What Can You Do with a Psychology Degree? 44 Fulfilling Career Paths to Consider


Whether it’s your fascination with the human mind, behavior and interaction, your desire to forge new ground through applied research or simply your wish to use your knowledge to help others, you find yourself drawn to a degree in psychology.

You’re not alone — psychology is one of the most popular college majors, and with good reason. Studying the factors that influence who we are and how our environments affect our actions is a fascinating subject.

Sure, your courses would be exciting. You’d meet intriguing people and probably get to conduct some interesting research, but then what? What can you do with a psychology degree after college? Will it help to equip you to make a positive impact in your community?

The truth is that a degree in psychology can open several doors for you, and those options only multiply as you advance your education further. Keep reading to learn about the various ways you could blaze new trails in this field.

So, what can a psychology degree do for you?

As a psychology major, you won’t just study psychological theories and concepts. You’ll also master many other application skills, such as research methodology, research design, data analysis and interpretation. You’ll learn to weigh evidence and ambiguity, and develop the skills to reflect on their findings.

Psychology majors utilize critical and creative thinking and a scientific approach to problem solving. They also develop the ability to apply psychological principles to organizations and at the individual level. Psychology majors develop exceptional communication abilities and an enhanced understanding of sociocultural and international diversity, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).

Psychology majors can expect to earn a median annual salary of $45,000 upon completion of a bachelor’s degree. Ninety-four percent of psychology majors obtain employment after graduating, with 79 percent working full-time, according to a study by the Georgetown University Center on Education.

When broken down by industry, most psychology majors find themselves working in management and health service industries, though others may find employment in education, financial services, public administration, professional services, sales and community service.

But what specific types of careers can you pursue? Keep reading for a breakdown by education level.

What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in psychology?

The important thing to remember is that an education in psychology can be very versatile. The breadth of knowledge and skills you’d acquire at the undergraduate level can prepare you to work in just about any industry. While the possibilities for employment are plentiful, there are some common options.

The APA lists the following positions as viable options for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology:

  • Social and human services assistants
  • Psychiatric aides
  • Medical and health service managers
  • Health educators
  • Preschool teachers
  • Corrections officers
  • Probation officers
  • High school psychology teachers

But when it comes time to finding a job upon graduation, for which types of jobs will employers be seeking psychology graduates? Some positions are simply more attainable than others, due to increased growth and demand.

We used real-time job analysis software to examine more than 31,000 job postings from last year that required a bachelor’s degree in psychology.1 The data helped us identify the job titles in highest demand:

  • Case manager
  • Social worker
  • Mental health technician
  • Human resources generalist
  • Mental health specialist
  • Behavioral coach
  • Health manager
  • Program eligibility specialist
  • Social services coordinator
  • Behavioral assistant
  • Academic advisor

What can you do with a master’s degree in psychology?

If you have hopes of furthering your education past the undergraduate level, many more opportunities await, including therapist and counselor positions. About half of psychology majors go on to pursue a graduate degree.

Here are some of the titles you’d typically qualify for with a master’s degree in psychology, according to the APA:

  • Mental health counselor
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Rehabilitation counselor
  • Educational, vocational and school counselors
  • Substance abuse/behavioral disorder counselors
  • Human resources managers
  • Advertising and promotions managers
  • Training and development specialist

Again, it’s important to remember that some positions are more prevalent than others. After analyzing more than 30,000 psychology positions posted last year that required a master’s degree, we uncovered the most common job titles.2 Here’s what we found:

  • School psychologist
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Social worker
  • Mental health counselor
  • Mental health professional
  • Mental health therapist
  • Behavioral coach
  • Clinical social worker
  • Mental health specialist
  • Clinical manager
  • Clinical supervisor
  • Health manager
  • Program eligibility specialist
  • Research psychologist
  • Psychology instructor
  • Mental health clinician
  • Health director

Create an impactful career

It turns out you can build a meaningful career in this field that fascinates you. You want to inspire positive change in the world. You want a career that allows you to make a difference. A degree in psychology could be the bridge to take you there, no matter where you path may lead after graduation. So what are you waiting for?

Now that you have a better idea of what you can do with a psychology degree, check out the check out the Wheelock College Psychology and Human Development page to learn how we can help prepare you to pursue a career you’re passionate about.

1Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 31,405 job postings that require a bachelor’s degree in psychology, January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016).

2Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 30,427 job postings that require a master’s degree in psychology, January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016).