Study for a profession where you can genuinely help people and make a difference in the world.
So you’re thinking about college, but you don’t know what major you should choose. You know you want to help people. You want to have an impact on your community. If this sounds like you, you may want to consider a major in psychology.

Psychology is the study of human behavior and the mind. You’ll get to examine perception, memory, decision-making, and brain development throughout the lifespan. Various types of psychology treat mood disorders, study motivation in social interactions, unearth how we learn language, or measure the effects of stress on the brain. Whether you are more interested in neuroscience, social problems, or helping individuals cope with life’s challenges, you will find many answers to your burning questions when you study psychology.

Getting your degree in psychology can prepare you to enter many different professions and industries. You might think that a psychology degree is only for people who want to be therapists or counselors, but that is just one avenue to use your psychology knowledge. With an understanding of behavior and motivation, you could work in criminal justice, market research, human resources, substance use counseling, community or government organizations, sports psychology, education and learning, career counseling, or as a life coach.

An undergraduate degree in psychology is an excellent foundation for a career in almost any field–finance, global trade, politics–you name it. Because every job involves interaction with people, understanding human behavior can be a boon to any employer. If you are fascinated by people and want to understand them better, getting a degree in psychology could be a springboard into a future where you can help individuals, families, organizations, or communities handle our changing world more easily.

Many people study psychology to become counselors, social workers, or therapists. While these professions require educated, compassionate professionals, there are other jobs where you can use your psychology degree to help your community. For example, with even an associate or bachelor’s degree in psychology, you can apply your knowledge as an aide in many professional settings, like psychiatric facilities, drug counseling centers, schools, homeless shelters, community health clinics, juvenile detention centers, women’s shelters, elder care facilities, courts, or other settings where people need help. These entry-level jobs can help you decide if pursuing a counseling or social work license would be the best path for you.

Other career ideas for people with a psychology degree include working as an activities director in an after-school program or a senior center. You could take your knowledge of people and work in a preschool or daycare. The skills you will gain will also be attractive to employers from all kinds of businesses, as you will have an understanding of human interactions. You might consider office work or even hospitality or retail jobs to use your people skills.

Suppose you want to become a therapist or other mental health professional. In that case, you can take a job in many fields to help support you while you train to become licensed. In the meantime, you can do good for your community and earn money for yourself and your family.

You can explore your curiosity about humans and yourself by studying psychology, leading you to many jobs that can make the world a better place. In this post-pandemic environment, the emotional challenges to humans around the globe have been magnified and intensified. Our communities urgently need qualified professionals to help children, teens, adults, and older adults deal with the stresses of our modern world. Your psychology degree could give you the tools to give back to your community.