R. Eric Landrum , PhD Department of Psychology Boise State University Prince George’s Community College Largo, MD October 18, 2012. The Psychology Major: Career path Options and Success Strategies. Overview. People, Skills, and Money Preparation: Your Undergraduate Career
R. Eric Landrum, PhD
Department of Psychology
Boise State University
Prince George’s Community College
October 18, 2012
1U.S. Census Bureau (2009) Current Population Survey
2Carnevale, Rose, and Cheah (2011)
What is a research assistantship? It is an opportunity for undergraduate students to assist a faculty member (or members) in a program of research. When you serve as an RA, you’ll actually be involved in doing the research rather than reading about it.
Acquisition of skills not easily gained in the classroom Year-Round Workers by Educational Attainment
Contribute to the advancement of the science of psychology
Become familiar with general research techniques
Opportunity to practice written and oral communication skills
Cultivation of a mentoring relationship with faculty; helpful for letters of recommendationResearch Assistant Benefits
Serving as a teaching assistant is usually much less involved and time-consuming than being a research assistant. Usually, a teaching assistant helps a faculty member for one semester in the administration of a specific course, such as General Psychology or Statistical Methods.
Criteria M SD M SD
Letters of recommendation 2.74 .49 2.82 .42
Personal statement/goals 2.63 .55 2.81 .41
GPA 2.75 .43 2.74 .45
Interview 2.30 .76 2.62 .60
Research experience 2.04 .74 2.54 .65
GRE scores 2.36 .66 2.50 .55
Clinically related public service 1.94 .70 1.91 .69
Work experience 1.91 .65 1.87 .68
Extracurricular activity 1.46 .54 1.41 .55
Means are calculated using 1 = low importance, 2 = medium importance, and 3 = high importance.
Norcross, J. C., Kohout, J. L., & Wicherski, M. (2005). Graduate study in psychology: 1971 to 2004.
American Psychologist, 60, 959-975.
Source: APA Center for Workforce Studies, 2010 Graduate Study in Psychology (May 2010)
Relevant Job Titles for Psychology Baccalaureates Year-Round Workers by Educational Attainment
Note. Items in BOLD are also reasons for termination of new hires.