If you’re thinking of pursuing a master’s degree in psychology, you’re likely looking to enhance your career opportunities. But beyond becoming a counselor or therapist, you may be wondering what jobs can you get with a master’s in psychology?
Dr. Kanessa Doss and Dr. Heidi Beattie, both associate professors of psychology at Troy University, say that by earning TROY’s Master of Science in Psychology you can open the door to a wide variety of career options.
“I tell people that a master’s in psychology is the most well-positioned degree out there,” says Dr. Doss. “Our graduates have many hidden talents, and they can work in almost any field.”
While some TROY graduates go on to pursue licensures, certifications or doctoral degrees, such as an Ed.S., Psy.D. or Ph.D., most go into careers with a master’s in psychology right after graduation.
So, what jobs can you get with a master’s in psychology? First, we’ll cover the skills Drs. Doss and Beattie maintain you need for the best careers with a master’s in psychology.
Careers with a Master’s in Psychology Abound
The wide availability of career options for psychology graduates surprises many TROY students, notes Dr. Doss.
“I love to speak with my undergraduate students about the various job opportunities in psychology,” she says. “They are often floored to discover that you can do so many different things that do not involve counseling.”
Those opportunities span many sectors, including public, private, government, social services and nonprofit sectors, all of which have particularly interesting career options, adds Dr. Doss. The TROY program prepares students with the essential skills they need for these master’s in psychology jobs.
“The skills students develop in TROY’s program include detailed analysis, data entry, critical thinking and problem-solving,” she says. They also learn to understand human behavior — a crucial skill for most jobs, Dr. Doss notes. Having that understanding helps them anticipate risks — and better handle things when they go wrong.
“They have the proper critical thinking and problem-solving skills to fix those situations,” she says.
Equipped with these skills, many TROY graduates are drawn to careers in areas like coaching, consultancy and entrepreneurialism, says Dr. Doss. Many are also attracted to government jobs such as child protection workers, case managers and advocates, and to community outreach organizations for positions like family service workers, outreach specialists and community program directors.
Additionally, notes Dr. Doss, “There are jobs you’ll find in every sector, like human resource managers and research analysts. There really is a world of possibility available to you with this degree.”
Dr. Beattie emphasizes that to get to the best careers with a master’s in psychology you need to be able to apply the theories you learn in the classroom to the real world. You also need cross-cultural understanding so you can effectively communicate and collaborate with people from various backgrounds in the workplace.
TROY, Dr. Beattie adds, also gives students the tools and methods to engage in critical thinking and make informed decisions grounded in research and data, all while upholding ethical and professional standards. In addition to fostering exceptional oral and written communication abilities, a master’s degree from TROY instills precisely the qualities sought after by many employers.
Master’s in Psychology Careers: Healthcare Opportunities
While TROY’s master’s in psychology degree alone doesn’t give you the credentials you need to work as a licensed psychologist or counselor, it does enable you to work in the healthcare sector. One of the best careers with a master’s in psychology is in case management, highlights Dr. Doss.
“You’ll find many graduates working in mental health and regular hospitals as case managers,” says Dr. Doss. “They take patient information, prepare their case and work with them to get the services they need. This is a wonderful field where you can work directly with clients without providing the therapeutic services that require licensure.”
With more public awareness about the importance of mental health comes an increasing demand for mental health professionals, she adds.
“We are having a huge push nationwide for mental health experts,” says Dr. Doss. “That means we must have people who are supporting them. So we’re going to need case managers to work side by side with them.”
16 of the Best Careers with a Master’s in Psychology
By earning your M.S. in psychology from TROY, you’re setting yourself up for these 16 careers — and more:
- Compliance manager: You’ll develop, implement, and oversee programs to ensure organizations comply with laws and policies to minimize risks.
- Employee trainer: You’ll design, deliver and assess training programs, ensuring employees gain and improve the skills needed for effective job performance.
