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Getting a Job with A Bachelor's Degree

There are many great jobs for bachelor’s degree psychology majors. While most positions for professional psychologists require advanced degrees, either a Masters or a doctorate, a BA in psychology is good preparation for a variety of positions in business, community and government. In business and industry psychology majors are found in virtually all types of companies and organizations. Personnel analysts, management trainees, salespersons, data analysis are only a few of the positions available to psychology students. If you have an inclination for working in business of industry, begin to investigate possible job sources as early as you can either on the federal state, or local levels. Most civil service positions in government require that the job applicant pass an examination that is administered on specified dates and times.

Much of this information is reviewed in Julie DeGalan and Stephen Lambert’s, Great Jobs for Psychology Majors (VGM Career Horizons Press, 1995). This book has chapters on self-assessment, resume and cover letters, interviewing and job searching, where to look for jobs, how to most effectively delay entering graduate school and work instead right after graduation.

Students might want to explore jobs in the areas of (a) residential care; (b) community and social services; (c) human resources; (d) therapy (specialized services for persons with physical, social and mental disabilities); (e) teaching. The variety of jobs that the psychology major might consider include, at the federal, state, and local government level include:

Federal Level

  • recruitment officer
  • personnel research specialist
  • employee relations officer
  • staffing officer
  • employee counselor

State Level

  • social case worker
  • municipal research assistant
  • probation officer
  • training specialist
  • youth rehabilitation worker

City Level

  • drug rehabilitation counselor
  • management analyst
  • recruitment specialist
  • personnel classifier
  • hospital administration intern

The Private Sector

  • personnel management
  • sales motivation
  • marketing research
The APA book, Careers for the Twenty-first Century (see first page for info on how to get it), says that most BA recipients work in Administrative support/clerical (21%); pubic affairs and social services (20%) as educators (14%). Less than 1 in 10 of the 65,000 college graduates in psychology went on to graduate school. “These students are good problem solvers, and have well-developed, higher-level thinking ability when it comes to analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information.”[1] Many of these students find jobs as employment counselors, correction counselor trainees, interviewers, personnel analysts, probation officers, writers, police officers and government employees.