In studying psychology at Duquesne University, students explore the concepts, issues, and interest areas of psychology, both as a human science and a natural science. Students learn to think critically and creatively about human psychology and life as a whole.
Ed discusses his career path after graduating with a degree in Psychology:
Counseling and Therapy
- Therapist (private practice; psychiatric and psychological clinics and hospitals; general hospitals; specialty clinics)
- School counselor on the staff of a high school or middle school (e.g., assessments, referrals)
- Specialty counseling (e.g., substance abuse, music, art, career, child, couples, families)
- Psychological assessment and testing
Strategies: Pursue multiple internships in various settings to gain experience and clarify areas of interest and type of clientele (e.g., substance abuse, children, elders); become active in campus student psychology organizations such as Psi Chi Professional Psychology Honor Society if eligible; attend professional conferences; be prepared to pursue graduate education at the masters or doctoral level in counseling, psychology, social work, etc., in order to be able to meet licensure requirements; stay aware of licensing and certification requirements in your state.
- Residential drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs
- Half-way houses for people transitioning from in-patient or correctional programs to independent living (e.g., psychiatric and substance abuse; repeat offender prevention)
- Overnight counselor for group homes for juvenile delinquents or adjudicated youth
- Battered women and children shelters; homeless shelters or transitional facilities for homeless women
Strategies: Residential care is a good opportunity to get post-graduate experience in the field of social services/counseling as the need is great and turnover high; be prepared to “live in” at least part-time; pursue multiple internships in settings with challenging and diverse populations to determine suitability for your temperament and interests; become active in campus student psychology organizations such as Psi Chi Professional Psychology Honor Society if eligible; volunteer through Duquesne University Volunteers (DUV) with diverse populations of interest; consider graduate training in counseling, psychology, social work, etc.
Human Services Agencies
- County mental health and substance abuse (counseling, prevention, advocacy, case management)
- Family, Children and Youth Services (adoption, child abuse, family counseling)
- Aging (eldercare and nursing home administration; home care services)
- Poverty and social programs (homeless, job corps, handicapped accessibility)
- Veterans (VA hospitals; veterans’ advocacy programs)
Strategies: Consider advanced degrees (e.g., typically masters degree in counseling, psychology or social work) for advancement (some agencies have tuition support programs); volunteer in social and human services fields; intern with different types of populations.
Human Resources and Organization Development
- Human resources specialist or director
- Training and development professional in a company or organization (e.g., employee and management training programs)
- Testing and assessment for screening prospective employees or candidates for promotion
- Internal or external consultant to companies or organizations, focusing on such areas teamwork, team building, conflict resolution, career development
Strategies: Consider a certificate in business; pursue internships in human resources; conduct informational interviews with alumni; job shadow HR professionals; attend professional conferences in HR as well as psychology.
College Teaching and Research
- College instructor (e.g., 2–year or community college, smaller four-year liberal arts colleges without graduate level programs)
- University professor (e.g., Ph.D. on tenure track in university, usually with research obligations)
Strategies: Be prepared to gain graduate degrees, particularly the Ph.D. (average time to complete Ph.D.: 7.3 years); assist in research programs with faculty as an undergraduate; attend and present at professional conferences; gain experience teaching as a grad assistant; interview your professors about their field and career path; be prepared to relocate to follow the very competitive job market .