- Recruiter: You’ll use diverse methods to identify and recruit candidates that align with your organization’s hiring needs.
- Sales representative: You’ll identify prospective clients and promote and sell products or services to them.
- Customer services officer: You’ll interact with customers across multiple channels, addressing questions and ensuring a positive experience.
- Professional development coach: You’ll guide individuals in personal and career growth, helping them to identify goals, strengths and improvement areas.
- Human resources assistant: You’ll support the HR department with tasks like onboarding, maintaining records, processing payroll and recruitment efforts.
- Child protection worker: You’ll investigate abuse and neglect reports and safeguard children’s rights, working for government or social service agencies.
- Case manager: You’ll assess client needs, create care plans, and serve as an advocate by connecting them with resources and services.
- Family service worker: You’ll support families facing challenges, assessing their needs and connecting them with resources to enhance well-being and stability.
- Group home coordinator: You’ll oversee group homes or residential facilities for individuals with special needs, ensuring their safety and well-being.
- Social service worker: You’ll work for social service, nonprofit and government agencies, assisting individuals and families dealing with various challenges.
- Post-secondary psychology instructor: You’ll teach college-level psychology courses, educating students on principles, theories, research methods and more.
- Research assistant: You’ll support researchers with various projects, including data collection and analysis, literature reviews and experiments.
- Residential advisor: You’ll support college students who live on campus, acting as a mentor and liaison, providing guidance and fostering a sense of community.
- Academic advisor: You’ll guide and support students in their academic pursuits, helping them with course selection, setting educational goals and more.
What About Working in Counseling?
Do you have your heart set on a career as a counselor or psychologist? The good news is you have options with TROY’s psychology master’s program.
Dr. Doss, who is a licensed associate professional counselor and nationally certified school psychologist, says TROY’s program provides a valuable stepping stone to doctoral degrees and required licenses. To work as a school psychologist in public schools, an education specialist (Ed.S.) degree is the minimum requirement. To become a psychologist, you would need a Ph.D. to obtain licensure.
“Some students will use this program to leverage themselves in preparation for a doctoral program in psychology,” says Dr. Doss. “But it’s important to remember, with this degree, there are many other directions they can explore.”
TROY’s Expert Faculty Prepare You for Careers with a Master’s in Psychology
Dr. Doss and Dr. Beattie say they are incredibly proud of how TROY’s faculty help students explore career opportunities, often sharing their own experience as an example.
“One thing that is great about the program and really great about the psychology department at TROY is the faculty are so well rounded,” says Dr. Beattie. “Our faculty have backgrounds in education, industrial and organizational psychology, so our students get a lot of exposure to many different kinds of subfields of psychology.”
The variety of interests and career options available to students in the program is reflected by their undergraduate studies.
“Most of our students are coming in from psychology programs, but we also have students coming in from different disciplines like business,” says Dr. Doss. “We’ve also seen individuals come from other programs like clinical mental health counseling programs because they decided pursuing licensure is not what they want to do.”
The master’s program also offers a wide range of electives, which can give students an insight into other career options.
“We have a great course in psychological leadership, which is perfect for individuals interested in working in industrial leadership,” says Dr. Doss. “Our program is also aligned with TROY’s Master of Science in Kinesiology with the Sports Psychology concentration, so it allows them to get a glimpse at coaching and fields like that.”
There are also classes in developmental and cognitive psychology, the psychology of learning, and the psychological dynamics of alcohol and other drugs.
“There really is a wide variety of courses designed to give our students a great overview of the subfields of psychology,” says Dr. Beattie. “When you go into psychology, you sometimes don’t realize all the opportunities available. This program opens the students’ minds to a world of possibilities. And as a degree that’s offered online, those possibilities are available to students who might not otherwise be able to access them.”
Expand Your Career Opportunities with a TROY Master’s in Psychology
Ready to take the next step in your career? Learn more about careers with a master’s degree in psychology and TROY’s M.S. in psychology program.