When one thinks of a degree in psychology, most people think of a career path involving counseling or therapy. However this perception of what psychology graduates do is usually incorrect given that most with degrees in psychology do not become psychologists.
A Hard Path to Take
The road to becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist is not easy because one needs to take the long route through graduate school. This path is difficult and expensive leading to only a 1,000 or so a year being awarded a PhD. in psychology as opposed to the 70,000 awarded baccalaureate degrees.
Where to do they go?
Since so many students only obtain a baccalaureate or masters degree, where do those with a degree in psychology end up? The answer lies in what a degree in psychology really teaches. Psychology is about human behavior. What affects how we act, how we perceive the world and how we interact with others. All of these are important skills needed in social work and business.
Man: The Social Animal
As more and more interaction, social or business, takes place on the Internet, the need for people who understand human responses, social behaviors and action triggers are vital. While a visual media, the Internet is not like print/newspaper or television. It is an interactive media and thus businesses need to know how their websites, apps and products tie into this evolving social network. The older media are not as effective as they once were because they do not have the give-and-take the Internet gives clients. A degree in psychology allows you to understand what motivates people whether to browse, read or buy.
Separating the Wheat from the Chaff
A degree in psychology also gives the graduate an understanding of statistics, research methods and how to avoid fallacies. All of these are crucial skills in regards to polling, marketing and other analytical positions. The sifting of data, analyzing it into actionable information is a skill which will come naturally to psychology graduate. As more information becomes linked via the Internet, those with the skills to analyze it are gold in today's economy.
A Degree in Psychology: Not just for Therapy
So while many who enter the psychology program with the intent to become a mental health provider, the truth is it is they will more likely end up in marketing, social work or management because psychology is about people and how they act.