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Careers in Psychology. Overview. What kind of knowledge, skills and abilities do you have as a result of your psych major? What kind of jobs can you get with a psych degree? How will I know which job is right for me? How do I land a job?. Knowledge and Skills Psychology Majors Develop:.

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  • What kind of knowledge, skills and abilities do you have as a result of your psych major?
  • What kind of jobs can you get with a psych degree?
  • How will I know which job is right for me?
  • How do I land a job?
knowledge and skills psychology majors develop
Knowledge and Skills Psychology Majors Develop:
  • Problem solving
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Critical thinking: analysis, synthesis, evaluation
  • Social perception and sensitivity
  • Information literacy skills
  • Knowledge of social behavior
  • Research skills:
    • statistical analysis, research design measurement, and evaluation
    • Perform and interpret descriptive and inferential statistics
    • Written communication skills
  • Ability to work comfortably in collaborative settings
  • Understand issues from a variety of perspectives
  • Gather and organize information from multiple sources

Leaders in business, industry, and government have identified certain knowledge, skills, and dispositions as especially important for success in the global economy

  • The ability to apply knowledge and skills to real-world settings
  • Conscientiousness, personal responsibility, and dependability
  • Skill in oral and written communication
  • Interpersonal and team work skills
  • Skills in critical thinking and solving complex problems
  • Respect for people different from oneself
  • The ability and desire for life long learning

Hart (2006). How should colleges prepare students to succeed in today’s global economy? Report prepared on behalf of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Hart Research Associates, Inc: Washington, DC

possible career settings for psych majors
Possible career settings for psych majors
  • Adoption and child care agencies
  • Court system
  • Advertising depts and agencies
  • Educational agencies
  • Air, bus, rail lines
  • Government agencies
  • Business corporations
  • Hospitals
  • Churches and religious organizations
  • Mgmt consulting firms
  • Colleges and schools
  • Mental health agencies and associations
  • Community organizations
  • Personnel departments
  • Correctional institutions
  • Social services agencies 
helping professions mental health social services areas bachelors level
Helping Professions: Mental Health & Social Services AreasBachelors level
  • case worker
  • child protection worker
  • behavior analyst
  • director of volunteer services
  • probation/parole officer
  • substance abuse counselor
  • program manager
  • psychiatric technician
  • rehabilitation advisor
  • family service worker
  • residential youth counselor
  • group home coordinator
  • social service director
  • daycare center supervisor
  • veterans' advisor 
  • employment counselor
business related areas
Business-Related Areas
  • advertising trainee
  • insurance agent
  • personnel worker/administrator
  • administrative assistant
  • job analyst
  • public information officer
  • advertising agent
  • loan officer
  • public relations
  • airline reservations clerk
  • management trainee
  • occupational analyst
  • sales representative
  • claims specialist
  • marketing representative
  • small business owner
  • customer relations
  • marketing researcher
  • store manager
  • employee counselor
  • media buyer
  • staff training and development
  • employment counselor
jobs with a bright outlook numerous job openings or rapid growth 2012
Jobs with a bright outlook (numerous job openings or rapid growth) 2012
  • Child, family, and school social workers
  • Correctional officers
  • Educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors
  • Loan officers (mortgage and bank industry)
  • Marketing specialists
  • Real estate sales management
  • Sales, scientific products
  • Human services specialists
  • Marriage and family therapist*
  • I/O psychologists*
  • Market research analysts and specialists*
  • Mental health and substance abuse counselors*
rajecki borden 2011 mean starting salary 35 k
Rajecki & Borden (2011)Mean starting salary = $ 35 K
  • Psychology (median $39,640)
  • Administrative assistant 35,100
  • Social services manager 34,900
  • Social worker 41,000
  • Mental health counselor 36,500
  • Mental health case manager 32,800
  • Applied behavior analysis therapist 40,700
  • Nonprofit organization program coordinator 38,600
  • Human resources administrator 44,500
  • Employment/recruitment or placement specialist 54,800
  • Substance abuse counselor 37,500
how do i know if the job is right for me informational interviews
How do I know if the job is right for me?Informational interviews
  • Purposes: Learn about a career & network
  • Steps: 1) identify occupation 2) identify people to talk to 3) request an interview 4) research organization and job to develop questions to ask
  • Identify people to talk with
    • Alumni
    • Friends of friends
    • LinkedIn
  • Send a formal letter/email with your resume (formality will depend on relationship)
  • During the interview
    • Ask appropriate and important questions
    • Never ask for a job during an informational interview
    • Send a thank you note afterward
how do i know if the job is right for me volunteer or internships
How do I know if the job is right for me? Volunteer or internships
  • Contact career services to locate organizations
    • Or identify organizations in the community
  •  Send a letter/meet with someone
  • Offer your time/volunteer/intern
how can i get a job resume
How can I get a job? Resume
  • Should be flawless and not wordy (45 second rule)
  • Evaluate your skills and abilities and highlight these on your resume
      • These include KSAs developed during your coursework, extracurricular activities, work experiences, volunteer experiences etc.
      • Remember which skill employers seek: writing and public speaking ability, problem identification and solving, small group and teamwork skills, leadership, flexibility, tolerance for ambiguity, organizational skills
  • Include
    • Heading, education, experience, activities and affiliations
    • Optional: executive summary, key skills or accomplishments
  • Keep in mind
    • Use action verbs
    • Don’t use passive voice, don’t change verb tense thoughout
how can i get a job cover letters
How can I get a job? Cover letters
  • 3 – 4 short paragraphs
    • Why I am writing
      • Introduce yourself and state why you are interested
      • Be specific about what job you seek and what you can offer
    • How I’m qualified
      • Describe your academic and professional qualifications and how they relate to the job requirements
    • Why I’m right for this job
      • Relate yourself to the company and provide reasons you should be considered
      • Demonstrate that you know about the company or industry)
    • What steps I’ll take to make sure we talk further about my qualifications
      • Request an interview or let them know that you will contact them to follow up
how can i get a job
How can I get a job?
  • Network!
    • Uncover the “hidden” job market
    • Use “cold call” letters
  • Cover letters & Resumes
  • A general site for psych majors
  • Job sites
    • Quintessential careers, job hunter’s bible, college grad job hunter, job web, monstercollege
graduate school programs in psychology
Graduate school: Programs in psychology
  • Basic/Experimental
    • Cognitive
    • Social
    • Health
    • Developmental
    • Physiological/Biological/Neuroscience
    • Quantiative
graduate school programs in psychology1
Graduate school: Programs in psychology
  • Applied
    • Human Factors/Engineering/Ergonomics
    • Industrial/Organizational/Organizational Behavior/Consumer
    • Forensic/Legal
    • Counseling/Clinical
    • Sports
    • School/Educational Psychology
what do you need to apply
What do you need to apply?
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam) (or other exam)
    • High GRE scores (+1200 Q + V), Medium (+1100 Q+V)
      • Q portion more important for basic vs. applied settings (except HF)
  • Application for admission
  • Personal statement
    • Why do you want to pursue graduate study at the specific program you are applying for? How do you “fit” in the program?
  • Transcripts
    • GPA of 3.0 or above 3.5
  • Resume/CV
  • Letters of recommendation
    • Often three, usually anonymous
importance of criteria
Importance of criteria
  • Depends on basic vs. applied
  • Things that look good
    • Internships
    • Independent or collaborative research projects
    • Leadership or service activities
  • Important non-objective criteria
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Interview
    • Experience