Psychology is certainly a worthy pursuit and one that has far-reaching advantages throughout society.
Some psychologists spend their careers working with patients with mental health issues, helping them to regain control of their lives. Others work as sports psychologists, working with top athletes to help them meet their goals.
But whether you’re a seasoned clinical psychologist or you’ve just graduated with a psychology degree, where else could your psychology skills be put to good use?
Consider the skills you already have
While a career as a registered psychologist requires a doctoral degree, there are plenty of courses before you get to that level that can provide you with a decent foundation in psychology and that work in your favour in other related fields.
For example, a master’s degree in psychology is an excellent option if you already have an undergraduate degree and you’re unsure whether or not to pursue the career path of a psychologist. It will give you a brilliant basis to work from if you do choose to undertake a doctoral course, and if not, it brings a host of valuable and transferable skills such as research and problem-solving.
As with any career pivot, it’s incredibly important to identify the skills you already have from your current experience, whatever that might be. Psychology is a field that blends statistical data with written explanations, so a bachelor’s degree in the subject might set you up brilliantly for a career that involves both, like content marketing.
If you’re already qualified in another area, a Psychology course can allow you to move into a more diverse range of roles.
Take stock of your existing skills. Once you’ve considered your strengths and your passions, it’s time to work out which field might suit you best.
Consider different fields
Whilst the obvious path for a psychologist is in healthcare as a chartered psychologist recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS), there are so many areas of psychology that the career options are almost endless.
Even within straight psychology, you have people who specialise in areas like clinical psychology or counselling psychology. The first tends to deal with more pathological issues like psychosis, whilst counselling psychologists typically work with less serious instances, although there is considerable overlap.
You might be able to gauge which industry to aim for based on your current work experience or interests: have you always been interested in the legal system, or are you more interested in the science of sales?
Psychology within law and crime
There are so many opportunities in which to use psychology within the criminal justice system. The first option is to build on a career as a psychologist and specialise in criminal psychology or forensic psychology.
Criminal psychologists focus on understanding the motivations of people who commit crimes. The role can involve anything from interviewing suspects, dictating interview techniques for the police, giving specialist evidence in court, or even helping the police psychoanalyse a criminal at large.
Forensic psychology, conversely, spans both criminal and civil law. Forensic psychologists work to assess the mental state of those involved in crimes, both victim and perpetrator, and advise on the correct course of action.
They can conduct mental assessments for convicted individuals placed in a mental health institution rather than a typical prison. They’re also instrumental in the rehabilitation of prisoners and in attempts to reduce overall rates of recidivism. This can involve working with social services to ensure that people remain in a supported situation after leaving prison.
Psychology within business
The whole field of psychology relates to human behaviour, which, coincidentally, is of great interest across all areas of business. Instead of a typical psychology career, you might consider a path into the business world instead.
Psychology degrees in Business Psychology can be a great choice for someone who wants to combine their passion for the business world with their passion for psychology. Degrees such as these will provide learners with real-life situations that will give them insight around and understanding of psychological behaviours of businesses, with insights into the way that CEOs think right down to the newest employee.
Human resources is one department that has to take the well-being of staff, which means that some expertise in psychology could be a huge help. HR managers need to assess their staffs’ moods and discomforts to accurately solve any problems that arise and de-escalate potentially heated situations.
A PG Dip Organisational Psychology can be an excellent qualification for those wanting to work with business in order to help them understand how to motivate their employees better and change behaviour within their organisation. If you have had previous experience working within the world of business but want to factor in psychology in your career, this can be an excellent way to do so.
If you’re interested in business finance, a business and finance qualification in Trading Psychology can be a great option. This applies some of the principles of psychology to a trading setting, allowing you to get a deeper understanding of market behaviours from a psychological perspective.
This can be a great option for those who want to learn about how psychology interacts with the world of business.
Psychology can go hand in hand with HR. Those with a background in this area can pivot towards a psychology role, and vice versa with those coming from psychology that want to move into HR.
Knowledge in this area is excellent for anyone who wants to change employee behaviour, boost productivity and improve cohesion within a workforce.
This informal knowledge around the principles of psychology can give those in the finance industry a huge step up and advantage against other traders and companies.
Psychology within teaching
Educational psychology can be invaluable to students, especially those with disabilities. Educational psychologists work with the child, school, and parents to develop and support the emotional and social growth of the children in their care.
Meanwhile, a qualification in Psychology and Child Psychology can help you to apply the core principles of psychology in a learning environment.
This can be an excellent complement to a teaching qualification, as it provides learners with invaluable skills when it comes to helping children to succeed.
Being qualified in psychology means that there are several career paths available to those with a psychology background. Your career can vary widely, from sports psychology to social work. Explore a career you’re really excited about today.