(Closed) Terrified of graduating with my bachelors in psychology!

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 17
Member
1914 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX

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@annb9:  Just wanted to say hi, job twin. I also work in development and fundraising at a mental health nonprofit! Sorry to threadjack!

OP, our nonprofit actually does have quite a few employees with Psych BAs, but to be honest it’s not glamorous work. They are mostly case managers who work with difficult clients and don’t make a ton of money. Unless you know for sure you want to be in the psych field, I would suggest focusing on other industries like communications or HR.

 

Post # 18
Member
123 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

I have a BSc in psychology and with that worked in supported living for people with severe metal illness. I am in the middle of my second degree in counselling and psychotherapy. I considered a masters but it wasn’t getting me anywhere. I had initially planned to go on to do a doctorate in clinical psychology but I realised along the way I wanted to have a good work and home life balance. So even though this degree is another undergrad it fully qualifies me as a therapist. Psychology is difficult and a long path for a career but it was the only one I really wanted. 

Post # 19
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

@Birdiebaby4:  Do you really want to do Psych as a career? That should guide you in whether or not you continue schooling.  I personally have decided not to go back for grad school simply because I know that my quality of life is deeply affected by my student loans and I seriously would never sign for one again. Check out any possible way to get a job that will help pay for schooling.

 

Take a long look at the options for you after you get your Masters degree and what it is you want to do. Look at job openings  in the niche you want along with what they pay if it is shown. 

As for a job situation, I would go to a temp agency stat. They will test your computer and writing skills and will call you for any open jobs. Anything to get the experience will help. That’s how I got my summer jobs when I was in college and the experience I got there were valuable to where I am today.

 

Good luck with everything. I was in your shoes once.  If you need somebody to talk to feel free to PM me

Post # 20
Member
581 posts
Busy bee

@Birdiebaby4:  

BA in psych? I have one of those.

Do you have research experience? If you do you could work in a lab (or better yet hit up the profs at your university now and start looking for research assistance work). Sometimes this has even involved playing with toddlers. (If you’re Developmental Psych)

Research assistant experience will look awesome on a resume, and it’ll look good to Graduate schools too.

You could look into a masters if that’s what interests you. I know my university had a human resources specialization in psych- those grads seemed to be particularly employable. You could also look at a post-grad diploma to compliment your psych BA- they are usually only a year (for example Addictions Counselling or Human Resources Management) depending on where your interests lie.

Lots of people have BAs in psych- but you do have a lot of options, and it’s an excellent framework to build on. Don’t give up hope!

Post # 21
Member
210 posts
Helper bee

I have a bachelors in Psychology. I got my teaching certification and I am now a teacher. I graduated December 2012.. got a job in September. If you are considering that route, there are PLENTY of programs that help you to do it without going into debt. The one I did, you pay $600 for the course and then they take the rest of your tuition ($3400) out  over the first year once you secure a job. It’s wonderful. I absolutely love it. I also wanted to go to grad school but found at the end of my bachelors that I was just ready to have a career and 4 more years of school truly did not seem like a blast. I may go back eventually… but for now, I am just enjoying it.

Post # 22
Member
165 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I know this won’t help very much, but I am in the same about. I feel like most office positions require prior experience that I don’t have because I’ve been a full-time student. Good luck to you in your search, I’ll be looking around too!

Post # 23
Member
4027 posts
Honey bee

@Birdiebaby4:  What else are you interested in pursuing? 

I graduated in 2010 with a degree in Psychology and Spanish. I knew I would need a master’s to obtain employment in Psychology and I decided I didn’t want to pursue it. Therefore, I looked toward the nonprofit sector and program administration positions. I worked at a private foundation that gave away grants for two years, and now I work at public charter school as a department director overseeing marketing, recruting and administrative processes.

Did I ever think my degree would lead to where I am now? Absolutely not. But I am really happy it did? Yes. I was open to pursuing different options and it worked out well. I was able to break into the nonprofit sector during college by volunteering and working as an assistant at local nonprofits. It really helped me when applying to competitive jobs.

Have you started looking at jobs you may not have considered? What about management in training jobs? Fellowships/2 year development programs?

Post # 24
Member
3281 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I think sales is a great idea! Phamaceutical sales rep, textbook sales rep–I know people who do/have done both of those and really enjoyed them! Look at the largest cities in your area (Ohio, yay! I used to live there!) and see what is available at any entry-level position.

My Brother-In-Law will be graduating with a psych degree in two years, and I’m a little nervous for him!

Oh and as someone with an advanced degree, I would say do NOT get a Master’s unless you have a very clear idea of what you would do with one. So many people in my Master’s program were just there to delay having to find jobs (I graduated shortly after the financial collapse) and when they got done, they were basically no more marketable than they were before.

