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Careers in Psychology

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Overview - What Can I Do With an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology?

Approximately 75 percent of our graduates go directly into the workforce with a bachelor's degree. Graduates of our department can compete effectively with other students who obtained a general/liberal arts education, as well as those who opted for more specialized curricula. Your performance as a psychology major and your willingness to prepare for a variety of career options will influence your attractiveness to employers and eventual career placement. Preparing for the job market and then building your career take planning and effort over a long period of time. You should take steps each semester, beginning with your freshman year, toward this end. Strive to incorporate the following into your undergraduate experience from a combination of course selections and other activities:

• Oral and written communication skills
• Critical thinking
• Teamwork
• Problem solving
• Leadership
• Research methodology
• Computer literacy
• Work experience

Career Development Services

Career Advising for Social Science Majors: Exploring career options, self-assessment tools & resources, development of career plans & objectives, decision-making, graduate school, and portfolio development.

• Major Information/Labor Market: What can I do with a major ... ?, labor market trends, job outlook, and salary information.

• Letter Writing & Critiquing: Development of resumes, cover letters, thank-you letters, and other professional correspondence.

• Job Search: Resources for finding employment, job search strategies, interviewing, and how to market yourself to employers.

• Internship Strategies: How to find an internship, networking, building career-related contacts, and career/employment fairs.

Students frequently ask "What can I do with a major in the Social Sciences?" and "What kind of income can I expect to earn?" Seldom do students think about what they want from work. Now is the time to take charge of your career development! Early, in-depth planning plays an important role in the identification of appropriate career directions, complementary course work, and relevant field experience.

To make an appointment with your Career Services Field Consultant, Kristi Coleman, call (517) 353-9291. Kristi is located in Career Development Services, 224A Berkey Hall and on the web at http://www.socialscience.msu.edu/students/social-science-undergraduates/career-services/.

General Job Areas for Graduates With a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

Child/Youth/Elder CareHuman ResourcesResidential Services
Community ServicesHuman ServicesRetail Management
Consulting ServicesManufacturing/ProductionRetail/Wholesale Sales
Court/Juvenile servicesMarket ResearchSocial Services
Customer ServicesGovernmental/Legislative ServicesSpecial Populations Services
Employee RelationsPersonnel/Human ResourcesStudent/Alumni Services
Employment ServicesPrivate/Nonprofit ManagementSubstance Abuse Services
Financial ServicesPublic Relations/Media ServicesVolunteer Services

Career Preparation Timeline

The suggested timeline below incorporates career planning strategies into your college experience. Our suggestions are not intended to be exhaustive. This section is intended to get you THINKING and TAKING ACTION.

Freshman & Sophomore Years

• Join a student organization. Participate in campus activities. Visit the Student Life Office, 101 Student Services Building.
• Volunteer through the Service-Learning Center, 27 Student Services Building.
• Schedule an appointment with academic advisor to set up academic plan.
• Begin to develop relationships with the faculty.
• Set up your profile on Career Services and Placement's Myspartancareer.com
• Spend a day (or part of one) with a professional who has a job that interests you.

Junior Year

• Develop a career portfolio to chart your career and skills development.
• Take the Career Decision Making course PSY 290.
• Complete an internship or particicpate in research (if graduate school is your goal).
• Aim for outstanding academic performance in all your course work.
• Attend career fairs/seminars. Continue to use the Career Development Center.
• Discuss academic/career decisions with your mentor, advisor, or counselor.
• Update your profile on Myspartancareer.com and monitor job opportunities.

Senior Year

• Propel your job campaign into full swing; continue to attend career fairs and workshops.
• Know the job market you hope to enter! Be prepared to complete effectively with other candidates.
• Update your profile on Myspartancareer.com and monitor job opportunities.

Psychology Websites

Job Listings/Job Search

On-line Psychology Career Center: socialpsychology.org/career.htm

Mental Health Net- Professional Employment Resources: mentalhelp.net/joblink

MySpartanCareer MSU: Myspartancareer.com

Career Planning & Information:

Careers in Psychology: psywww.com/careers/

Psychology Careers: http://www.apa.org/careers/resources/guides/careers.aspx

Organizations & Associations:

I/O Psychology: siop.org

National Institute of Mental Health: nimh.nih.gov

American Psychological Association: apa.org

Social Psychology Network: socialpsychology.org/

American Psychological Society: psychologicalscience.com

Miscellaneous Resources:

Internet Mental Health: mentalhealth.com/

Encyclopedia of Psychology- Psychology Websites: psychology.org/links/Career

PsychWeb: psychwww.com

Department of Psychology: psychology.msu.edu

MSU Homepage: msu.edu