Inquisitive about the human mind? Why not consider a career in psychology…
For anyone with a Psychology degree, finding a job that suits your skills can seem like a challenge. Especially if you don’t have much relevant work experience to speak of. But there are a wide range of different psychology jobs out there you may be eligible for – all you need to do is know how to make the most of your degree.
To help you get started, here are a few jobs in psychology you could apply for with your degree:
Psychology jobs in health and wellbeing…
Clinical Psychologist – This is a specialised position that requires dealing with and treating individuals with serious mental health issues, addictions and/or disorders.
Sport Psychologist – If you’re intrigued by an athlete’s mental ability, sports psychology might be your calling. This involves helping athletes achieve mental excellence when performing, whilst improving their natural ability, training methods.
How to get there: An accredited BPS qualification is essential – along with supporting experience in both clinical and sports psychology. If you don’t have the experience needed, starting out as a Research Assistant can be useful. Working under a Senior Therapist can also be a great starting point, and allow you to experience the industry first-hand.
Psychology jobs supporting the community…
Forensic Psychologist – An interesting job if you’re keen on criminal investigations, the role of a Forensic Psychologist is to support the judicial system – assessing behaviours of both alleged and convicted criminals.
Probation/Parole Officer – Working through the law, your role will be to supervise and guide ex-offenders. This will be the right position for you if you’re great at giving guidance, and have the ability to take control of high-pressure situations.
Human Resources Advisor – This is a vital function for any organisation and your role is to support and (in some cases) control policies pertaining to the organisation of staff members. This includes all aspects from recruitment to pay, health and care practices to working conditions and more.
How to get there: To become a Forensic Psychologist, a postgraduate qualification is essential (BPS accredited), and you must officially register with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). As a Probation Officer, you’ll be required to pass a training and exam program. There are numerous recognised qualifications (eg. QCF Level 5) that’ll also further your chances of employment. For an HR role, starting off as an HR Assistant and gaining some relevant experience will be a great way to boost your chances. In addition, the CIPD qualification is highly desirable for employers and would be a good way to separate yourself from the competition.
Psychology jobs working with children…
Educational Psychologist – This counselling role requires looking out for the emotional wellbeing of students to ensure there are no issues at school, within social circles or in the home that could affect their learning.
Play Therapist – Keen to use your creativity and abstract measures to support children? Well this role will be the perfect fit for you, as you’ll be assisting troubled children overcome their individual situations, through play.
Support Worker – Support workers offer ongoing support for individuals in need, and respond to the ever-changing needs of relevant stakeholder groups, usually people requiring care (patients and resident families).
How to get there: Previous experiences working directly with children and/or young adults is especially important is this field. Registration with with HCPC and British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT) and a postgraduate qualification is usually required to work as an Educational Psychologist and Play Therapist respectively, whilst Support Workers will rely on their background and area of study as roles can vary from mental health support, to disabilities, social care and more.
Other potential roles to consider…
A psychology degree will also mean you’re eligible for many roles outside of the field – just as long as you make use of the many transferable skills you’ve built up as part of your course. Examples of careers you could move into include:
Brand Consultant – These individuals provide marketing strategies through effective analysis to help drive sales in a company’s products and services.
Researcher – As a Researcher you’ll be tasked with using your investigative and analytical prowess to provide accurate data collection and research.
Financial Advisor – If numbers are your thing, you could consider a role in finance. Financial advisors provide investment advice to clients, suggesting products and services that will help them meet their financial goals. This will of course, in most cases, require additional training and qualifications.
Skills to utilise
There are a number of invaluable skills that can be gained through the study of psychology, and usually due to the delicacy of the roles, and the individuals you’ll be dealing with, they’re also prerequisites for a number of jobs in Psychology.
Here are some important skills to hone with your Psychology degree:
- Research and analytical skills
- A genuine sense of compassion and desire to improve the quality of people’s lives
- Great intuitive skills
- Leadership skills and assertiveness
- Reliability and trustworthiness
- Organisation skills
- Effective communication skills
A degree in psychology opens up the avenue for many opportunities, with what you choose to do dependent on your personal interest or area of study.
For example, if you’re hoping to further enhance your skill set, studying for a postgraduate qualification in your preferred field (whether it’s in a psychology discipline, or something new) could boost your career prospects even further – making roles in your preferred industry well within your reach.
Studying for a Masters and/or PhD is also a great choice for graduates who are keen on developing their research skills, and will help set you apart from the competition.
Additionally, with the relevant qualifications to hand, registering as a HCPC practitioner will enable you take advantage of more specialised (often senior) opportunities, at a higher pay grade (if that’s your poison).
The luck of the draw in Psychology comes from the fact that there are a number of possibilities to delve into, based on your preferences and strengths. All you have to do is figure out what they are.
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