(Closed) Could an AA majoring in Psych apply to other Bachelors' degrees?

posted 6 years ago in College
Post # 3
556 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

You can make decent money with a BA in Psychology. Many people end up as case managers, psych technicians and the like, which is a pretty good job to have. Of course you have the option of pursuing a career in many other fields — because often a BA is required, but not a specific one. You’d end up in a similar position if you were getting a BA in Biology, for example.

Anyway, it helps to know what you intend to switch your major to. If it’s Chemistry, I don’t think many of those courses would count beyond electives — which may or may not satisfy upper level electives you may need to take. However, if you were doing English, Sociology, Social Work, Anthropology, and stuff like that, it may satisfy core requirements for some, and maybe electives for the others. 

 ETA: Nowadays, a degree is a degree. You won’t be looking at amazingly high paying or specific jobs without a graduate degree. Whether it’s English, Psychology, Biology, Architecture, etc., you’re qualified to work as a manager, a tech of some sort, some random middle-of-the road job, or qualified to go to graduate school. Why change majors for the same outcome? Unless of course, it’s Computer Science or something — that gets you a pretty damn specific and good job.

I got a BA in psych, worked as a case manager, and then went to grad school. I’m going to become a counselor pretty soon — which not only pays very well, but is what I love to do. 

My Future Sister-In-Law got a BA in Biology — and worked in a random office. With an MA now, she is a lab tech — and makes so-so money.

This has been the case for many people like us — so a BA really doesn’t seem to “count” unless it’s in one of the booming fields like CS or engineering. It doesn’t mean your degree is worthless, it’s just means you’ll have a non-major specific job.

Post # 5
556 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@roweboat:  Becoming a counselor takes up to three years, but no more. Note: this is NOT a full Ph.D., and you will not be working with very profoundly ill people. Usually, you earn your Master’s degree in two, then need to get licensed to practice, as well as counsel ~3000 hrs (supervised) before being allowed to practice alone. However, this is only true with my education, and may be different for yours. It just needs to be this way when people’s lives are at stake. You can find more information from your particular school about requirements.

In the healthcare field, there are always jobs available. If you like kids, especially, becoming a school counselor will put you in an educational setting, while getting to know the kids on a more personal level.

You could also get a psych degree, and then become licensed to teach.

Post # 6
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

An AA is almost all general ed classes isn’t it? With only a couple classes in your actual degree field? I don’t see why the bulk wouldn’t transfer to something else. Probably the only bachelors degrees that make big bucks are engineering and IT, though. You’ll prob make just as much with a psych degree as most other 4 year degrees!

Post # 7
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

The best thing you can do is to pick out the school you would like to apply to and go speak with a counselor. They will know that schools requirements fo graduation. It will vary school by school

Post # 9
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I was a psych BA and almost a PhD student (I dropped before matriculation). I am a manager doing science (go figure).  If I could do it all over again, I would have at least done a BS if not actually picked a different and more marketable field (my interest in psych probably would have served me better in marketing or even something more statistics-driven to do market research).  I really disagree with the statement that “a degree is a degree”. To some extent, for some lower paying jobs, that may be true, but I know some of my classmates who graduated from a top school with a BA in psych and still can’t land more than a minimum-wage job. It’s a scary and competitive world out there.

Psych is definitely interesting, but is tough to get a job with anything less than a masters (e.g., educational psych or MSW). Psych jobs can be enjoyable but they can also be draining and they don’t pay well — so that’s kind of a personal decision you have to make. If it’s your passion, you should do it! Several of my friends are self-employed or small-group employed MSWs and they really enjoy their jobs. If you do want to do psych, the MSW is probably the most useful and generally requires 2-3 years (depending on the program) after a 4-year bachelors. If you want to do school programs, I am pretty sure that you just do a MS in school psychology. I have a friend who went that route and seems pretty happy with it. 


Re: teaching, I read in your other post that you are a recent resident of Michigan — I know a lot of teachers who are going into other fields or having to move out of state because it has been hard to find jobs, especially at the younger grade levels. I don’t know if it’s improving or if the people I knew just weren’t great at teaching, but it may be something to research before you move forward with a plan.

If you have some time, there are a few good books on finding your niche that I wished I would have discovered sooner. One is called “What color is your parachute?” and is mostly about finding jobs but also has a lot of self-assessment stuff. Another was something like “Finding the perfect career for dummies” or something along those lines, and the third was a book about positive psychology called “Happier” that spent a lot of pages talking about how to find and do what you love and what gives you meaning. In addition, many community college advising offices will give you personality tests and let you take various career skills/job matching assessments. Those could be a good starting point to find the kinds of JOBS you will ultimately want and then use that to pick the education you need to pursue them. 


Finally, regarding financing your educational endeavors, it sounded like you currently hate your job with firey passion. That is good! Find a job working for a school if you can, like your job more, and let them help you pay for the rest of your school. It is a sound way to get it done, and although it can take a little longer you may be able to get some exposure to areas you think you are interested in. Not sure where you are in the state, but I think most of the Universities and many of the community colleges offer either discounted or waived tuition for employees. Just a few thoughts. Good luck!

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