Psychological science is a diverse field that is not limited to the role of a traditional “psychologist,” which refers to "professors of psychology" and "practicing clinical psychologists."
As you map out your education and future career goals, you need to determine what type of career you want and how long you are willing to study. Some jobs require a bachelor's degree and some require a master's or doctoral degree.
When you are considering your education and career options, think about your skills and strengths and the environment in which you would like to work.
Students tend to find work in one of four sectors.
Nationally, about 20 percent of psychology major graduates
start in the business world as management trainees, administrative support personnel, or other positions.
Another 10 percent start in retail establishments, insurance companies, and similar businesses doing sales, human resources, and other functions
Social Service & Healthcare
Nationally, about 20 percent of psychology major graduates get a position in social services and health care.
Graduates can begin their careers in social services or
healthcare with employment as any of the following:
- activity director
- behavior analyst
- director of volunteer services
- probation/parole officer
- drug/substance abuse counselor
- program manager
- child protection worker
- employment counselor
- rehabilitation adviser
- corrections officer
- family service worker
- residential youth counselor
- counselor aide
- group home coordinator
- social service director
- day care center supervisor
- veterans' adviser
Government, Military, Law
A psychology degree is useful for careers in the government, military, and legal fields, such as:
- public offices
- law enforcement
- probation officers
- corrections officers
Our alumni have worked as substitute teachers, in various student services positions on university campuses, and as trainers and educators for the intellectually disabled. Some careers include:
- academic advisor
- financial aid advisor
- residence hall director
Skills and Competencies that Help You Get a Job
As a psychological science major, you will gain skills and knowledge that many employers look for when considering candidates with an undergraduate degree
- good oral and written communication skills
- good interpersonal and teamwork skills (such as negotiation and leadership)
- strong analytical abilities (problem solving, decision making, and mathematical/statistical competence)
- flexibility (creative thinking and willingness to relocate)
- proficiency in field of study (know psychological ideas and how to use them, getting good grades
- computer skills (word processing, databases, email, and other basic uses)
Create Your Own Path
You define your learning experience by the opportunities and challenges you take.
Make an effort to learn and develop the skills you may need for the career you choose to pursue. Other general skills not listed above are desirable for a variety of jobs. Some of these, for example mathematical and statistical competence, will be developed in your courses.
Learn important interpersonal and teamwork skills by participating in organizations and societies such as Psi Chi (the psychology honor society) or other campus clubs and organizations.
Enhance your communication skills and specific areas in psychology by getting involved in research projects with faculty.
Get a "sneak peek" at your future career and learn job-specific skills by completing an internship. Internships are paid or unpaid positions and should be relevant to psychology and your career goals. Employers admire this hands-on learning experience and often require it of applicants.
For more information about careers in psychology, salaries, and resources go to
To learn more about job opportunities, visit these online job search resources:
Thinking about Majoring in Psychological Science?
Are you interested in a career in which you’ll understand people’s personalities, abilities, influences, and motivations? Ball State offers two bachelor’s degrees—psychological science and teaching social studies with a concentration in psychology—as well as master’s degrees in clinical psychology and psychological science.
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