Career outlook

What can I do with a degree in psychology? 🧠

Psychology majors are prepared for a variety of career paths, including research assistant, marketing, human resources, customer service, and human services. The skills students obtain through their psychology coursework prepare them for a wide variety of career paths. However, an individual's employability in one of these areas depends greatly on the person's practical experience (internships, volunteer, research experience, etc.) as well as personal traits, abilities, and special skills.

The possibilities for careers in psychology are more varied than ever. The range of work available to psychology graduates goes beyond the laboratory researcher or individual therapist. Although a bachelor's degree in psychology will not prepare you to become a professional psychologist (students interested in a career as a therapist must complete a graduate program), an undergraduate major can mean that a student graduates with both a strong liberal arts/science education and adequate preparation for entry-level employment in one of many career paths.

The undergraduate years are an excellent time for exploring careers through courses, conversations with people that have careers that interest you, internships, and part-time jobs. The undergraduate degree could be your route into entry-level employment in one of the many occupations for which psychological knowledge or skills is a job requirement or advantage: sales or personnel positions, management training or public relations, research writing or technical writing, psychological services or child care, teaching or vocational training, to name a few. By the time you graduate with a bachelor's degree in psychology, it is possible to have assembled a resume with work experience attractive to employers.

Career options are limitless with a liberal arts and science foundation, with many psychology majors continuing on to careers and graduate studies in social and behavioral sciences, law, government, human resources, management, medicine, healthcare and social services, business, education and more.

Learn more ➡️ The Portable Mentor: Expert Guide to a Successful Career in Psychology (PDF)

Why study psychology at Wayne State?

Wayne State University provides an outstanding undergraduate education in psychology. As a Carnegie 1 Research University (i.e. rating "highest research productivity" by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education), Wayne State has over 1,200 undergraduate psychology majors, 100 doctoral students and 40 tenure track faculty who bring in over $3 million dollars per year in research grants. 

In addition to providing outstanding education in multiple domains of psychology (cognitive, social, clinical, biological, industrial/organizational), Wayne State University is located in the heart of a major metropolitan area. As such, it provides invaluable opportunities for community involvement, including conducting research at area medical centers, working in community mental health clinics or shelters, and helping to shape policy at non-profit organizations. Our students learn to apply newfound knowledge and critical thinking skills to real-world problems.

Transferable skills 

A psychology degree offers skills in:

  • Critical thinking
  • Ethical reasoning
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Research design
  • Scientific writing
  • Statistical analysis

Careers insights by degree

Learn more about:

Mental health careers with a master's degree

Social work, counseling

  • Programs are approximately 60 credits (two to three years full time), include internships or field placements, and lead to a limited license as a mental health professional
  • Limited licenses can become full licenses after passing licensing exams and completing a period of supervision. Full licensure is needed to establish a private practice
  • Social work at Wayne State
    • Social work key advantage: Very established, recognized, marketable, portable, and billable credential
  • Counseling key advantage: Flexible graduate program focused specifically on training students to practice as individual, couples/family, or group counselors
  • Counseling at Wayne State

Counseling/clinical psychology

  • Programs are approximately 60 credits (two to three years full time), include internships or field placements, and lead to a temporary limited license as a mental health professional
  • Temporary limited licenses can become permanent limited licenses after passing licensing exams and completing a period of supervision. Full licensure as a psychologist is not available with only a master's degree
  • Counseling psychology at Wayne State
  • Clinical psychology at Wayne State

Note: License information applies to Michigan – other states and countries vary.

Graduate study

This degree also provides a solid foundation for graduate study in:

Learn more about pursuing a graduate degree:

Specialties in psychology

  • Counseling – Management and coping with a wide range of difficulties
  • Child psychology – Conscious and subconscious childhood development
  • Clinical psychology – Mental health, emotional, and behavioral disorders
  • Health psychology – Study and treatment of mental and physical health connected illnesses
  • Sports psychology – Works with athletes to improve focus and performance
  • Social psychology – Study and management of interpersonal relationships and interactions
  • School psychology – Works with behavioral issues, learning difficulties and social problems in youth
  • Neuropsychology – Study of how memories are created and stored or how brain injuries and diseases can impact behavior and perception
  • Forensic psychology – Study and application of psychology to legal matters such as parental custody, defendant competency, etc.
  • Organizational psychology – Study and management of behavior and mental health in the workplace

Notable people with a psychology major