What can I do with a BA/BS in Psychology?

HUMAN  SERVICES (Counseling, Advocacy, Human Health Services)

Employers

  • Federal Government depts of Health & Human Services, Veterans' Administration, and Justice
  • State Govt depts of Human Services, Mental Health, and Mental Retardation, psychiatric hospitals, community mental health centers, facilities for the mentally retarded, and probation/parole depts
  • Local Government:  senior citizens' centers
  • Non-Profit Organizations such as United Way, Goodwill Industries, Boys and Girls Clubs, and YWCA/YMCA

Preparation

  • Obtain essential practical experience such as residence hall adviser or camp counselor
  • Enroll in an internship or practicum
  • Perform volunteer services such as Special Olympics, Big Brother/Sister, or crisis hotline
  • Learn foreign language for multi-cultural clients
  • Become familiar with government hiring procedures
  • Be willing to relocate
  • Be prepared to obtain a masters degree for more substantive counseling work

ADMINISTRATION

Employers

  • Federal, state, and local governments
  • National headquarters and local branches of nonprofit organizations

Preparation

  • Consider a business double major or minor
  • Internship
  • Gain experience in counseling, advocacy, or administration
  • Need masters in health care administration for advancement

COMMUNITY  RELATIONS

Employers

  • Federal, state, or local government
  • Local branches of national non-profit organizations

Preparation

  • Gain experience in counseling, advocacy, or administration
  • Internship
  • Gain knowledge of community problems and govt resources

PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

Employers

  • Federal, state, or local government
  • Headquarters and branches of non-profit organizations

Preparation

  • Gain experience in counseling, advocacy, or administration
  • Internship at a non-profit
  • Obtain graduate degree for advancement

RESEARCH 

Employers

  • Federal government, especially Dept of Health & Human Services and National Institute of Education
  • National headquarters of non-profit organizations
  • Research Medical Centers & Hospitals
  • Research Universities
  • Consumer Behavior/Health Research Organizations & Companies

Preparation

  • Develop strong quantitative, statistical, and research skills
  • Internship in a laboratory or other research setting
  • Obtain graduate degree for advancement

HUMAN  RESOURCES (Employment & Recruitment, Labor Relations, Compensation & Benefits)

Employers

  • Human resources (personnel) departments of companies
  • Government personnel agencies and departments
  • Employment agencies

Preparation

  • Acquire related experiences such as a residence hall adviser, new student orientation leader, admissions office tour guide/recruiter, or member of committees that make policy, settle disputes, or adjudicate cases

PUBLIC  RELATIONS (Research,  Programming, Fund-Raising, Writing & Editing, Special Events, Media Placement, Public Speaking)

Employers

  • Public relations and advertising firms
  • Companies with in-house PR depts
  • Trade associations
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Colleges and universities
  • Non-profit organizations

Preparation

  • Develop strong writing and speaking skills
  • Obtain related experiences with campus newspaper, TV, or radio, Admissions office tour guide or recruiter, Student activities office planning
  • Serve as a fund raiser or political canvasser
  • Find internship through Public Relations Society of America

ADVERTISING (Creative,  Media,  Account Services, or Research)

Employers

  • Advertising agencies
  • Companies/non-profit organizations with in-house advertising agencies or depts

Preparation

  • Obtain experience with campus TV, radio, or newspaper
  • Work with a student-run business
  • Find an internship with a market research firm or a member of the American Advertising Federation
  • Develop a portfolio for a creative position
  • Business minor or double major for Account Services jobs

MARKET  RESEARCH

Employers

  • Market research firms
  • Market research departments of consumer goods and manufacturing firms

Preparation

  • Develop strong math/statistics skills
  • Become involved in the American Marketing Association
  • Obtain a part-time or summer job with a market research firm (search for Marketing Services online)
  • Business firm internship
  • Become a reporter for campus newspaper
  • Serve as a canvasser/phone interviewer for a charity or political campaign

TEACHING   •     

Employers

  • Public and private schools

Preparation

  • Obtain a teaching certificate for public school positions
  • Seek guidance from the Education Dept in your school
  • Volunteer as a tutor

RETAIL and  SALES

Employers

  • All major retail firms including pharmaceuticals, medical, specialty, variety, and department store chains
  • Wholesalers, manufacturers, insurance companies, and real estate companies

Preparation

  • Obtain related sales experiences with part-time or summer retail job or work with campus newspaper or yearbook
  • Secure leadership position in campus organization
  • Perform an internship with a retail store

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This is a modified version of a document entitled Psychology: What can I do with this degree? available from the University of Tennessee Career Services Office.