Career Options with Your Psychology Degree

Career Options with Your Psychology Degree

There's an enduring myth that a bachelor's degree in psychology is a road to career purgatory. But many students with psych degrees have created rewarding careers. For proof, read these recent grads' success stories:

Jessica Meehan, 23
University of New Hampshire, Class of 2004
Social Worker, Department of Social Services, Malden Area Office
Malden, Massachusetts

Meehan works with individuals and families in crisis. She visits clients in their homes, collaborates with therapists, teachers, physicians, attorneys and others involved in individual cases and facilitates visits between parents and their children who are in foster care. She even has to occasionally remove children from their homes, "the worst part of the job," she says.

"It's a lot of responsibility, and it can be very tough at times," says Meehan. "But in general, it's very rewarding."

The counseling psychology course she took as an undergraduate is particularly valuable, since it focused heavily on family dynamics and family member roles. "I refer to what I learned in that course nearly every day," Meehan says.

Erin Stanley, 24
Lafayette College, Class of 2003
Case Manager, ValueOptions
Tempe, Arizona

Two of Stanley's favorite courses as a psych student were psychopharmacology and abnormal psychology. She draws from what she learned in those classes constantly in her work at ValueOptions, an outpatient behavioral health clinic. She manages a caseload of about 40 people diagnosed as seriously mentally ill.

"My priorities are ensuring that my caseload is coming in for appointments with the prescriber, that they are able to attend counseling if they want it, and that they take meds as prescribed," says Stanley, who double-majored in psychology and Spanish. "If I have people inpatient or incarcerated, I have to visit them. And I have a lot of meetings with residential staff for people who need supervision."

Stanley says she uses just about everything from her psychology major. "But thankfully, I don't have to use any of the research stuff I learned," she says with a chuckle.

Meredith Kish, 22
Purdue University, Class of 2004
Assistant Account Executive, 5W Public Relations
New York City

When Kish was a senior studying psychology at Purdue, a professor told her she'd never go anywhere with her degree unless she planned to teach college. "It was like he was trying to tell us to turn back and get another degree," Kish says.

Kish's professor wasn't the only one painting a stark picture of job hunting with a psychology degree. "My father even told me I was wasting my time, because I didn't plan on going into that industry or going to get my master's in that area," says Kish. "I figured, ‘this is my choice, and I know I can do anything with any degree.'"

Like many successful psych grads, Kish didn't rely on her degree to launch her career. She complemented her coursework with several internships and summer jobs in PR, sales and advertising. She even took an internship after graduation at 5W Public Relations, where she was hired permanently three months later.

Kish now works closely with members of the media, drawing from her psychology background to constantly keep communication open with them, she says.

Rachel Shasha, 24
University of California, Los Angeles, Class of 2004
Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor, Equinox and Crunch Fitness Clubs
West Hollywood

Shasha put her own personal spin on her psychology degree by studying health psychology. She also worked on several research projects on issues like obesity and eating disorders.

So it's not surprising that she's now a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at two fitness clubs. In her work, Shasha taps her psychology knowledge not only to motivate clients but also to watch for trouble.

"Knowing about different psychological disorders helps me train when dealing with clients who are obsessive about exercise or their diet or who express signs of depression or an eating disorder," says Shasha. "Although I can't diagnose anything, I can use what I've learned to be cognizant of when a problem is predominant enough for me to suggest professional help."

Latest Jobs

PF Chang's China Bistro
Posted: 06/30/2015
Willowbrook, TX
U of L Physicians
Posted: 06/30/2015
Downtown, KY
Posted: 06/30/2015
Lake Grove, NY
Posted: 06/30/2015
San Diego, CA
Wacker Polysilicon North America
Posted: 06/30/2015
Charleston, TN, 37310

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.12.0.54-214