Psychology provides an excellent foundation for many career paths. Some students who major or minor in psychology directly enter jobs in business, social services, and other fields. Some go on to professional training in medicine or law. Some choose to earn master’s degrees in education, social work, or counseling. Others enter doctoral programs in psychology and related fields.
The department and the college offer many resources to help you sort through your options. You’re welcome to talk with faculty advisors in our department as you think about your future — and about how the choices you make now might relate to what you do when you leave Marietta College. The Marietta College Career Center can also be very helpful in this process.
Jobs for Psychology Majors
Majoring or minoring in psychology provides an excellent foundation for many career paths. Students may not recognize how many skills they have acquired, along with their knowledge of psychology content, nor the range of job situations in which their skills and knowledge can be applied. The psychology department at York University in England has prepared a list of psychology students’ skills; among these are numerical and computer literacy, communication skills, skills related to working effectively in a group, critical thinking and research skills, and interpersonal awareness. Taking a look at this list may be useful before you apply for a job or as you prepare for an interview. In addition to your other skills, you will now be well-equipped to explain to potential employers what you will bring to their organization.
Jobs available to recent graduates are often at the entry level, with opportunities for advancement. They include jobs in social services, human resources, advertising and market research, public relations, health care, education, research, and many other fields. Other psychology students choose career paths requiring graduate degrees.
Internships and Volunteering
Internships and volunteer experiences can help you to focus your interests—and can also be important assets when you apply to graduate school or for jobs. The Marietta College Career Center is an excellent resource for students interested in learning about career options, as well as for those actively seeking summer or post-graduation employment. Academic advisors are also good people to talk with.
Psychology and the Health Professions
Psychology is a popular major among premed students, as well as those interested in other health-related professions. National statistics show that students who major in psychology are as likely to be admitted to medical school as those who major in biology or chemistry. Psychology is particularly valuable for those premedical students interested in neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, or behavioral medicine. Marietta College students considering medical school should consult the Premed/Prehealth Professions Advising page of the undergraduate catalog.
PSYC 375 – Health Psychology is especially relevant for students interested in health professions. PSYC 350 –Abnormal Psychology and PSYC 481 – Clinical Psychology are very relevant for those interested in psychiatry and useful for others as well. Taking any developmental psychology courses will help you to appreciate differences among your patients that relate to the difference in their ages, as well as to better understand the ways in which their social development, personality, cognitive skills, and physical well-being can all affect each other. Students interested in the health professions should also consider courses with a strong biological or neuroscience component (like PSYC 305 – Psychophysiology). In addition, many of our courses, especially those in social and personality psychology, should enhance the sensitivity of health care providers to the clients they serve.
Research-oriented courses can be especially valuable for those entering medicine or any other career in which they are likely to engage in ongoing reading of research reports documenting new developments in the field.. Hands-on research experience through courses like PSYCH 286 – Research Design, PSYC 360 – Experimental Psychology, and PSYC 491 – Applied Research Practicum is valuable too.
Psychology majors can easily complete required pre-med courses, which are the same as or similar to those required for entry to many other health-related professional schools.
Psychology and Law
Admission to law school requires no specific major and no specific prerequisite courses. Psychology is one of many undergraduate majors chosen by pre-law students. Marietta College students considering a career in law should read the Pre-Law information detailed in the undergraduate catalog.
Success in law school and in the practice of law require the ability to carefully analyze a problem, to collect relevant information, to combine information from various sources to reach a conclusion, and to communicate your conclusion to others. These are all skills that students acquire through the study of psychology, particularly through our more research-oriented courses like PSYCH 286 – Research Design, PSYC 360 – Experimental Psychology, and PSYC 491 – Applied Research Practicum.
Many other psychology courses are beneficial to those who hope to engage in the study and practice of law. Courses in cognition (PSYC 311 – Cognitive Psychology) can help pre-law students learn more about how people perceive and interpret information; among other things, this can increase understanding of how witnesses and jurors process evidence. Developmental Psychology courses (like PSYC 207 – Adolescence) and other courses focusing on children are particularly relevant for those with an interest in juvenile and family law. Courses such as PSYC 212 – Social Psychology and PSYC 380 – Psychology of Good and Evil provide information about techniques of persuasion, the interpretation of evidence, and the interpersonal processes relevant in human behavior.