Careers: What Can I Do With My Degree?
After choosing to enter the field of Psychology, one of the most common questions that senior students voice is: What can I do with my Psychology degree? There are numerous opportunities for Psychology students in the workforce as well as continuing on to graduate studies. The fields listed below may seem unrelated to your degree, but upon further investigation it is easy to see that these employment opportunities are central to the objectives of a Psychology degree.
Note: Several of these careers may require additional schooling
Labour Relations Specialist
Family Liaison Worker
Special Education Teacher
Mental Health Counsellor
Mental Health Nurse
Mental Health Coordinator
Public Health Statistician
Cultural Diversity Consultant
Senior Policy Analyst
What does a Psychologist do?
Psychologists work as researchers, teachers, or practitioners with regard to how people think, feel, and behave. They can work individually, in groups, larger corporations or with governing bodies. Below is a list of Psychologists. Each type of Psychologist has a different focus for their research or practice. You cannot become a Psychologist without completing graduate studies or a master’s program.
“What I find most rewarding is watching people gain insight and reassert power over their circumstances,” Rhiannon says. “The clients are really the ones doing the work—the counsellor acts as a facilitator and tries to bring to light new possibilities.” Rhiannon Wegenast, BA Psychology, 2007
Clinical - understanding, diagnosing, and treating psychological disorders
Counselling - aiding individuals in solving problems involved with everyday life (Marriage/Relationships, Family, School, Addictions, Group, Career)
Community - understanding the relationships of the individual within communities and wider society
Educational - studying the learning processes of others and ways to optimize learning
Environmental - studies interactions between the environment and human psychological processes
Forensic - involves connecting the field of psychology to the law in legal and clinical settings
Gender - understanding factors that affect women and men’s development and behaviour
Industrial/Organizational - examines the relationship between individuals and their work
Neuropsychology - studies the structure and function of the brain
Personality - understanding the ways in which people feel, think and behave and how these patterns are related to their individuals characteristics
Research - studying human and animal behaviour in private and university settings
Social - focuses on people’s relationships and influences from social environments
Sport - examines factors that influence how people think, feel and behave in sport settings
There are many other areas of Psychology as classified by the American Psychological Association.
What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
A psychologist is trained in a certain area of psychology, such as the fields listed above, to assess and diagnose problems in thinking, feeling, and behaviour. Psychologists administer psychological tests and help individuals overcome their problems using a variety of treatments and/or psychotherapies.
A psychiatrist on the other hand is a trained medical doctor who is specialized in mental health or mental disorders. Psychiatrists use medications to help their clients manage their mental disorders (e.g., medication is critical for a disorder such as schizophrenia). Some psychiatrists may also combine medication with psychotherapy.