Career Paths for Psychology Majors to Consider

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for mental health support, translating into a high demand for counselors, psychologists, and other behavioral health professionals across a range of industries. Psychology majors, therefore, graduate with ample opportunities to pursue and career paths to follow.

Demand for Mental Health Professionals

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals in mental health fields are highly sought after, including:

  • Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors
  • Marriage and family therapists
  • Rehabilitation counselors
  • School and career counselors and advisors
  • Social workers
  • Community and social services specialists

Plus, more companies are adding mental health resources for their employees, who may still struggle with the stress and isolation of the pandemic. This need is echoed in the American Psychological Association’s 2022 Work and Well-being Survey, which found that 81 percent of future job seekers plan to look for employers that support mental health. Employers struggling to fill their staff are taking note.

The Attraction of a Psychology Degree

Either by correlation or causation with demand, the study of psychology is growing in popularity. The number of high school students taking the AP exam in psychology was under 4,000 in 1992. In 2021, that total jumped to more than 260,000. Psychology was the third most popular college major for high school students graduating in 2022 and 2023.

Earning a degree in psychology is popular because, at its core, it offers a way to help people while earning a good salary. Plus, it applies to many industries and comes with flexibility and mobility. The demand also provides job security.

Career Paths for Psychology Degrees

While it’s true that post-graduate education gives you more opportunities across multiple fields and industries, you can pursue careers in psychology with a four-year degree. In fact, the American Psychological Association lists 70 jobs you can qualify for with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, including:

  • Research assistant. You could work in a psychology lab at a university, business, or government agency and interview people, observe behaviors, and collect data.
  • Career counselor. You could help people choose a career path or change careers.
  • Psychiatric technician. You could lead recreational activities, monitor vital signs and behavior, and assist those with mental health issues in daily tasks.

A psychology degree gives you a solid understanding of how people behave and why they might act in certain ways. You can use this understanding of the human mind in jobs such as:

  • Marketing or advertising manager. You could use your research and persuasive skills to help a company promote or sell its products.
  • Human resources manager. You could help a company recruit, hire, and train staff and keep employees engaged.
  • Business manager. You could oversee operations in a company or an office since you’ll have a solid understanding of how customers, employees, other managers, and suppliers think.

With a psychology degree, you also build soft skills that can benefit you in any career. For example, the understanding you gain from a psychology degree can help you work as part of a team, respond to crises, and build a solid network.

Graduate Degree Career Options

A graduate degree, whether you choose studies in applied, clinical, experimental, industrial-organizational, or forensic psychology, expands your career options, including:

  • Social worker. You could work with people or families to help them overcome challenges such as chronic illness, addiction, homelessness, or reentry into communities after prison.
  • Academic advisor. You could work with college or university students to help them identify their interests and plan their studies.
  • Social services manager. You could work for a state or local government to organize and manage programs for the community. These programs might support children, assist veterans, fight hunger, or help people overcome substance abuse issues.
  • Behavioral counselor. You could help people who have mental health challenges such as autism, depression, or phobias.
  • Executive coach. You could help C-suite executives become better leaders.
  • Experimental psychologist. You could perform research at a university or in a company.

You can earn a doctoral degree in clinical, counseling, or school psychology. With one of these degrees, you might pursue a career as a:

  • Psychologist. You could work in a range of positions, such as a school, sports, experimental, or research psychologist.
  • Consultant. You could work for an organization as a performance coach, or you could evaluate protocols and processes to help companies improve.
  • Professor. You could teach psychology at a college or university.

APU Degrees in Psychology

Azusa Pacific University offers two undergraduate psychology degree programs.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

This program focuses on human behavior, cognition, and problem-solving at home, work, and in the community. It’s a good choice for students seeking careers in social services, human resources, administration, and public relations, as well as for graduate study in applied psychology.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

This program focuses on the human brain, neuropsychological functioning, and psychological research. It’s designed for students who want to go on to graduate school or careers in psychology; physical, occupational, or speech therapy; neuroscience; or research.

If you’re a transfer student who has earned at least 15 units, APU offers a bachelor’s degree completion program where you can earn your psychology degree at several APU campus locations or online.

Open Doors with Your Psychology Degree

Psychology majors can enter the job market with extra confidence, thanks to the valuable skills they’ve developed and the high demand for them. Furthermore, the degree opens doors across a vast range of industries.

Are you ready to take the next step toward your future? Explore psychology programs at APU today.