The day has arrived in which you take off the cap and gown, vacate the premises of your old high school, and face higher education with your chin up and your nose to the grind. You balance summertime between Friday night movies and a part-time job. But your family still pesters you during those hot, dry months with the same recurring inquiry: “What are you going to major in?”
And maybe you’re eighteen years old, and you don’t know. School just concluded, and you need a few months just to recuperate from all of your exhaustive studies, papers, and final exams. Then again, maybe you’re in your mid-40s or mid-50s, your children are grown and out of the house, and now you need a new hobby or career to counter the empty nest syndrome. Either way, the question remains the same: “What are you going to major in?”
Everyone shares different opinions and sentiments on what exactly to pursue and the specific grounds on which to pursue it. Do you look for money or passion? Do you prioritize financial independence or personal meaning in life? A career in medicine, law, or engineering all sound economically worthwhile. But then again, music, philosophy, and art all sound existential. Perhaps psychology has gained and maintained notoriety due to its balance of both worlds.
In fact, psychology has remained one of the most popular areas of study for undergrads. Furthermore, psychology equips students with competitive tools in the marketplace, in part due to the broad array of job opportunities for which psychology empowers candidates and applicants. That includes both clinical and business work environments.
Employers Like Psychology Majors
Anyone can walk into an office, dressed in a suit and tie, shake hands with the interviewer, and then go through his or her checklist of random but allegedly pertinent facts on his or her background in education and the workplace. But employers do not simply want an individual who only offers black-and-white itemized details. Employers want someone who can exemplify experiences and the consequential growth from those aforementioned experiences.
Psychology offers a four-year experience of not only learning but adaptation. You don’t simply memorize information that you then spew back on quizzes, mid-terms, and finals. Psychology major sculpt your critical thinking skills to evolve with every encounter with a new, unfamiliar challenge. Similar to arithmetic, algebra, and calculus, a psychology student constantly builds on existing and prior knowledge.
A Beautiful Analytical Mind
Sometimes you might drive your managers a little crazy with too many questions. But employers want to hire workers who can think the way voters want a president who can do the same. Psychology backgrounds help question the status quo and break up paradigms. The analytical types do not unconditionally accept processes. They will scrutinize them till either those processes make full sense or they find a superior replacement.
“I’d Like To Solve The Puzzle, Alex.”
Everyone has worked with a colleague, or several colleagues, who didn’t display much aptitude for solving problems. You might even recall a manager or two that you felt suffered the same Achilles’ Heel. Many people despite their education do not solve problems. They deal with them, because that’s easier. Psychology majors feel compelled to address problems rather than coexist with them. Solve it and move the team along together.
A Tongue They Understand
Psychology majors sometimes overlap with English majors, because both programs teach students how to effectively communicate. Now, English degrees focus more on how to master the written word, perhaps to become the next J. R. R. Tolkien or Charles Dickens., whereas Psychology degrees help you understand the song and dance of conversation and the analytics behind it. Salespeople, for example, thrive in this field ( or vice-versa ).
Where Do We Go From Here?
Now that you have some context for the Psychology major and what the studies entail, you must consider the next step, a few years down the road, which boils down to your career. You will learn the art, the craft, and the science behind people and society, the philosophies and principles that guide all of it, and now must choose where to plant your flag in the market.
Mental Health Counseling
Set aside all the stigmas associated with the words “mental health.” That phrase commonly triggers thoughts of straight jackets, padded rooms, special pills taken from a Dixie Cup, and lots of yelling at imaginary entities. But mental health includes the simple things of life, too, like depression and anxiety.
Many people can empathize with those chronic feelings of unhappiness, lack of self-worth, and void of ambition. But not everything necessitates medicinal solutions. Psychology backgrounds empower people to understand others who suffer from various mental health challenges and better assist them to navigate through their minds and help sort themselves.
This might seem the most obvious of choices in the psychology field of study. Most English majors become English teachers. So unsurprisingly, many Psychology majors consider the career of a psychologist. This requires more extensive work, including a Master’s degree and ultimately a Ph.D., not just a license.
Secularists didn’t secure a monopoly on psychology. Religious groups benefit from psychology, too. Regardless of the denomination or deity, ministries exist that need critical thinkers, bold communicators, and overall empathetic intellectuals, all of whom can contribute to the excellent work, both domestic and international.
Do you ever find yourself bingeing those various crime docuseries on Netflix? Everyone finds notorious criminals like Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Wayne Gacy as fascinating as they are wicked. Well, police officers, sheriffs, prisons, and detectives all profit from the assistance of criminologists. Psychology majors find a lot of value in the albeit dark work as criminal psychologists.
Change Your Mind And Behavior
The current medical literature may or may not categorize different personalities as sigma, alpha, beta, omega, et. al. But culturally, if the mythological and superheroic Sigma identity exists, then the Psychology major holds the competitive advantage in sharpening him- or herself in both mind and body. So to pursue an education and career in psychology means to start your journey and to become a Sigma Male—or Female—today!