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Bachelor degree in Psychology?
Old 07-21-2009, 09:50 PM   #1
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Bachelor degree in Psychology?

Let's say you graduate today with a bachelor degree in Psychology. No chance whatsover to pursue any higher education. No master, no PhD.

What can you do with that degree? What are the jobs' prospect? What can you expect in term of salary/wage?

One of my nephew, 17yo, is seriously thinking of majoring in this field, and I am so upset concerned.

Thanks,
Sam
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:06 PM   #2
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Let's say you graduate today with a bachelor degree in Psychology. No chance whatsover to pursue any higher education. No master, no PhD.
Advertising? Marketing? Sales? "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini.

Research lab? A place like this?: Welcome to Ward Research. Personal Service. Proven Results.

Medical school? Officer candidate school?

Maybe just the fact that he's going to college is good enough for now. He could get away from home/neighborhood influences and grow up a little figure out what he wants to do later. A prof in an elective course, or some extracurricular activity, or a summer internship could change his life.

I wish I could remember where I read it, and I think it was one of the Millionaire Next Door series, but one student "wasted" his entire time at college getting a 2.04 GPA and barely graduating with some useless degree. However he'd spent that time developing an amazing sales personality and contacts network which enabled him to make his own fortune as an entrepreneur.

Our next door neighbor has a 19-year-old daughter who appears to be obsessive-compulsive and just a little bit bipolar. Not so good in a crisis. One of those kids who freaks out when she forgets to turn off the house alarm on the way in the door, or when a sprinkler head breaks off in the yard. Who's up all hours of the night and crashed on the livingroom sofa during the day. Who yells & screams at her parents (let alone her siblings) and makes me wonder once in a while if she owns any firearms. Ironically she's studying the same major at the local college, so I'm hoping her academic pursuit will provide her the wisdom to heal herself.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:33 PM   #3
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Let's say you graduate today with a bachelor degree in Psychology. No chance whatsover to pursue any higher education. No master, no PhD.

What can you do with that degree? What are the jobs' prospect? What can you expect in term of salary/wage?

One of my nephew, 17yo, is seriously thinking of majoring in this field, and I am so upset concerned.

Thanks,
Sam
1. Why isn't there any chance that the kid wouldn't pursue a higher degree in his chosen field?

2. I imagine that many 17 year olds off to college are open to changing their majors once they see what their interests might truly be--sometimes this doesn't happen until their junior or even senior year.

3. Just what is your concern? I don't imagine a BA in psychology is any more or less valuable/worthless than a BA in history, English, philosophy or sociology. Are you thinking that a BA degree in the sciences/math/business departments might be more valuable? If so, what if the kid really doesn't like or have a feel for these types of subjects?

4. Anyhow, part of going to college is to meet new and different people, to find yourself, to test yourself in a new environment and to get laid.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:54 PM   #4
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Of the 3 people I know who have a bachelors degree in Psychology they have done the following:

1. Marketing Manager

2. Was working as an Administrative Assistant but got a Certificate in HR and now works as a HR person.

3. Works as a bartender because she liked the money. However, she is now getting married and 5 years after completing her bachelor's she is talking about doing a higher degree as obviously the bar tending hours do not suit.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:40 PM   #5
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My daughter's college roommate majored in psychology and is doing research in psychology at a major medical facility in Houston without going on for an advanced degree. So there really are jobs out there in psychology for people who majored in psychology.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:21 AM   #6
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... so I'm hoping her academic pursuit will provide her the wisdom to heal herself.
In her case, it would be a good thing, I think. On the other hand, she could become even worse after being exposed to all that stuff.

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Originally Posted by redduck View Post
1. Why isn't there any chance that the kid wouldn't pursue a higher degree in his chosen field?
To have an apple to apple comparison.

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Originally Posted by redduck View Post
Are you thinking that a BA degree in the sciences/math/business departments might be more valuable?
Yes, I do. At least right after they graduate.

