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Career Options for any B.A. Unsure whether Psychology is right for you?. Talk with your instructors, fellow majors, career services, family and friends, and other professionals in the field. The internet, library, and alumni are also a great resource!

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Career Options for any B.A

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unsure whether psychology is right for you
Unsure whether Psychology is right for you?
  • Talk with your instructors, fellow majors, career services, family and friends, and other professionals in the field. The internet, library, and alumni are also a great resource!
  • Assess your skills, abilities, and interests with inventories!
  • Get involved in the field! Join clubs, watch guest speakers, get related internships, or participate in research.
  • Remember, it’s never too late! Being a psychology major prepares you with the skills required for a wide variety of jobs both in and out of the field. If psychology isn’t for you consider picking up a minor or getting a related internship to increase your chances of getting a job in that field.
resources to help you decide if psychology is for you
Resources to Help You Decide if Psychology is for You
  • Landrum R.E., Davis, S.F. & Landrum, T. (2000). The Psychology Major: Career Strategies for Success. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
  • Korschgen, A.J. , Morgan, B.L. (2001). Majoring in Psych? Career Options for Psychology Undergraduates. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon
  • Kuther, Tara L. (2003). The Psychology Major’s Handbook.

Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomas Learning

so i have a b a now what
So I have a B.A, now what?
  • One way to begin your career search is to take inventories that match your skills, abilities, values, interests, and personality with compatible careers. You can find free inventories at a number of sites including: This is an excellent site, and it offers a free 30 day trial!

  • Once you’ve completed these tests compile a list of all the job titles you are interested in.
but with so many options what s a confused college kid to do
But with so many options, what’s a confused college kid to do???
  • It's only natural to want to know more about the careers your B.A. might lead you to. It can take you in a wide variety of directions, and fortunately, there are many resources you can tap to help you in your job search. To learn more about the nature of the careers in your job title list go to the:
  • “Occupational Outlook Handbook” at:

  • “America’s Career INFOnet” at:

  • These sites offer detailed information on working conditions, qualifications necessary, salary, outlook, and much more on an endless amount of careers.
sell yourself
Sell Yourself!!!
  • By enhancing your “marketability” to employers you are also enhancing yourself, your earning potential, and your academic success. Don’t wind up stuck in a job that you hate! There are steps to take now to ensure that you find meaningful and rewarding work!
  • Look for opportunities to learn new skills and enhance those you already have through things like extracurricular activities, volunteer opportunities, internships, and independent studies.
  • Consider picking up another language, taking computer, business classes, and/or communications classes. These skills are highly valued in any industry and will in turn increase your value as an employee.
  • Take coursework that complements your future plans, both in and outside of psychology.
  • Learn what skills are needed and valued in your industry, now and in the future at:

opportunities with a b a
Opportunities with a B.A.
  • Bachelor’s degree holders have limited opportunities and, in most social science occupations, do not qualify for “professional” positions. The bachelor’s degree does, however, provide a suitable background for many different kinds of entry-level jobs, such as:
  • research assistant
  • administrative aide
  • management or sales trainee
  • therapist and counseling aide
  • social worker/human services, although an MA or MSW is becoming the standard
will i make any money
Will I make any money?
  • Unfortunately because of the increasingly competitive job market, opportunities are very limited with a bachelor’s degree. If money is a big priority, you should probably consider getting an advanced degree.
  • The average starting salary for those graduating with a bachelor’s degree is in the mid to high 20’s. Those with a master’s can expect a salary in the low 30’s, and doctoral graduates in the mid 40’s.
  • The most money to be made is in the business/private sector.

Source: Korschgen, A.J. , Morgan, B.L. (2001). Majoring in Psych? Career Options for Psychology Undergraduates. (pp.73-75). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon

entry level salary averages for various fields
Entry-Level Salary Averages for Various Fields
  • Human Services: Starting salary is around $22,000, but it increases with advanced degrees/certification.
  • Management: Starting salary is around $32,000, but the business setting you are in determines your salary.
  • Sales: Starting salary is about $33,000, but varies widely. Some pay on a commission basis only.
  • Corrections/probation/parole/law enforcement: Starting salary is about $27,000 but varies by state and position.
  • Customer Service: Starting salaries are in the low to mid 20’s, but vary by organization.
  • Child and Youth Care: Starting salaries are low. The average preschool teacher makes $17,300.
  • Human Resources: More positions are starting employees at the low 30’s.

Source: Korschgen, A.J. , Morgan, B.L. (2001). Majoring in Psych? Career Options for Psychology Undergraduates. (pp.73-74). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon

no specific major is necessary for
No specific major is necessary for:

-Account executive -Corrections Officer

-Adult Education -Community Organization Worker

-Assistant positions in various fields -Detective

-Announcer -Executive Secretary

-Bailiff -Firefighter

-Buyer -Management positions in various field

-Camp Director -Peace Corp/Americorps

-Childcare Provider -Police Officer

-City Manager -Public Relations worker

-Claims Adjuster -Research work in various fields

-College Student Personnel Worker -School/Employment/Rehab Counselor

-College Administrator -Urban Planner

-Columnist/Commentator -Writer

  • Training, experience, and/or advanced degrees will provide you with the necessary qualifications for these jobs, and many more!
  • While prospects for advancement vary by counseling field, a master’s degree is typically required to be licensed or certified as a counselor. A bachelor’s degree often qualifies a person to work in a closely supervised counseling-type situation such as counseling aide, rehabilitation aide, or social service worker. Some states require counselors in public employment to have a master’s degree; others accept a bachelor’s degree with appropriate counseling courses.
  • To actually practice as a licensed counselor/therapist you will need an advanced degree.Counselors with advanced degrees can become supervisors or administrators in their agencies. Some counselors move into research, consulting, or college teaching or go into private or group practice.


police and detectives
Police and Detectives
  • Applicants with college training in police science or military police experience should have the best opportunities.
  • Competition should remain keen for higher paying jobs with State and Federal agencies and police departments in affluent areas; opportunities will be better in local and special police departments that offer relatively low salaries or in urban communities where the crime rate is relatively high.
  • To be considered for appointment as an FBI agent, an applicant either must be a graduate of an accredited law school or a college graduate with a major in accounting, fluency in a foreign language, or 3 years of related full-time work experience.
  • Employment of police and detectives is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations through 2012.
  • Median annual earnings were $47,090 in State government, $42,020 in local government, and $41,600 in Federal Government.


advertising marketing promotions public relations and sales managers
Advertising, Marketing, Promotions, Public Relations, and Sales Managers
  • College graduates with related experience, a high level of creativity, courses in management, completion of an internship, computer skills, and strong communication skills should have the best job opportunities.
  • These jobs are highly coveted and will be sought by other managers or highly experienced professionals, resulting in keen competition.
  • High earnings, substantial travel, and long hours, including evenings and weekends, are common.
  • A wide range of educational backgrounds is suitable for entry into advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managerial jobs, but many employers prefer those with experience in related occupations plus a broad liberal arts background such as psychology.


  • Just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy doing it for a living.
  • Choose the job that’s right for you. This may not necessarily be the most lucrative or high paying job, but the real payoff will be your quality of life.
  • To love what you do is by far one of the greatest accomplishments!!