The field of psychology attracts people with a passion for helping others. Such people aspire to a career focusing on improving people’s lives by addressing their behavioral and mental health issues. But even with this passion, many are unsure if they have the right skills and personality traits to succeed in a career in psychology.
An interest in understanding the behavior of others is certainly a good place to start with the abilities needed in psychology. A commitment to helping others is another. Knowing your area of interest, such as working with students or human services, can also help make it easier to choose the psychology degree to pursue.
If you’ve just begun considering your interest in psychology, it helps to look at yourself and determine what skills and traits you bring to the table. Chances are, you are more prepared for this career than you know.
Is Psychology Right For Me?
That question – “Is psychology right for me?” is asked by many students with interest in the profession but uncertainty about their talent for the job. Interest alone, coupled with the skills and knowledge learned while earning a degree, is enough to propel many students to success.
However, certain personality traits show that a psychology career is right for you. See if any of the following describes you.
- You’re a Good Listener: Some people are naturally good listeners. Observant, thoughtful listening includes the ability to hear other people’s opinions and problems without judgment. If you’re the friend in your group who everyone confides in, that’s a good sign you have the makings of a future psychologist.
- You’re Open-Minded: The non-judgmental part of good listening is key to success in psychology. The very nature of the job requires you to listen to personal stories from people with many different beliefs and approaches to life. If you avoid stereotyping people and can listen without filtering what you hear through your belief system, you already have a core skill for being a psychologist.
- You’re a Problem Solver: Psychologists guide their patients to reach their breakthrough moments. The job is not about telling people what to do. However, understanding proven solutions to psychological problems are critical to providing proper guidance. An interest and ability in problem-solving and critical thinking are key traits for being a successful psychologist.
- You Are Ethical: Ethics is more than knowing ethics; it’s applying them to your life. Psychologists require strong adherence to ethics to win patients’ trust, giving them the confidence to share their innermost thoughts and feelings.
- You Enjoy Helping People: As with other professions in healthcare, success in a psychology career rests on your passion for helping others and your enjoyment of working with other people. Psychologists need to be a “people person” to do well, no matter which area of psychology they may work.
Career Paths With a Psychology Degree
One of the major attractions of a psychology degree is the many career path options it offers graduates. While many jobs in psychology require a master’s degree or doctorate, earning a bachelor’s degree can serve as a solid starting point for many psychology careers.
Some of the areas where graduates from a psychology program can launch a career include the following:
- Human Services: Psychologists in human services use their skills to help people living in poor and underserved communities get the assistance they need. They work in various settings, including mental health and counseling services, the criminal justice system, and hospitals. The insight psychologists have into human behavior is extremely valuable in this profession.
- Organizational Psychology: The focus in this area of psychology is on providing insight into addressing the needs of employees and improving work performance. A psychologist might create a questionnaire to determine the best applicant for a job. They might also work with employees in-house and help match the right person to the right job within an organization.
- Human Resources: Whether at the management or specialist level, psychologists working in human resources understand both individual and group behavior. As noted by Psychology Today, one of the main duties of a human resource department is to “maintain good performance and behavior” of an organization’s employees.” Psychology graduates excel in this area.
- Education: School psychologists at the elementary and secondary levels work with students to help them cope with challenges and keep them on track to achieve academic goals.
Touro University Worldwide Psychology Degrees
The online psychology degree programs from Touro University Worldwide allow students to focus on their specialization of interest. Undergraduate degrees include concentrations on:
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology
- Elementary Education
- Secondary Education
- Special Education
- Human Services
- Child and Adolescent Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
The university also offers online Master of Arts degree programs in psychology, with concentrations in Media Psychology, Educational Psychology, Health Psychology, and Forensic Psychology. Graduate students can also earn a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology.