Jobs You Can Get with a Psychology Degree
An undergraduate degree in psychology serves as an excellent foundation for graduate school, as well as a wide variety of careers, because it can provide you with a field-specific skills, as well as general skills that can be applied to careers across many industries.
To get a better idea of just how broad your potential career choices are, take a look at our Job Board for Psychology Students & Grads tab below; it lists available job postings in occupations that are directly and indirectly related to psychology, as well as other similar academic fields.
Job Board for Psychology Students & Grads
More On What You Can Do with a Psychology Degree
Many psychology graduates apply their field-specific skills to the pursuit of an advanced degree, with the ultimate goal of becoming a psychologist. Other graduates can be found in teaching, social services, the media, information technology, marketing, politics, government agencies, and many other sectors of industry.
So, if you’re interested in a career in psychology, a degree in this field serves as an excellent foundation. On the other hand, if you’re interested in taking your talents elsewhere upon graduation, don’t worry; you won’t be short on career options because of the skills you’ll gain.
What Psychology Teaches You
Psychology is the scientific study of behavior, perception, feeling and thought. By exploring topics ranging from the basic nervous system to principles of perception, learning, and cognition, you’ll gain an understanding as to why people, and in some cases animals, think, feel, perceive and behave the way they do.
By studying psychology, you will also acquire knowledge of the central questions in psychology, of the methods that are used to gather data relevant to these questions, and of the range and quality of answers presently available.
Psychology integrates areas of knowledge that span the arts and the sciences, and in the process it provides you with a liberal education, as well as a particularly wide range of practical and professional skills.
Employable Skills You’ll Gain for Careers Related to Psychology
As a result of studying psychology, you’ll have the opportunity to earn a set of employable skills that is specific to careers closely related to psychology. These skills include:
• An understanding of physiological, emotional, cognitive and social determinants of behaviour
• Understanding of the major theories and histories of psychology
• A basic understanding of the various disciplines in psychology
• Familiarity and experience with psychological research methods, including data collection and analysis
• Experience with analyzing statistics and experimental design
• Knowledge and understanding of research ethics
• Specific knowledge and abilities related to areas of specialization, such as cognition, neuroscience, developmental psychology or others (if applicable)
Career Guides Directly Related to a Psychology Degree
Because of the skills you can gain, a degree in psychology serves as an excellent base for the following careers, many of which require further education, training and experience:
Transferrable Skills You’ll Gain
It’s not easy to identify many of the general and transferrable skills you earn while pursuing a psychology degree. This is largely due to the fact that a lot of these skills are negative rather than positive skills, such as the skill of not immediately jumping to conclusions, and of reserving judgment about alternative possibilities.
There all also positive skills gained as a result of these studies, of course, and they are much easier to identify. They typically include:
• Synthesizing and interpreting vast amounts of information
• Academic writing and presentation skills
• Critical thinking and analytical skills
• Abstract reasoning
• Communication and interpersonal skills
• Leadership and teamwork skills
• Organization and time management skills
• Goal setting and prioritizing
• Knowledge of and experience with basic techniques of statistical analysis
Because of these skills, you’ll make a competent employee in almost any industry. And after all, to many employers, the skill set you bring to the table is much more important than the specific field your degree is in.
So, while a psychology degree may not ‘get you a job’ per say (meaning an employer in a field unrelated to psychology probably won’t hire you just because of your psychology degree), it does provide you with a skill set that makes you a valuable asset for any organization.
Success Tip: Be aware, that in a cover letter or an interview, you should be prepared to explain how your skills are a great fit for the organization.
Other Careers Guides: Indirectly Related to Your Degree
Not interested in a career that’s directly related to your psychology degree? That’s okay, because of the transferrable skills you’re able to gain as a result of your studies you have plenty of career options, including:
Please Note: Some of the above listed careers require additional education, training and experience. Click on careers that are of interest to you to find out more about the specific requirements.
Job Postings Related to Your Psychology Degree!
Whether you're a psychology student looking for a job to help you pay for school, or a graduate looking for an entry or mid-level job, our job board has opportunities directly and indirectly related to your degree.
Psychology Graduate Salary
The salary you could earn as a psychology graduate first entering the workforce can vary drastically, and is heavily dependent on the following factors (not an inclusive list):
• Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)
• The industry in which you find work
• The type of job you have, and your level of responsibility
• The size and type of your employer
• The region in which you work
• Other work experience you may have accrued
• Other skills you may have
Psychology Graduate Salary Ontario: In 2011, the Ontario Council of Universities conducted a study regarding salary levels of the 2010 graduate class*. While they did not specifically include “Psychology” as a category, they did include related fields. Here’s what they found:
• Graduates in “Social Science” earn an average of $43,468
• Graduates in “Physical Science” earn an average of $42,181
• Graduates in “Other Arts and Science” earn an average of $50,760
*These statistics represent an average of the salary levels earned by respondents in their 1st year after graduation. Unfortunately, similar statistics for other Canadian provinces and the United States cannot be found from reputable sources.
Employability Tip: Consider an Advanced Degree
An advanced degree (such as a professional, master’s or doctoral degree) can greatly increase your chances of finding suitable employment. It does so by enabling you develop highly specialized knowledge. This can open the doors to careers that aren’t accessible with only an undergraduate degree, including many research, counseling, consulting and teaching positions.
If you are considering a career in the field of psychology, then you should strongly consider further study. This may be in the form of a graduate degree in a related field, including but not limited to:
• Occupational therapy
If you are interested in careers that are more loosely related to psychology, or not related to psychology at all, you should consider a professional or graduate degree in a field that either compliments or is unrelated to psychology, depending on your professional interests and ambitions. Such fields include but are not limited to:
• Business administration
• Humanities and social science
Gain Experience for Psychology Careers Before Graduation
Getting internship, co-op or field-placement work in a clinical or research setting as an undergraduate student is a great way to build your portfolio of experience before you graduate. Having a portfolio of relevant experience prior to graduating is an excellent way to help you qualify for graduate study, or for entry-level jobs in the field. Such opportunities also have many other benefits, including:
• Getting your foot in the door with an employer
• Helping you get a sense if work in the field is right for you
• Meeting others who work in the field, and ‘picking their brains’
• Developing a professional network
How Do I Find a Psychology Internship?
Your psychology program may require you to participate in an internship or other form of work experience program, particularly if it is an applied psychology program. However, many psychology programs do not have such requirements.
If it is an academic requirement, you will likely have the opportunity arranged for you. If it is not a requirement, speak with your professors, other psychology department staff as well as your school’s guidance and career counselors to help you find a suitable opportunity.
If you’re a psychology major looking for help in paying for school, then you’re in luck! Our scholarships database has Canadian and American scholarships that are specific to psychology students, arts students in general, and scholarships that are open to any field of study.
Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.
Professional Associations for Psychology-Related Career Fields
To find out more about careers in the field of psychology, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have opportunities for student membership, as well as job placement and mentoring opportunities.