Post # 25
Member
1197 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I got a BS in Psychology in 2009.  I worked for a government contractor researching obesity in school age children – I recruited schools, organized site visits and helped design surveys.  I left after a year to pursue a PhD in biomedical sciences.

I have quite a few friends who’ve gotten their MSW and they seem to have a relatively easy (as easy as it can be in this economy) time finding jobs.  Is counseling something you might be into?

 

 

 

Post # 26
Member
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

These are all the psych majors I know in real life:

my dad has a bachelor’s in psych. He worked at a juvenile rehabilitation center for almost a decade. He had the overnight shift though and always had to work on holidays so he hated it. Then he got involved with social work/CPS. He was a contracted worker though.. he was not paid a regular salary, only paid for the hours he spent with clients. He had to write reports allll the time. English isn’t his native language, so writing took him a long time. I had to help him write case reports almost everyday.. (at the time, we were living in a pretty small town, so job prospects were not good).

He started out working with 30+ people. At the end of his employment there, he had 3 coworkers left. There just wasn’t enough work for everyone. My dad ended up getting his CDL to become a school bus driver and made $20/hour. (He no longer lives in the US anymore though)

My mom’s friend has a bachelor’s of psychology. She lives in a bigger city (her husband works in the same rehab center my dad did), she is in social work. Her daughter graduated with a bachelor’s of psychology, and is now working for the same company as her mother, but still cannot afford to live on her own.

I know a couple who are both pursuing bachelor’s in psych. The girl’s mom has a master’s in psych and runs her own therapy practice with two other colleagues. The girl says once her mom & friends retire, she and her boyfriend will take over the business. Her mom had a bachelor’s for the longest time, and got her master’s fairly recently. I guess she said it was better for business.

Post # 27
Member
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Birdiebaby4:  I know this doesn’t help much, but I’m terrified to graduate with my Ph.D in psychology!  I went the clinical route, but I know psychology has many different facets. What are you thinking?

Post # 28
Member
117 posts
Blushing bee

@Birdiebaby4:  

Omg don’t get worried. The job hunt will be annoying but there are jobs out there. Mental Health Clinicians, Counsellors, Support Workers, working with crime victims at the police station, consulting, sales, ect. SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES. 

Volunteer at shelters, schools, group homes ect. To get experience. Also if there are any practical placements at your college, take advantage of them! 

I got offered a casual job at Brain Injury Services because my Practicum Supervisor recomended me. 

I am still in school and I also applied for a support position at a shelter and I the pay is great (for a student) and the requirement was a child and youth diploma (which I don’t have) so APPLY even if you don’t meet the minimum requirement and follow up after your application.

You just have to look, the jobs ARE out there ! 

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions! <3

Post # 29
Member
276 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@mrswbs – sorry, but you’re totally wrong about a Master’s in psychology being useless. It’s the only way to get a job as a counselor, which is something the OP mentioned interest in. OP, with a bachelor’s degree you can work in a residential psych program, you can do foster care or other social work, you can be a psych assistant in a hospital, a research assistnat, and other entry level jobs like that which would give you a taste of the clinical world. I am a licensed professional counselor, and I WISH someone had told me all this before I started – it wouldn’t have changed my mind about my career, but it would have been helpful to know.

If you’re interested in becomin a therapist, you will need a Master’s degree in counseling/clinical psychology or clinical social work. Most states also require you to be licensed, which means additional supervision and practice after graduating with your Master’s. If counseling is your goal, you will want to be prepared to put a lot more time and money into your training before you make much. You can also do a lot of other things that relate to psychology – did you minor or have a concentration in anything? There are options out there; they may not pay that well in the beginning, but unfortunately that’s the case in most careers these days, not just psych. PM me if you want any other info. Best of luck!

 

Post # 31
Member
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

You’ll need your masters to do what you want to do. A psych degree is basically the new English degree-it’s completely and utterly useless and you can hardly do anything in your field without more schooling. (With verrryyyy few exceptions for people who are exceptionally lucky to be hired into one of the few openings that doesn’t require a ton of experience and for which a BA/BS is fine. Psych is such a popular degree that you’re competing against many others for a few positions)

I was a psych major, and so were my friends-here’s the general outlook for people who got jobs: they work making less than 30k a year between one or two psych-related social-work type jobs and either live at home, or nanny, waitress, etc to make enough to barely live on their own. The rest are either full time baristas at Starbucks or decided to go back to school so that they could be employed. One of my friends has been trying for a few years to break into research and she had a pretty bangin gpa. 

Fortunately, I double majored, but all my friends who didn’t have been struggling to make more than $35k (none if them have) and we graduated in 2011. 

I’d go to get your masters so you can be a LCSW or something. 

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