Psychology
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What You Can Do With An Undergraduate Degree In Psychology

What You Can Do With An Undergraduate Degree In Psychology

Psychology seems to be the go-to career for many. It teaches you basic skills that help you understand your fellow man. Who wouldn't want to work better in a smooth, collaborative environment with others?

But it is often heard by many people that they are not using the psychology degree that they obtained. The question stands as to whether or not this is true. While practicing as a clinical psychologist requires you to have a master's degree or a doctorate, there are a wide array of career paths that you can follow with an associate degree or a bachelor's degree.

A degree in psychology equips you with the skills you need to work and interact with people, provide a role of support for people – either as clients or as colleagues- and successfully carry out entry-level administrative and support roles.

Let us look at undergraduate psychology degrees such as an associate degree in psychology and a bachelor's degree in psychology and see what career paths you can pursue with these qualifications.

What Can You Do With An Associate Degree In Psychology?

An associate degree in psychology provides a great steppingstone toward a career in psychology. While you may not be able to open your psychology practice, you can use this degree to further your studies academically or pursue many careers in which the skills you learn will benefit you.

Teacher's Aide

The first role you can pursue with an associate degree in psychology is that of a teacher's aide or assistant. An environment with more than 15 children and one teacher is challenging, but teaching assistants make things much easier.

While you may not be equipped with a background in education, having an associate degree in psychology equips you with the skills and developmental understanding to help those falling behind maintain progress, and to help them catch up with the rest of the class.

The teaching assistant provides support needed to ensure that no one gets left behind and that the class proceeds well together. This also minimizes social challenges some kids may face if they struggle.

An associate degree in psychology can help you make a difference in the life of the children you work with. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), teaching assistants earn an average median salary of $29,360.

Psychiatric Technician

As a psychiatric technician, you will be playing a very hands-on role with patients suffering from severe mental health challenges. Your role will be to monitor them closely, take their vital signs, and ensure that all treatments and exercises are carried out accurately and promptly.

While your associate degree will be beneficial in this role, you will probably need to obtain a certificate from the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians as you will be working directly with patients who are considered to be vulnerable.

As stipulated by the BLS, psychiatric aides and technicians earn a median annual salary of $30,260 and $36,570 respectively.

Research Assistant

In all the roles you assume with an associate degree in hand, it is almost always guaranteed that you will be working with people and that you will be providing some sort of support role that is paramount to your job function. One such role that you could pursue is that of a research assistant.

This often proves to be a viable career path for those with a qualification in psychology, because of the statistics courses that an undergrad degree equips you with.

According to the BLS, social science research assistants earn a median annual salary of $49,721.

How Many Years For An Associate Degree In Psychology?

An associate degree in psychology takes two years to complete. This foundation can then be built upon for a future career in psychology.

How Much Does An Associate Degree In Psychology Cost?

The average cost for an associate degree in psychology is approximately $10,900 at a community college.

What Does An Associate Degree In Psychology Teach You?

The course work of this particular degree covers an array of topics from biology, statistics, research methods, and human sexual behavior to developmental psychology, personality theory, and abnormal psychology.

Over and above the coursework, it also equips you with critical thinking skills, empathy, and enhanced communication skills.

What Can You Do With A Bachelor's Degree In Psychology?

Obtaining a bachelor's degree opens the doorway to greater prospects and greener pastures. While you still can't start your practice, having a bachelor's degree in psychology takes you one step closer to your desired role.

Writer

If you know how to spin prose that will captivate readers and appeal to their minds, then perhaps a role as a writer will be suitable for you. To write any form of content that will appeal to a specific target audience requires you to know what people are looking for.

You need to know what people want and how to give them what they want in a way that isn't too overwhelming but also provides them with all the information they need in the form of easy-to-understand content.

Whether you are writing for a creative or business purpose, you can make a success of yourself. According to the BLS, writers and authors earn a median annual salary of $69,510.

Marketing

Coursework in your psychology degree will provide you with numerous foundational concepts that can help you in marketing. From research design, behavioral psychology, and social concepts, you are equipped with an understanding of what people want and how to cater to what they want.

According to the BLS, advertising, promotions, and marketing managers earn a median annual salary of $133,380.

Journalism And Public Relations

A role that seems to blend writers and marketers is that of journalists and public relation specialists. Journalists often cover sensitive stories and events, and they need to know how to write a story in a way that is suitable and intriguing enough for readers.

Public relations specialists work as the middleman between large corporations, the media, and the public. Their role becomes more prominent when companies don't have internal public relations divisions.

According to the BLS, journalists earn a median annual salary of $48,370, and public relations specialists earn a median annual salary of $62,800, as stated by the BLS.

Criminal Justice Roles

There are a variety of roles within the criminal justice system that thrive with the skills and concepts taught in a psychology degree. From police officers to investigators, and even those pursuing a role as a forensic psychologist, a degree in psychology will either prove to be a steppingstone or directly beneficial to the role.

Counselors

If you are hoping to fulfil the role of helping people without pursuing a doctorate, or you cannot dedicate the time to work towards a doctorate, then perhaps the role of a counselor is one that you can pursue.

As a counselor, you will provide one-on-one assistance to those who need help with personal or professional problems. While you can be a part of an organization such as a non-profit organization, or an internal employee in a large company, you can counsel people through the difficulties and challenges they face in a personal and professional space.

The need for counselors is in great demand, and according to the BLS, school counselors can expect to earn a median annual salary of $60,510. According to the BLS, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors earn a median annual salary of $48,520, according to the BLS.

How Many Years For A Bachelor's Degree In Psychology?

A bachelor's degree in psychology can take up to four years to complete; in some cases, this may include completing an honors qualification.

How Much Does A Bachelor's Degree In Psychology Cost?

For a bachelor's degree in psychology, you could pay a yearly tuition rate of between $4,200 to $8,500 per year.

What Does A Bachelor's Degree In Psychology Teach You?

A bachelor's degree will teach you critical thinking skills, it will enhance your communication, it will develop your organizational skills, and will give you the practical and theoretical knowledge to develop research designs and successfully carry out data analysis.

Conclusion

While many may provide false advice to those pursuing a career in psychology, deterring them with false information that they cannot do much with a degree in psychology is a disservice to a society in desperate need of people who have the skills that come with this. This shows you just how much you can do with these degrees.

If your passion lies in helping others, there is always a role in society for you. Pursue this without compromising your passion.