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Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
3. Works as a bartender because she liked the money.
Are you saying that she made more money bartending than she would have if she were using all the professional training she acquired in college? Did her psychology degree help her in getting more money in bartending?


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My daughter's college roommate majored in psychology and is doing research in psychology at a major medical facility in Houston without going on for an advanced degree. So there really are jobs out there in psychology for people who majored in psychology.
Do you happen to know how much she earn? Is it comparable to someone who graduates with an Engineering or Science degree?

Sam
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:01 AM   #7
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I know (and once was one) plenty of people who graduate with a BS in a Science discipline. They often make very low wages setting up the labs for the PhDs, cleaning out the monkey cages, carrying the radioactive materials for 25 cents per hour extra hazard pay, etc. Not to say some don't get better jobs, but a BS in science can be like a high school diploma in other fields.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a psych degree. And I agree with Redduck about her probably changing her major 2-3 times. Also, untold numbers of college grads never work in the fields they major in. I personally have a degree in Biology, and except for those few short months cleaning out monkey cages never worked inthe field. I ended up in IT, after numerous detours through such glamorous fields as retail, landscape maintenance, truck driving, etc.

It's her life, let her live it. Heck, my nephew has a degree in Sacred Music, and he's making a living. If you want to worry about her college experience, talk to her about birth control.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:13 AM   #8
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Not being facetious (right now, at least), there is always being an officer in the military.

President Eisenhower got West Point to incorporate psychology into the curriculum--wisely, IMHO.

Not for everyone, but it does have its aspects.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:16 AM   #9
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I know (and once was one) plenty of people who graduate with a BS in a Science discipline. They often make very low wages setting up the labs for the PhDs, cleaning out the monkey cages, carrying the radioactive materials for 25 cents per hour extra hazard pay, etc. Not to say some don't get better jobs, but a BS in science can be like a high school diploma in other fields.
Did you mean majority when you said "plenty"? As in more than 50%? If not, can you give me a %tage based on your real life experience/observation?

Can you elaborate on "a BS in science can be like a high school diploma in other fields"? I don't know what it mean.

Sam
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:58 AM   #10
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Did you mean majority when you said "plenty"? As in more than 50%? If not, can you give me a %tage based on your real life experience/observation?

Can you elaborate on "a BS in science can be like a high school diploma in other fields"? I don't know what it mean.

Sam
Aren't you kind of overcommitted here? This is America, he is your nephew.

Are you going to be paying for his education?

Ha
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:17 AM   #11
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My niece is one of those, got a BA in Psychology a couple of years ago, works with troubled teens and is working on a Master's. Apparently that j*b is emotionally draining. She also teaches horseback riding which she has been doing for many years. Obviously, teaching is an option for her.

I also have a BA in Psychology which I more or less didn't use [except here at the forums]. Way back then a Psych. degree required a class in Educational Psychology. I'll never forget the way the prof. repeated over and over: "if you want to go into special ed., come talk to me, I'll talk you out of it; you'll find yourself drinking too many hot chocolates with marshmallows." Oh, I'm w*rking at retirement and various volunteer activities; the pay is more than adequate.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:05 AM   #12
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Let's say you graduate today with a bachelor degree in Psychology. No chance whatsover to pursue any higher education. No master, no PhD.

What can you do with that degree? What are the jobs' prospect? What can you expect in term of salary/wage?

One of my nephew, 17yo, is seriously thinking of majoring in this field, and I am so upset concerned.

Thanks,
Sam
In the 70s I graduated with a bachelor degree in Psychology and Philosophy. I knew that I had to go to graduate school to earn any kind of living.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:08 AM   #13
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The good news, if you're that worried, is that it's usually easy to change majors in the first 2 years and not be set back much, because most of that time is used to fill general education requirements common to all majors.

