Five Nontraditional Careers in Psychology
Do you love the idea of studying human behavior, but don’t want to get stuck behind a desk all day listening to other people talk about their problems? That’s perfectly acceptable, because the field of psychology is growing every day. There are plenty of career opportunities for people with psychology degrees who don’t want to become therapists, counselors, or clinical psychologists. Here are five possibilities for how you can put your psychology degree to good use.
This branch of psychology is also referred to as industrial or organizational psychology, but the work is similar no matter what it’s called. Workplace psychologists do a number of things to make the work environment more comfortable for employees. They may work in human resources to develop training materials and team-building exercises, or they may conduct sensitivity and sexual harassment seminars. They may even hold individual meetings with employees during restructuring or after a crisis.
Engineering psychologists study how people interact with machines. They are often employed by industry to help design equipment that is both efficient and user-friendly. They do this by using what they know of how the human brain processes information and what they know of how machines operate. This is a great field for people who are interested in the practical applications of psychology and who have a strong belief that increased productivity comes from working smarter and not harder.
You’ve probably seen actors playing forensic psychologists on your favorite crime dramas and not even realized it. Forensic psychologists work in the gray area where the legal field and the medical field overlap. They work closely with lawyers to evaluate mental competency of defendants, they may help in jury selection, they can weigh in on custody battles, and they are sometimes asked to speculate upon possible motives for crimes. Usually trained in both law and psychology, forensic psychologists are go-to people for lawyers and judges when questions of human behavior and thought processes can influence a court case.
If reading about case studies and experiments was what got you interested in psychology to begin with, you might consider a career in quantitative psychology. Also called measurement psychology, this field is particularly appealing to people who like working with numbers and rules. These folks are the behind-the-scenes math geniuses who develop the criteria for experiments and research methodology so that when research is conducted, it’s both statistically relevant and ethical. They may also work on mathematically interpreting the results of experiments.
The old days of crusty coaches barking orders at athletes are coming to an end. Competitive sports are changing, as kids are getting scouted for college scholarships at much younger ages than they ever used to. All this pressure and stress takes its toll, and that’s where sports psychologists come in. Sports psychologist work with athletes of all ages to help them set goals, stay motivated, and deal with competition and stress in a productive way.
There are many schools that offer psychology courses. To see these and other related degrees, visit the Psychology Schools directory today.