If you’ve studied psychology in college, or know someone who has, you’ve undoubtedly heard the claim that psychology majors can't get jobs. A recent investigation into the question of whether there are too many psych majors reveals that this is not the case, as published in the report: "Are There Too Many Psych Majors?" The American Psychological Association and the Florida Psychology Department Chairs, responding to concerns about psychology being “too popular” as a major, prepared this White Paper to examine the facts about the employability of psychology majors. The surprising results show that in contrast to the view that it prepares students for very little of practical value, the undergraduate psychology major is one of the best choices a college student can make.
Before we answer the question of why psychology is such a sound choice for a major, let’s tackle the myths about the psychology major that many prospective students believe.
Based on the APA/Florida report, these are the four most common misbeliefs:
You can become a therapist with a bachelor’s degree. Although many students think they may be one or two courses away from being a “Dr. Phil, ” the truth is that becoming a therapist does take training. That said, you can pursue many jobs in the mental health field with four solid years, plus practicals or internships, of courses within the major. However, it’s not true that…
You can’t get a job in an area of psychology with a bachelor’s degree. You can’t become a licensed psychologist unless you have graduate training plus additional hours of supervision, but the skills you gain as a psychology major translate well into many jobs, especially in entry-level positions. We’ll talk more about this shortly.
Psychology is an art, not a science. There may be applications of psychology to the arts, but the field is a science, one that is increasingly gaining recognition as a “STEM” (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) discipline.