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Psychology Graduate Jobs - A Guide To Psychology Careers

About Psychology Graduate Jobs
So, you’re doing a psychology degree or thinking about doing a psychology degree when you go on to higher education. As well as enjoying the whole university experience, spending time and money doing a degree is also in the hope that you are going to land yourself a fabulous graduate job at the end of it all. If this degree path is the route for you, then you might be thinking about the options open to you when it comes to psychology graduate jobs.

Perhaps parents or friends have even asked of you, “But what can you do with a psychology degree?” Well, if you are needing an answer to that question to justify your choice, this article is going to give you lots of ideas for different psychology careers.

And the great thing about doing a psychology degree is you will not purely be limited to applying for psychology graduate jobs. So, if you decide, as you go through university that psychology careers might not be the way forward for you in the future, you will be pleased to know there are lots of other types of psychology degree jobs out there. Your degree will be valued by employers in various professions and sectors because you will be leaving university equipped with so many transferable skills that can set you apart from the competition.

What Are The Different Types Of Psychology Graduate Jobs?
But, for now, let’s assume you have decided to pursue a career in one of the fields of psychology. There are lots of different psychology jobs out there. Here some of the areas you could choose to specialise in:

Educational Psychologist Jobs:
Educational psychologist jobs can see you working within a local education authority, travelling between different schools and liaising with teachers and other professionals who are involved with the development of particular children. When children are struggling at school with work and behaviour, the school staff will take measures that can eventually lead to you, as an educational psychologist, spending time with the child to ascertain what might be causing the problem and how everyone can work through the problem.

Forensic Psychology Jobs:
If you have an interest in the behaviour of criminals and want to ascertain why they do what they do, then forensic psychology jobs could be for you. These types of psychology graduate jobs will see you not only working with prisoners. You will be also be working with others involved in the justice system - police, lawyers, judges - and also victims of crime. Forensic psychology jobs can be stressful as you will be required to describe your findings in court and travel to prisons and remand centres amongst other duties. Forensic psychology is, however, hugely rewarding if this is your passion.

Sports Psychology Jobs:
Obviously, sports psychology jobs are going to suit those of you who are either sporty yourselves, or you are passionate about sport as well as the psychology behind it. Sports psychology careers can see you working either with individuals or with whole teams and it is your job help these people realise their full potential.

Sport isn’t just about running faster, jumping higher or winning more matches. It’s also about those people having the best possible mindset to believe in themselves and to know they are giving themselves the best chance possible to succeed. When you are doing sports psychology jobs, as well as working with the athletes, you will also be liaising with coaches, nutritionists, doctors, physiotherapists and other professionals involved in the athletes’ development.

Clinical Psychology Jobs
When you are doing clinical psychology jobs, you will be working with people with mental and physical health issues. These types of psychology graduate jobs can be rewarding as you are working to improve the wellbeing of your clients who could be suffering from illnesses such as depression, eating disorders or addictive behaviours, for example. Clinical psychology careers offer various opportunities for further specialising in different areas.

Counselling Psychology Graduate Jobs
As well as the knowledge and skills gained during your psychology degree, psychology graduate jobs in counselling will also require you to be a genuinely compassionate person with lots of empathy. You could be working with children, teenagers, adults, individual people, couples and groups.

Counselling psychology careers could see you dealing with people who have been abused, mentally or physically. You could be dealing with anything from marriage counselling or careers counselling. Bereavement can have a profound effect on people. These are all areas where you could be specialising.

Health Psychology Jobs
When a patient is diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness, health psychology jobs will involve you working with this patient to come to terms with the diagnosis. This can be lifestyle suggestions and also tips for managing pain. Health psychology jobs will also involve the study of why some people self-diagnose, why they choose to stop taking prescribed medication or why they make deliberate lifestyle choices that have a detrimental effect on their mental and physical health.

These are just some of the psychology career paths you could follow as a psychology graduate. And, as we said above, don’t forget there are lots of other types of jobs you can get with a psychology degree. Your transferable skills will match well with roles such as HR jobs, careers in sales or marketing. Charity work and teaching could also be worth considering.

What Do Employers Look For In Their Candidates?
Whatever fields of psychology you are looking to go into, getting psychology graduate can be competitive so, as well as your degree, it is a good idea to also build up some work experience. This could be work experience done whilst at university or whilst you are doing further postgraduate study.

Work experience for graduate psychology jobs can be paid or voluntary. You might do some work shadowing, learning more about the roles you are interested in or you could do some paid care work or other related jobs that support your specialism.

For many psychology graduate jobs, you will need at least a 2:1 degree and also a Masters degree.

As well as qualifications, skills that employers are looking for when you apply for psychology graduate jobs are:
  • Excellent communications skills: These skills are needed for both communication with your clients and also for liaising with other professionals involved in your cases.
  • Research skills: Conducting your own research as well as working with others is a big part of psychology careers. Keep evidence of any research you have done and the conclusions you made as a result. Keeping yourself up to date with latest developments by reading journals and other practitioners’ research can help you stand above the competition when applying for psychology jobs.
  • Patience and motivation: Good psychologists need to be able to operate these two traits at the same time. Sometimes, you might not see results as quickly or as obviously as you would like to. This couıld be with your research or because bureaucracy is delaying a process, for example. You need to be able to keep motivated, knowing you will eventually get reward for your efforts.
  • Strong code of ethics: It goes without saying that whatever graduate psychology career paths you choose, you will need to work within strict guidelines and have a strong ethical code, protecting the privacy and wellbeing of your clients.
  • Organisational skills: As well as working with multiple clients, you will also need to be able to organise the administration of this, keeping records and notes. You will also need to organise your time between research and study whilst also working with your clients.
What Salary Can You Expect?
As you might imagine, many psychology graduate jobs require lots of study, research and on the job training so the psychologist salary can look attractive compared to some other types of graduate jobs out there. Because psychology graduate jobs are so varied, so your salary will vary depending on your chosen specialism and the type of employer you are working for.

As you begin your career, you may be able to negotiate some funding towards your further required studies whilst you work in assistant psychologist jobs. Further study and experience will see your psychologist salary rise as you progress through the different pay bands.

How Can I Progress In Psychology Careers?
Psychology is a growing profession and there are different ways you can progress in psychology degrees. This will depend on your chosen specialism but whatever psychology career paths you do choose, you will certainly be required to keep your skills up to date with further research and study. This will allow you to gain promotion from assistant psychologist jobs to more senior roles.

If you are hoping to become a chartered psychologist and register as a practitioner psychologist with the HCPC (Health and Care Professionals Council) then postgraduate courses and training is essential. Both your degree and postgraduate study must be BPS (British Psychological Society) accredited.

If you have decided psychology careers are not for you, there are many other jobs to do with psychology and roles where your degree will come in useful. Postgraduate study in other areas such as marketing, education, social work or health education, for example will allow you to develop a graduate career in other fields. Your degree will also equip you with skills and knowledge that will allow you to apply for graduate jobs that don’t specify particular degree subjects.

Apply For Psychology Graduate Jobs In The UK
Psychology graduate jobs can be demanding, sometimes stressful or distressing - especially if you are undertaking roles such as clinical psychology or counselling - but for those of you in the profession, your psychology careers will also be hugely rewarding.

If you think psychology graduate jobs are for you, or you are looking for other graduate jobs you can get with a psychology degree, take a look at the vacancies on offer. You might also be able to find some relevant jobs that will give you some valuable work experience for beginning psychology careers.

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