Having said that, I find it somewhat unfortunate that college has become little more than glorified job training for a lucrative career and that education for its own sake is increasingly seen as an irresponsible waste of money.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:21 AM   #14
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Sam, it sounds as if you prefer the kid major in engineering or the sciences. My guess is that if she were so suited she would choose, or eventually choose, one those fields for her major. However, if she is pushed into the harder sciences, math or engineering and is resentful or finds it incredibly difficult she will probably not get her degree.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:52 AM   #15
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Did you mean majority when you said "plenty"? As in more than 50%? If not, can you give me a %tage based on your real life experience/observation?

Can you elaborate on "a BS in science can be like a high school diploma in other fields"? I don't know what it mean.

Sam
I'd say that of those I personally know who got BS degrees in a hard science (and softer sciences like Psych) too, more than 50% (probably more than 75%) didn't find a career in that field unless they went on for an advanced degree, or ended up teaching high school or lower. The comment about the high school diploma was meant to convey that a science major has to expect to get post-grad degrees if they expect to go anywhere in the field.

But it really doesn't matter. For many, getting a college degree is an indication of the ability to follow through, not specific job training. Many employers look for a degree, without really caring what it's in.

As for the pregnancy comment, for some reason I thought we were talking about a niece, not a nephew. In that case I'd change the message to condoms and alcohol poisoning.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:54 AM   #16
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But it really doesn't matter. For many, getting a college degree is an indication of the ability to follow through, not specific job training. Many employers look for a degree, without really caring what it's in.
In other words, it's the high school diploma of a couple generations ago...
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:08 AM   #17
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What can you expect? Not much IMHO. Of the folks I know, one relative ended up going back to law school, did the law thing for a while, then became a massage therapist, then went back to lawyering (for the $$). Another friend graduated, bounced from job to job for seven years. None were satisfying nor were they high paying. She finally decided to go back and get a paralegal certificate starting this fall.

I met a bunch of psych majors during law school. But they obviously all went on to get at least one advanced degree.

I'm not saying it is impossible to get a decent job as a psych major with only a BS/BA. But I just can't personally think of anyone that you would look at and say "wow, that psych major really came in handy". But getting a psych degree would open just as many doors as other liberal arts and social sciences degrees IMHO.

But it is a 4 year degree, so it would qualify you for many jobs that require any 4 yr degree.
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:13 AM   #18
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....
But it really doesn't matter. For many, getting a college degree is an indication of the ability to follow through, not specific job training. Many employers look for a degree, without really caring what it's in.

....
Absolutely, that was my experience. A mega-corp. interviewer once told me that any degree is akin to completing a project. That was very true in the '70s and '80s.

However, there was a shift in the mid-'80s emphasizing advanced degrees. I found it fascinating to see the re-organizations, no one could figure out who was in charge; in the end the guys with h.s. degrees were retired and the corporations were run by MBAs and PhDs. Anyone else see it that way?

Silicon Valley is an exception!! No need to worry if he drops out?
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:18 AM   #19
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my degree from a college of general knowledge was a path to law school - classmates went on to government, law, medicine, horse stall cleaning, seminary school, teaching, writing, probably drug dealing... Had law school and i clicked it might have kept me from making real money - or maybe i'd have made more. for me, my general education college, at that time, was perfect. And his psych chick classmates are probably going to represent a, uhm, target rich environment for keeping his surplus testosterone in check. probably a bit important at 17-18-19-20....
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:43 AM   #20
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Sam, I don't know how much my daughter's friend makes but it was enough to support herself. I don't think it's the kind of field one goes into for the money.

Your nephew is under a ton of pressure as a high-school senior (Where are you going to college? What are you going to major in? are two questions he will be so sick of answering by the time he graduates, and they both have turned into status/competitive questions which makes it even worse). Maybe just being supportive right now and just proud of him for any reason you can dredge up would be best for him this year? A lot will happen in the next four years of his life and his major may change several times.
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