With a psychology degree your career options are vast, and those who don’t become trained psychologists often go into related psychology careers within healthcare, mental health support or in other people-focused roles. Examples include arts and music therapy, social work, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and counseling.
Studying psychology does not limit you to healthcare roles, however. Psychology graduates can be seen working, researching and advising in every sector of society, including education, relationships, crime and punishment, advertising, management, workplace practice and sports training.
Psychology careers in healthcare and therapy
Whether in the public or private sector, a majority of psychology careers are found within the field of healthcare. Psychology graduates work in various capacities in advisory roles, research roles, treatment roles or therapy roles. These can include:
To become a chartered psychologist you will need to undertake a master’s degree as well as further training specific to your specialization. Psychologists will work with a broad range of people, including patients and clients, aiming to help identify behaviors, thoughts and feelings in order to better understand the motivations behind certain actions. Psychologists are able to specialize in many areas, including mental health and occupational and educational psychology.
Psychotherapists work with individuals, groups, couples and families, aiming to help people overcome emotional and relationship issues, stress and even bad habits. Depending on your specialization, skills and interests, psychotherapy can be approached in many different ways, including cognitive behavioral methods, psychoanalytic therapies, psychodynamic therapies, systemic and family psychotherapy, arts and play therapies, humanistic and integrative psychotherapies, hypno-psychotherapy and experiential constructivist therapies.
Psychology careers in education
Psychology graduates interested in careers in education can take a number of different paths. You may qualify as a teacher, working in a secondary or tertiary level institution, or you may work within social services or the prison sector, providing support for young offenders. Teaching at university level will often involve pursuing your own research, in order to contribute to the knowledge and betterment of your department in the field of psychology.
Another route is to become an educational psychologist, a role concerned with the development of children and young people in educational settings. The aim is to enhance learning and will mean dealing with social and emotional issues and/or learning difficulties.
More generally, a background in psychology can also be a useful asset in a very broad range of educational roles, whatever subject you choose to teach and whoever your students are.
Psychology careers in research
Psychology careers in research may be based within universities, independent research agencies, or a wide range of public- and private-sector organizations working in a relevant field. For example, you may conduct research to contribute to governmental guidance on the most effective ways to encourage healthier eating, or carry out research for a campaign group striving to improve people’s happiness at work. Alternatively, you may focus on strategies for overcoming speech difficulties, learn how to assess a patient suffering from brain damage, or research the impacts of divorce on children. The possibilities are vast.
Psychology careers in creative industries
The broad banner of the creative industries includes anything relating to arts and humanities – such as media, advertising and the visual arts world. Psychology graduates are valued in these industries for their insights into human behaviors and motivations, their ability to analyze a problem and quickly form a considered response, and also for their skills in reasoning, developing ideas and giving advice.
Along with the aforementioned skills, a psychology graduate’s ability to handle data and work with people could also provide a good basis for careers in industries including IT, finance, the legal sector, government administration, market research and human resources management.