with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology
Of course, not all psychology majors decide to earn a doctorate degree. In fact, approximately three-quarters of all students who earn an undergraduate degree do not continue on to graduate school. So what kinds of careers do these people have? While the job selection, pay, and opportunities are not as plentiful at the undergraduate level, there are a wide variety of career options for people with a bachelor's degree in psychology.
Some of the most obvious career opportunities are in the health and social services fields. For example, you might find work as a case manager, psychiatric technician, or psychosocial rehabilitation specialist working in a mental health care office, hospital, or school setting. In such positions, you will need to have a great deal of empathy for clients and be capable of juggling the various demands of providing patient care, completing paperwork, and maintaining accurate records. These jobs can be challenging, but truly rewarding if you have a passion for helping people improve their lives and discover their full potential.
How long does it take to become a psychologist?
The amount of time you spend training to become a psychologist depends a lot on the specialty area you choose. If you are interested in becoming a licensed clinical psychologist, you'll need to first earn a bachelor's degree (4 to 5 years of college) before earning a doctorate degree in psychology (4 to 7 years of graduate school). In most cases, you can estimate that it will take between 8 to 12 years to become a psychologist.
It is also important to realize that some of the career options that are open to you may not be quite so evident. Because psychology programs emphasize intrapersonal skills, your background qualifies you to work in jobs that rely heavily on written communication and the ability to work with others. Some jobs in this area include marketing, sales, advertising, and human resources.
Because psychology majors are expected to know a great deal about the research process, jobs that involve collecting data, organizing information, and preparing results are also good matches. This strong research background makes psychology majors well suited to jobs as market researchers, library assistants, probation officers, laboratory assistants, or technical writers.