Careers you can pursue with a B.A. in Psychology
B.A. in Psychology programs can prepare you to enter a variety of career fields—from business, health care, and social work to community outreach, education, and counseling. Each of these fields requires an understanding of human behavior, which is at the foundation of an undergraduate degree in psychology. Additionally, for jobs needing more training, undergraduate psychology programs are an important stepping stone into graduate-level programs.
During the B.A. in Psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, you will practice critical thinking and problem-solving skills through both general education courses and psychology classes as you work to answer the question: “How do people behave in various settings and roles? And why?”
“A strong degree program in undergraduate psychology should allow you to sample the applications of psychological concepts and research while helping you begin to focus on your interests,” says Tanaz Arteaga, associate department chair of the Los Angeles and Online B.A. in Psychology programs at The Chicago School.
Continue reading to learn how this degree can apply to one of many careers after graduation.
Advertising and Marketing
Earning your B.A. in Psychology will help you develop valuable skills that translate well to the world of advertising and marketing.
Understanding how people respond to certain marketing tactics is important, and there are multiple methods to measure this data. However, understanding why a consumer or target audience might respond a certain way is not as easy to measure. This is where having a strong foundation in psychological principles can benefit someone in these fields.
Additionally, someone with a firm understanding of these principles can offer useful insights regarding the different factors that make up an advertisement, such as:
- Word choice for product descriptions
- How the colors in an ad evoke different responses
- Which facial expressions models in an ad should have
- What ad layout will be easiest for an audience to process
A bachelor’s degree in psychology can also supplement additional creative skills you may have that naturally lend themselves to the fields of advertising and marketing. For example, maybe you are a talented writer or you have an affinity for art. A career that might be able to utilize your hybrid skills could include:
- Advertising copywriter
- Graphic designer
- Email marketer
- Content marketer
Finally, if you are more interested in the analytical aspects of psychology, you may find one of the following careers a better fit:
- Market research analyst
- Social media strategist
- User experience specialist
- Digital marketing strategist
Overall, there are a great number of potential opportunities for someone with a B.A. in Psychology to pursue if they are looking to jumpstart a career related to any of these fields. At The Chicago School, we also offer educational opportunities for people looking to advance a more analytics-focused career with related graduate-level programs like behavioral economics.
Education, Business, and Human Resources
B.A. in Psychology programs are a good choice for someone seeking to pursue a career in the field of human resources (HR), business, or education because graduates are educated on multiple aspects of human behavior in a variety of settings and roles. For jobs in these fields, you must learn how to manage people.
To do this effectively you have to understand personalities, emotional well-being, training and learning, motivations, global and international perspective, team dynamics, and how to lead a team successfully—all of which are rooted in psychology.
Managing a team uses many of the same principles as managing groups of students in an educational setting. And students with an undergraduate degree in psychology often find themselves working within these settings, such as:
- Afterschool programs
- Childcare services
- College and career counseling
- Youth intervention and behavioral support counseling
- Tutoring and support centers
- Academic admissions or advising
- Within classrooms as a support paraprofessional or teaching aide or with state credentials
In a business setting, such as a retail center, you must combine many of the marketing and advertising skills discussed above with people management. A good manager applies an understanding of human behavior to their setting and encourages their employees to do the same. Using the psychology behind transformational leadership and organizational development (a focus of the B.A. in Psychology, Business Psychology Minor at The Chicago School), many students find themselves in management positions where they can apply underlying psychological principles.
They might also find themselves considering how they might price retail goods to draw consumers to purchase, which involves a lot more psychology than you might think. For example, why does $4.99 seem like a better price than saying $5.00? Or why does a discount of 25 percent off with an additional 25 percent off sound better than 50 percent off, which is actually a better deal?
Human resources professionals usually work in a corporate setting and help their company or organization to recruit qualified employees, oversee employee relations, and administer employee-related services such as payroll, training, and benefits among a range of additional responsibilities. As discussed above, much of this field entails people management, something that requires a strong foundation in psychological principles.
Some positions available to graduates of an undergraduate psychology program in this field include:
- Human resources administrator
- Human resources specialist
- Labor relations specialist
- Recruiting specialist
Additionally, The Chicago School’s, School Psychology, Business Psychology, and Industrial & Organizational Psychology programs can offer B.A. in Psychology graduates a path to career advancement in the fields discussed above.
Medical and Health Services Management
Working in any human services field is heavily connected to studying psychology and many graduates find themselves in health care facilities and hospitals, which are beginning to offer more and more mental health counseling as part of overall patient care.
Health care policy has grown more complex as a result and psychological principles are naturally involved in advocacy, policy setting, and management of services.
Some examples of jobs in the medical and health services fields where a degree in psychology could be beneficial include:
- Home care aide
- Case technician or manager
- Program coordinator or director of a group home
- Rehabilitation or nursing assistant
- Hospital patient services
- Volunteer services coordinator
Public Relations, Social Work, and Community Outreach
If you envision yourself beginning a career in the field of public relations, social work, or community outreach, a B.A. in Psychology program can benefit you in multiple ways.
Believe it or not, public relations professionals are required to do quite a bit of research. Graduates of psychology programs generally have a good understanding of how to do this effectively. Not only is it important to gather and evaluate data on issues pertaining to your client, but you must also be capable of organizing and presenting this data in a logical way that can benefit a communications campaign.
Additionally, a degree in psychology can provide you a better understanding of persuasive tactics that can be used to potentially increase your client’s media exposure while not breaking the bank. Public relation careers can be found within corporations, private agencies, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.
Some specific careers in the field of public relations include:
- Public relations specialist
- Public relations account executive
- Communications manager
- Media outreach specialist
Some of the same psychological principles that apply to public relations for a specific client can also extend to working within communities. Whether focusing on outreach, support, or management, many students studying psychology have a desire to work on social issues or with vulnerable populations that include:
- Youth and adolescents
- The elderly
- The homeless
- Those who have or live with others with addiction
All of these relate both to mental health and community work. Specific jobs for this type of work are often connected with educational settings, health care facilities, and specific homes or community centers.
Many students who begin with an undergraduate degree in psychology also enter social work. Some of the same ethical guidelines, laws, and issues that exist for psychologists are seen in the world of social work.
Social psychology is an emerging field related to cultural considerations that extend into all communities as an international focus grows and the world becomes more connected. Some B.A. in Psychology programs offer related elective courses that will provide students a better understanding of society and the communities around them.
Some specific jobs related to Social Work and Community Outreach include:
- Social services clerk
- Social worker or case manager
- Assistant in welfare agencies, detention centers, group homes
- Mental health technicians in treatment centers, crisis lines, recovery centers for substance abuse and addictions
- Law enforcement and corrections
- Social policy advocate
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers B.A. in Psychology programs in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Online. If you are interested in learning more about our undergraduate or graduate programs, fill out the form below to request more information, visit our programs page, or you can apply today through our application portal.
Blake C. Pinto
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