Careers in Psychology and Related Fields

What comes next?

While you are an undergraduate in USC’s psychology program, we will work hard to make your educational experience a positive one. However, our commitment to you does not end as you finish your class work. Our goal is to help move your forward toward your educational and career objectives. Click on the links below for some information and general comments addressing several of the questions often asked by students.

Beyond the general information summarized here, we hope that you will continue to see your faculty and department advisors as sources of information. Many of us have wrestled with some of the same choices that you will soon be making and we will be able to share our own experiences with you. You can also check out our alumni spotlight to see what other psychology graduates from our department have gone on to do. If you are feeling conflicted or overwhelmed, you will also find lots of information and support in the main office. Please come see us; we are here to help.

What can I do with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?

One frequent topic of concern to psychology students relates to job opportunities after graduation. Because many of the more desirable career options in psychology require a post-graduate education, students who do not wish to go on to graduate school often wonder what other options may be available.

An important resource for you, as you consider alternatives, might be the USC Career Center. The USC Career Center can give you basic information and help you with resumes and job applications. The USC Career Center can also give you access to job search databases.

The USC Dornsife Career Pathways office works to align students’ academic interests with individual career and professional pathways through exploration and engagement in curricular and co-curricular opportunities. To meet with a career advisor, please contact their office directly.

The American Psychology Association has also compiled some useful information.

The most important advice we can offer as you move toward a career is to make sure that your time is always used productively. Your first job after moving on from USC may not be directly related to your final career choice. Nonetheless, every step along the way should be an opportunity to learn new skills and gain important experiences.

What is the career outlook like?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Psychologists remains quite bright. In addition, the American Psychology Association reports that about 75% of Psychologists who earn doctorate degrees are able to obtain their first job choice. Still, the options seem to be best for those who have Master’s degrees and specialized skills, such as quantitative skills, behavior analysis, etc. As you consider the career options ahead of you, recognize that market forces are competitive but there is likely to be continued demand for psychologists who are well-trained and highly skilled.

Of course, the outlook will vary according to the specific discipline of psychology that you wish to pursue. Psychologists are active in a wide variety of professional settings and there will continue to be substantial growth in specific contexts. We encourage you to review the APA’s information on careers for the 21st century and to consider the options that most closely reflect your objectives.