Post # 1
I’m about to graduate this fall with my BA in psychology. Normally you would think this would be a good thing but I’m terrified I won’t find a decent job!
Originally I wanted to go to graduate school, but after assesing my student loan situation I’m going to be at about 55k in loans (maybe 60 depending on what I get for my final semester this year in aid). Most of which were private because my dad retired with a buy out during my first two years of school, so the government didn’t really give me anything at all then. I’ve been unemployed the last 5 months while in school just trying to find another job (I’ve been a nanny the last 4 years and decided it was time to get back into more of a “work” environment as I don’t want to do in home childcare forever). I can’t find anything!
I’ve tried desperatley to get into some sort of administrative job or receptionist, they all want a two year degree in administration or experience. I can’t do anything legally related because I don’t have experience or a degree, I can’t do buisness for the same reason, medical, accounting, ect it’s all the same issue!
I’m pretty much scared I’m going to be working at a horrible pay in retail the rest of my life! I went to college to get out of retail/food service! I think graduate school is out now due to the loan situation, although I would love to go in the worst way. My grades are good, but not like the top (3.3 GPA) so I doubt getting it funded will happen.
Please please please help! Any words of encouragement or solutions from other psych majors? Is biting the bullet and going more in debt for a master’s worth it?
Post # 3
I think the master’s degree might be worth it. Did you not know going into to psych that you would need at least a master’s or PhD? My major is speech pathology so I also can do basically nothing with my degree, but I knew before choosing it I would need to go to grad school and have prepared myself for that. Look at it this way, you could have 60K in loans and work for minimum wage paying it off, or you could have 100K w/ a decent paying job (not guranteed but more likely). I’d just get the master’s and see if you can get an assistantship or anything to pay for it. While in school I worked at the unviersity daycare 15 hours a week since my freshman year and I’ve loved it. With your experience maybe look into something like that for now. good luck!
Post # 4
I’ve got a BS in biochemistry and two years out of school I’m still having this problem. I work as a reserarch scientist and funding comes and goes. I’m losing my job in two weeks because the funding is gone and I’m having a bit of a meltdown because I don’t know what comes next. In school the next step is usually pretty clear, but once you get out into the real world it’s so much harder to figure out. I hate dealing with the uncertainty as it give me horrible anxiety. I’m trying to get back into the bubble by going to grad school myself 😉 I don’t know if I have any real good advice, but you’re not alone.
Now that I think about it some more if you want some kind of administrative job I’d definitely sign up with a few staffing agencies. They’re basically free help in your job search.
Post # 5
Try consulting, a lot of firms are looking to hire a wide range of majors for broader perspectives.
Also, you could always apply for a phd program.
Post # 6
I have a BA in Psychology too. I work in finance/credit. Most of my co-workers have business degrees. Psych is soo general, but I have found I can do alot with it!
Post # 7
@Birdiebaby4: In my area the oil & gas industry is booming right now and many people with psychology and related degrees are going into sales positions. They make great money too.
Post # 8
@Birdiebaby4: You can get funded with a 3.3 GPA, so I wouldn’t let that stop you. I would only go get an MA if you want a very specific type of job that requires a masters. I don’t know much you can do in psychology with a BA so I would probably consider it since having an MA might open up a lot more higher-paying job opportunities.
You can certainly work your way up to a decent salary with a BA (in anything) but you’ll have to start off at a lower salary and just work your way up through experience. It will probably just be some type of job that requires any degree though, so not psychology related.
Post # 9
@MrsN14: I mean I did understand it, but at the same time no body ever explains the financial part like “well you could get a two year degree in computer sciene and make 45k a year starting out, or you could go 100k into debt to become a counselor making the same amount!” That’s what I’m having a hard time with now because I basically was told it was such a great degree because it tuavght “critical thinking skills” and people skills and was so diverse in the job market, now all the jobs I’ve looked into that supposedly I could use it towards all require a different specialised degree. But you do make a good point, and I’ve thought of that too actually, it would be nicer to at least have a job I’d enjoy when paying back the money then be stuck in dead end jobs I don’t enjoy. I’m just worried about affording the payments 🙁
@Eckle: That’s suprising! I would think with that kind of major it’d be more in demand! It seems like masters degree are becomming the new bachelors…
Post # 10
@Birdiebaby4: What was your plan when you started your psychology degree? What types of jobs did your research show you were available with an undergraduate degree in psychology? Are those jobs still available?
