Why Study Psychology?
Many people are interested in psychology, because they are interested in their own motivations and the motivations of others. Psychology is the study of people, our thoughts and motivations. It involves everything from education to mental to employment to romantic relationships. Anyone who has graduated with a degree in psychology has a broad education with many classes that are based in science. Jobs in psychology are going to grow by more than 20% by the year 2020, which is much higher than most professions are projecting.
But a psychology degree prepares individuals in ways that are useful in other fields too, because of the kinds of coursework psychology majors are required to complete for their degrees. Even though it is technically a social science, psychologists use the scientific method to solve problems and gain insights. Research methods and statistics are a big part of the coursework. Psychology majors also practice critical thinking, a skill which is useful in many kinds of occupations. And because they have learned to understand peoples’ thinking and motivations, psychology majors often have insights as to how to deal with people in the workplace and make effective supervisors and managers.
What Kinds of Jobs Does Someone With a Psychology Degree Do?
The kind of jobs psychology majors do usually involve working in good conditions, like schools or offices. Besides the many other jobs which psychology majors might be qualified for because of their skills, these are the kinds of jobs a psychology degree specifically trains individuals to perform:
- Psychologists – With a median pay of $77,030 per year, this is a job which is attractive to many people because it involves helping people work out their psychological problems. They will need at least a Master’s degree to work as psychologists, and can also work in research environments.
- Psychiatrists – This profession is also more like a doctor because the individuals working in this profession need to also earn the same degree a doctor does so they can prescribe medication when necessary. They can work in clinical settings and may do research.
- School Counselors – Working primarily in school offices, school counselors help students with many kinds of problems, and help them choose career paths and how to get there. A
- Substance Abuse Counselors – With a median pay of $43,300, substance abuse counselors can expect a lot of job opportunities as there is expected to be a 23% growth in jobs, which is much faster than average. They may work in hospitals, private practice, prisons or other environments, and will need at least a Bachelor’s degree.
- Training and Development Specialists – Because of their understanding of human motivations and thinking, psychology majors are particularly suited to help in areas where there are training programs for employees. Median pay is $60,360 and job growth is expected to be 11%, which is faster than average. Work conditions are generally attractive and training and development specialists spend their time giving presentations, working with people, and developing training programs. Individuals who want to work in this area need at least a Bachelor’s degree.
- Survey Researchers – With a median pay of $54, 270 per year, this is an attractive job, but job growth is only expected to be 2%, so jobs will be hard to find. Survey researchers will need at least a Master’s or Doctoral degree and work in many kinds of environment, such as polling locations, colleges, government agencies and businesses. Because of the emphasis on statistics, psychology majors are qualified for this work, which includes conducting surveys and then analyzing data so that it can be used by all these groups and organizations.
- Postsecondary Teachers – These individuals work in colleges and universities mostly, where they instruct other students and conduct research and write articles about the profession. The median pay is $76,000 per year and job growth is expected to be 15%, which is much faster than average. Most of those who want to work in these kinds of positions will need to obtain a Doctoral degree first.
Taking Online Classes
The best thing about taking online classes is being able to do your work on your own terms. You have the flexibility of doing your work from home, and you can wait until you are home from work and your children are in bed. You have the convenience of being able to do your work when and how you want without leaving the house, or doing it at lunch time at work.
On the other hand, you are responsible for your own schedule. The thing many students suffer from the most when taking online classes is scheduling the time to do what they need. They may save work til the end of the week because that is when it is due, only to find that they needed more time to complete the assignment.
Finding a way to stay on track and motivated is important. The key to success is making a reasonable schedule from the beginning and sticking to it. Students who feel as though they have fallen behind should consult with the teacher, and should also let their academic advisor know what’s going on.
Choosing an Online School
Just because you’re taking classes online doesn’t mean you’re not a real student. You should find a school that offers you the same support it offers other students, including these kinds of services :
- Admissions Advising – Did they get your transcript? Are you going to make the deadline? Is this even the right program for you? There should be admissions representatives available to help you get your application in.
- Academic Advisors – This is especially important if you are taking classes online. An academic advisor will help you choose your classes, give you advice during the semester, and make sure you stay on track to graduate.
- Financial Aid – If you qualify for financial aid, you may be able to receive loans, scholarships and grants to help you pay for school. You won’t have to pay back scholarships or grants. A financial aid advisor should be available to help you navigate the often complicated application process and help you understand your awards.
- Career Counseling – You don’t want to graduate with a new degree and then not have any idea what to do with it. A career counselor should be available to help you prepare well ahead of time so that you are ready with your resume and know where to search for jobs. Many employers keep job listings and make their alumni lists available so you will have contacts in your field upon graduation.