Being a psychology major, I am often asked what I aspire to do with my life after graduation. I have put many hours of thought into this, and every day I come up with new ideas or career paths I might be interested in. One of the aspects of psychology I enjoy is the fact you can go in many different directions with it. You can use psychology in a very wide range of careers ranging from mental health and counseling to even applying it in a business setting. In this blog post I will be discussing some of the possible career paths I am interested in, and hopefully my story can help others decide on their career path as well.
A very common career path for psychology majors involves something with counseling. This could include many different types of counseling. Some examples include Mental Health Counseling, Family or Marriage Counseling, or even Career Counseling. My interest in counseling developed when I became close with the many Career Counselors who work in Career & Internship Services here at UMD. I met with them and they always made me feel so comfortable and they were always so helpful. I realized I wanted to help people as well, so I have definitely looked into different counseling programs.
Another area that I looked at was School Psychology. I think I would enjoy school psychology because I find Developmental Psychology and Educational Psychology very interesting. I enjoy learning about how someone’s experiences as a child can affect their adult life. School psychologists work with individual students and groups of students to deal with behavioral problems, academic difficulties, disabilities, and other issues. They also work with teachers and parents to develop techniques to deal with home and classroom behavior. Other tasks include training students, parents, and teachers about how to manage crisis situations and substance abuse problems. I think I would be good at this profession because I like to work with children and adults, and I think it would be a very rewarding career.
I also have looked into a career as a rehabilitation psychologist. Rehabilitation psychology is a very broad area of psychology, and it covers a wide range of different psychological problems. Many rehabilitation psychologists specialize in certain areas of this field, and they only work with certain types of patients. Job duties for a rehabilitation psychologist include conducting interviews with patients, or the patient’s loved ones. It could also include staging interventions, assessing and diagnosing patients, counseling, and simply guiding the patient to their goals. I think I would enjoy being a rehabilitation psychologist because of many of the same reasons that I stated above. I enjoy working with people and helping them with their problems. I also find the topic of addiction very interesting. I would want to talk to the patient and figure out what the underlying reason for the addiction is. I think this would be a very rewarding occupation as well, because you are helping someone through what could possibly be the most difficult part of their life. I think my communication and empathy skills would benefit me in that career.
The final career path that I have been researching is a Marriage and Family Therapist. Marriage and family therapists help troubled couples and families identify and understand the psychological issues behind their problems so they can improve their relationships and repair any damage done to the relationship. These therapists use their knowledge of the psychology of relationships and the family dynamic to help families and couples take a step back and recognize why the issues occurred in the first place. They then help the families and couples work through these issues together. I think I would enjoy this job because I have experience in that area and I think that my own experiences would help me relate to people and connect with them.
When you are contemplating career paths it is always a good idea to look at all of your options. The best thing to do is educate yourself on the duties and responsibilities of a particular job and imagine yourself doing those things. Can you see yourself doing something like that for the rest of your life? It is also very helpful to conduct informational interviews and job shadows. Try to explore many different career paths and do not be too narrow minded when you are searching through different jobs, because you never know what you might enjoy!
Of Possible Interest:
- What can I do with Psychology?
- Career Planning for Social Sciences
- What are recent UMD grads doing with Psychology? 2013-14, 2012-13, 2011-12
- Psychology Degrees & Specialties (infographic)
- Counseling Careers (infographic)
- Pathways After a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (US Census)