Graduating can be scary for many of us. Moving out into the real world involves tremendous change and change is often uncomfortable.
Post # 11
@Birdiebaby4: Do NOT get a masters in psychology. It’s not worth it at all! If you think you’re interested in pursuing a masters to become a therapist, etc I highly suggest you work in that environment before going back to school. Otherwise, you should go for a PhD because a master’s in psychology is not worth much of anything. It definitely won’t help you get a job anymore than a BA will.
I graduated with my BA in Psychology and worked after college as a case manager in a residential facility for individuals with severe mental illness. It was low paying, thankless work and just wasn’t for me at all.
Jobs you could potentially find with a BA in psyc:
-research assistant in a lab (look at universities)
-mental health tech at a psychiatric hospital
What kind of experience do you have with jobs and internships? Focus on your transferrable skills.
Post # 12
@Birdiebaby4: To answer your immediate question, no I do not think a masters degree in Psych would be worth it, UNLESS you plan to get your PHD. I used to consider getting my masters in PSYCH however on the application website they said that students not planning to go on to the PHD need not apply. They wanted to bump Masters students right up to the PHD program after because that was the schooling process for future doctors.
Theres a good chance that if you get your masters then you will simply find yourself in the exact same problem you were before, only with more debt. Unless of course you want to go on to a psychology profession, then heck yeah go for it.
May I suggest going to a post graduate program at a college? There are usually alot of one year or 8 month long programs at colleges for certain programs that are job-specific and alot of that time you can have any kind of undergraduate degree to get into them.
Post # 13
@Birdiebaby4: I have very specialized experience to go with my degree. I work pirmarily with fungi and secondarily with plants. Most things that are well funded are in the medical field and require cell culture or animal handling experience that I don’t have. I’m also not sure how I’d feel about killing lab animals (I have no shame whatsoever about the legions of plants and fungi I have killed in pursuit of science :P). I’m trying to get into grad school for crop pathology, specifically fungi related diseases.
Post # 14
@Birdiebaby4: I have a BA in sociology, so while not the same thing, it’s relatively similar in terms of job prospects. I work in development/fundraising at a non-profit now and found that as long as you HAVE a Bachelor’s degree, a lot of administrative jobs don’t really care what the degree was in. I started working at my non-profit as an administrative person with no qualifications at all (I was a year out of college and had worked in education for my first year out) and moved into my current role when there was an opening.
I don’t honestly think you should get the MA without gaining some experience in the real world. You may find out that your true passion lies somewhere totally new and different, and putting yourself in more debt for a Master’s degree like psychology isn’t worth it unless you’re 1000% sure.
On a side note, the non-profit I work for employs psychologists (it’s a mental health non-profit) and they all have PhDs or PsyD degrees. I don’t think a MA in psych is going to get you very far, to be honest, so I’d hold out, work for awhile, and then go back to school for a doctorate program.
Post # 15
I have a BA in Sociology so I was once in your shoes!
You can go into sales/recruiting. This is where I started out, and most of the people I know who had broad degrees did as well. Sales tends to have a high turnover, but most places require a degree (and don’t really care what type it is) and hire college kids pretty quickly.
Also with a Psych BA, you could think about getting into non-profit, specifically focused on program services or low level case management/intake management. I currently work in the non-profit sector focused on development, which ties into my sales experience and my degree. So the program side would match up better with your background.
Post # 16
@Birdiebaby4: I’m in year 6.5 of my doctorate program… ugh. but i dont know anyone in my program or similar programs who have said that it hasnt been worth it…
If you don’t do grad school there are still other option but honestky exoerience is important. A good (but hard) way to get experience is simply volunteering. The mustard seed is an AA group that asks for volunteer receptionists. Bc it’s unpaid its obviously easier to get and allows y ou to get experience. It’s not a full time job so it won’t kill you financially.
What would your ideally like to do? There are ways to get tastes of lots of jobs but obviously not with the sme title or pay without the doctorate.