College, career, and life planning resources for students and career changers
Many college students choose majors in the liberal arts and sciences, but have trouble determining what careers they can pursue once they graduate. Law school and teaching are common routes for many liberal arts majors, but you may not feel that those careers are right for you based on your interests and personality. It may require more flexibility and creativity, but finding a career is possible with a liberal arts degree. I’ll be writing a series of posts detailing jobs for different liberal arts majors. (Read about Jobs for English Majors and Jobs for History Majors).
The first major I’ll focus on, psychology, is second only to business as the most popular major for college students in the United States. If you want to put your psychology education to good use, consider the following careers:
Human resources manager
Human resources managers perform a variety of duties. They usually are in charge of identifying vacancies, recruiting candidates, screening applicants, and conducting interviews. They mediate disputes among employees and work to ensure positive relations within the organization. Another important responsibility of human resources managers involves managing worker compensation and benefits programs to ensure that they are competitive and that they comply with legal requirements. In addition, they advise management on organizational policies such as equal opportunity employment and represent the organization during hearings or investigations related to personnel issues. Several years of work experience in human resources, such as working as an assistant to the manager, are usually required. Average annual salary is $84,440*.
Social services manager
Social services managers oversee community services and communicate with organizations to ensure that community needs are met. They organize staff and volunteers, maintain records, and determine community needs by conducting research. Demand is expected to increase much faster than average and the average annual salary is $54,530*.
School and vocational counselor
School counselors help students choose coursework, plan their careers, and deal with personal problems that might interfere with their academic performance. They also meet with parents to discuss behavior issues and academic performance. In addition to counseling, they may also be responsible for helping with standardized testing and helping students with college applications. Excellent organizational skills are necessary due to the detailed paperwork that must be completed. Demand for counselors is expected to increase over the next several years. A master’s degree in counseling or psychology is usually required. Average annual salary is $49,450*.
Mental health counselor
Mental health counselors work with patients in groups or individually and help them with a variety of mental and behavioral issues including drug addiction and depression. They must help develop treatment plans, communicate with other health professionals and keep accurate records. Demand for mental health counselors is expected to increase much faster than average over the next five years. A master’s degree is usually required and average annual salary is $36,000*.