What Can You Do with a Degree in Psychology?

If you are pursuing a degree in Psychology like me or just thinking about it, you might wonder what kind of career you can have with this degree. It turns out, there are many different paths you can take. These are some of the most popular careers in the field. I've also included some great courses you can take in JWU's Psychology program to help prepare you for each career!

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Social Worker

Social workers are a part of the human services field. They provide solutions to the social, behavioral, economic or health-related problems that clients may face. Social workers have to identify people and communities in need of help, meet with clients, respond to emergencies, evaluate and connect a client with other services, and be general advocates for clients.

If this career sounds interesting to you, JWU’s Psychology program offers courses that may be helpful, such as Psychology of Motivation and Leadership in the Workplace, Deviant Behavior, or Social Issues in Contemporary America.

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Clinical Psychologist

A Clinical Psychologist works with people who may have a range of difficulties that can happen at any time in their lives. They must interview patients, give diagnostic tests, and provide individual, family, or group psychotherapy. They create treatment plans while monitoring the patient’s progress. This career consists of doing a lot of interesting research to make sure the patient will have the best treatment

JWU courses like Research Seminar in Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, or Psychology of Conflict Resolution are useful for students who want to pursue this career.

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Substance Abuse Counselor

A Substance Abuse Counselor helps provide care and support for people who are battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol. These counselors use individual therapy, group therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy to help clients recover and maintain their sobriety.

While not an easy career, it’s a rewarding one that can help people turn their lives around. JWU courses like Principles of Group Therapy, Cognitive Psychology, and Introduction to Family Treatment for Addiction Counselors are great ones to take if you’re interested in this career path.

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Counseling Psychologist

Counseling Psychologists help their clients recognize their strengths and weaknesses and help them find resources to cope with their everyday problems and difficulties. A typical day as a counseling psychologist would consist of interviews, observation and individual or group therapy with clients.

At JWU, you can take courses like Counseling Theories and Techniques, Principles of Group Therapy, Introduction to Crisis Intervention to prepare for this career.

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School Counselor

School Counselors are professionals that help students with their academics, career planning, and college readiness. They also provide social-emotional support for every student when needed. Their day may consist of counseling students, connecting with parents and guardians, working with colleges to help place students and more.

If you want to make a difference in a young student’s life with this career, you can start by taking courses like Introduction to Career and School Counseling, Introduction to Case Management, Directed Experimental Education at JWU.

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Forensic Psychologist

Forensic Psychologists are able to provide professional expertise within the judicial and legal systems. They are also able to develop criminal profiles to narrow down suspect lists. This job consists of managing interviews, making observations, and performing research. Forensic psychology is a combination of psychology and law. These psychologists specialize in criminal, civil, or family cases and they also provide expert witness testimony in court.

If you have an interest in criminal justice as well as psychology, this career may be for you. JWU offers courses like Criminology, Psychology of Conflict Resolution, and Criminalization of Mental Illness that may have you working side by side with Criminal Justice students — just like you would out in the field.

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There are actually two types of Psychiatrists: clinical and research. As a clinical psychiatrist, you will be seeing patients, providing therapy, and creating treatment plans for those patients. As a research psychiatrist, you can do bench or clinical work. Bench work research means you would be working in a lab and doing research to explain the brain function of people with psychiatric conditions. On the clinical side, you would be exploring the accuracy of different medications and treatment options in treating specific patient populations or psychiatric conditions.

If the human mind fascinates you, consider this career and try JWU courses like Intro to Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, Abnormal Psychology, or Workshop in Acquiring Social Research Skills to get started.

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Sport Psychologist

Sport Psychologists can use their psychological knowledge and skills to be able to help with the optimal performance and well-being of athletes, explore the developmental and social aspects of sports participation, and identify systemic issues in sports settings and organizations. Sports psychologists spend time working directly with athletes and coaches at both the beginner and professional levels. These sessions could happen during practice, on the court, or field of the sport to diagnose and identify issues.

Combine your love of sports and psychology with this career and explore courses at JWU such as Nutrition, Sociology of Aging, or Introduction of Psychology.

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JWU offers the Psychology program at both the Providence and Charlotte campuses!

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