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If you are interested in the motivations behind peoples’ behaviors, you might be interested in a major in psychology. Psychology is the study of the workings of the human mind from both factual and theoretical points of view.
Because psychology is founded on research, undergraduates will begin with a variety of core courses covering research methods, experimental psychology and statistics as well as an introductory course in psychology. After establishing a base in the field, students will typically take courses from a range of concentrations. Examples include developmental psychology (which addresses the lifespan of childhood, adolescence, maturity and old age), or experimental psychology (including sense perception, learning and biological psychology). Students will earn either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree. A Bachelor of Science will require more math and science courses while a Bachelor of Arts will require humanities courses and perhaps the study of a foreign language.
Some psychology programs are lecture-based while others are research and lab-based. In a lab-based program, students may run experiments on animals and humans, using advanced equipment. Other research includes analyzing beliefs and attitudes through surveys, designing experimental and control groups, and observing social situations.
Programs also vary in the presentation of the curriculum. While some concentrate on scientific research, or on psychology as a liberal art, others have a pre-professional focus, emphasize the practical application of research, or offer internships in organizational or mental health services.
A major in psychology can lead to a variety of job opportunities in several fields. Human resources is a great field for those who enjoy problem-solving. These departments are responsible for interviewing and hiring candidates to fill job openings, training new members, and dealing with interpersonal conflicts within a company.
Students who enjoy sales and advertising can find jobs in this market utilizing psychological skills to analyze, interpret, and ultimately make use of consumer habits and tendencies. Advertising and sales departments are also a part of a wide variety of organizations, including the nonprofit sector.
Students who want to work with families, children, or education may become social workers, counselors, or teachers. Becoming a teacher will require an additional degree in education. A social worker’s job is to help their clients, often families or individuals, handle problems in their everyday lives. Clinical social workers can also diagnose mental health or behavioral issues and help clients deal with them. Students may choose to study social work in addition to psychology to help prepare for this career. Clinical social work often requires an MA degree.
Students who are interested in aiding criminal offenders can become parole officers. Parole officers monitor offenders to ensure they are complying with the terms of their parole, help them get into programs that they may need for issues such as anger management or substance abuse, and prevent or deal with relapses of behavior. The job requires good communication skills. Parole officers also work with the families of the offenders and social workers or psychologists on the case.
If students want to work directly with people to help them fight mental disorders or improve personal relations, they may become psychiatrists or psychologists. Psychiatrists help patients using talk therapy and medication. They must have a medical degree, a specialty in psychiatry, and be licensed as a medical doctor and psychiatrist in their area. Psychologists use talk therapy and have either a Ph.D. or a PsyD. Like psychiatrists, they must be licensed to work in their area.
For additional ideas, visit https://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/psn/2018/01/bachelors-degree.
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