A psychology major is one of the top 10 college majors, according to a report by the Princeton Review. Earning a degree in psychology may confer a number of important personal and professional benefits. A degree in psychology can provide you with a solid education in the field, help you understand yourself and others on a deeper level, and enable you to pursue certain careers requiring an in-depth knowledge of psychology, such as human services or business.
Many students select a psychology major because they have a desire to learn more about the inner workings of the mind and want to understand the emotions, behaviors and interactions of others on a deeper level. According to the Department of Psychology at Lehigh University, an undergraduate psychology degree program offers a solid foundation for helping students understand the ways in which people think, act and feel on both individual and group bases. A degree in psychology may also promote the development of personal insight and help you better understand your own motivations, emotions and actions.
A degree in psychology may open the doors to a number of potential career options in a variety of fields. While a career as a psychologist is generally only available to those who have earned a doctoral degree in psychology, students with bachelor's degrees in psychology often find employment in the field of human services, such as casework or counseling. But studying psychology may also lead to various alternative career paths in fields like business, human resources, teaching or marketing, according to the Canadian Psychological Association.
Earning a degree in psychology also provides a solid educational background for more advanced study in the field. Students who have earned a bachelor's degree in psychology often decide to enter master's or doctoral programs in psychology. Graduate psychology programs generally require students to select a specialty, such as child and adolescent psychology or organizational-industrial psychology. Students with bachelor's degrees in psychology are given an introduction to specializations in undergraduate introductory courses. They also have the chance to further examine specialties in undergraduate electives, in many cases, by participating in internships or research projects.
The skills learned in psychology education programs usually serve to enhance students' personal and professional lives. These skills, such as communication, interpersonal evaluation, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, are valuable to many types of careers and also for everyday life and social interactions. Students who possess these skills may be able to market themselves more effectively to potential employers, but they may also have an easier time interacting with others, making friends and dealing with conflict in interpersonal relationships.
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.