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Things You Can Do With Your Psychology Major

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ODU chapter.

When people ask me what my major is, I reply “Psychology!” One of the responses I most often hear is “Oh great! You are going to be a therapist?” As I reply with a “no,” I hear “So what are you going to do then?” This has led me to realize that many people do not know the abundance of career paths one can take with a degree in psychology. I also have noticed that students majoring in psychology do not know the variety there is in this field. Here is a list that shows some of the different paths you can take when going into psychology. 

  1. Clinical Psychology: This is the route most people take when they do want to go into a type of therapy. Regardless, after getting higher education with this choice, there are a lot of different routes that one can take. There is a lot of variety within clinical psychology and you can use this as a basis to go into different areas of psychology that may interest you. For example, with higher education in this, you could be a therapist, professor, or researcher. 
  2. Forensic Psychology: The intersection of the criminal legal system with psychology is fascinating! With this, one could pursue a career as a forensic psychologist or you could also go along the lines of a career being a jury consultant. 
  3. Industrial and Organizational Psychology (I/O): So maybe you have a strong interest in both business and psychology, but can’t choose–this might be the path for you! Many I/O psychologists work within corporations and focus on things such as employee satisfaction or job burnout. 
  4. Human Factors Psychology: In this branch of psychology, psychologists are interested in the interaction between human behavior and things like computers and machinery.  These individuals can also work in a variety of different settings depending on what they are mainly interested in. 
  5. Psychiatry: This could be a good option if you want to go into medical school and become a medical doctor (M.D.). With this, you could still do some of the others above. For example, you could work as a forensic psychiatrist. Since it is a medical degree, you could work in things like child psychiatry, adults, or even in an inpatient unit to name a few. 
  6. Neuroscience: If you major in psychology as an undergrad, you can work in neuroscience. This is studying the physiology of the brain, neurons, etc. 
  7. Counseling: Counseling is another option that has a wide range of things you can do. For example, with this, you could go into substance abuse counseling or you could become a licensed clinical social worker. These individuals can work with many different people depending on what you are interested in. 
  8. Research: If you have a strong interest in any of these fields, but you are not sure if you want to work in them, then you could always conduct research. Working in research does not always mean you have to be the one conducting it though. A lot of times, universities offer research assistant positions. This is a good way to get your feet wet to see if you like research and the field of psychology that you are doing research in. 
  9. School Psychology: These individuals work in the school system. These are not school counselors, but they still work with the children in the school system. They offer services such as intervention plans, mental health support, and evaluations for special education services. 
  10. Social Work: Following the trend of the options above, social workers can work in a variety of settings. If you are passionate about children, or even adults, this is a way you could achieve that. 

While therapy and counseling are the most common careers that come to mind when we think of a psychology degree, we can see that there is a big variety in this field. Psychology students are allowed to go down more than one path. So, the next time you chat with your fellow psychology friend, remember that we don’t all want to be therapists.

Hello, I’m Sydney! Im a psychology major with a double minor in criminal Justice and human services at ODU. In my free time, I like to play piano, read and watch movies.