A bachelor’s degree in psychology can be a stepping stone toward working as a psychologist in many settings, or it can get be used to get you started in a career in law, marketing, business administration or even sales.
To qualify for most jobs that actually carry the title “psychologist,” or to open your own private practice in psychology, you will need to continue on and obtain a master’s degree in addition to your BA or BS. Schools, hospitals and state governments have strict licensing requirements for professional psychology jobs, and they require a graduate degree for virtually all of them.
Government & Law Careers
There are, however, several types of work you can go into with a bachelors psychology degree. Government social services offices, for example, like to hire people with this degree as case managers and counselors, while law enforcement organizations often hire them to be probation officers.
The best opportunities for advancement without graduate schooling are available in private companies, where bachelor’s degree holders in psych can work in advertising, marketing research or sales, and move up in the company based more on talent than on getting an additional degree. It’s actually one of the more versatile college degrees you can get, because employers of almost all types recognize that it gives you an ability to assess people and communicate with them – skills that are valued highly in virtually all organizations.
The Long Run
If you do plan on getting a master’s degree down the road, it’s a good idea to think about your ultimate career goals before starting your undergraduate degree. Colleges in the U.S offer undergraduate psychology students either a bachelor of arts (BA) or a bachelor of science (BS) degree. The bachelor of arts in psychology is a more liberal arts-type program that makes sense if you want to work with patients as a private psychologist, an industrial psychologist, or a developmental psychologist (assessing the mental growth of children). The bachelor of science in psychology, on the other hand, makes more sense if you’re planning a career that’s focused on research, which can involve studying a huge variety of subjects including Alzheimer’s disease, psycho pharmacology and even gender studies.
If you stick to a psychology career path and get a master’s or even a PhD in this area, a very wide array of psychology degree career options can open up for you. The possibilities include working as a personnel administrator in a company setting, educational counselor, probation or parole officer in the criminal justice field and more. The rewards can include a good level of job security, and a fairly high salary (many industrial psychologists and clinical psychologists, for example, can earn upwards of $90,000 per year).
Psychology Degree Options Online
BA and BS degrees in psychology are offered by many colleges and universities on a 100% online format. While there are more limited options available for an associate’s degree, there are schools that offer an AA or AS in psychology. Obviously, going the online degree route can help you take a first step in your career path, the cost and the classroom requirements of a traditional, campus-based school.