Career Advice for Psychology Majors

Dr. Diana Riser, Associate Profess of Psychology Department, was featured in an article on Zippia, a website that helps you discover new jobs and career paths.   Below is an excerpt from the article, and you can read the full article from this link.


January 30, 2021

Given the change of course that has happened in the world, we wanted to provide expert opinions on what aspiring graduates can do to start off their careers in an uncertain economic climate. We wanted to know what skills will be more important, where the economy is doing relatively well, and if there will be any lasting effects on the job market.Companies are looking for candidates that can handle the new responsibilities of the job market. Recent graduates actually have an advantage because they are comfortable using newer technologies and have been communicating virtually their whole lives. They can take what they’ve learned and apply it immediately.We spoke to professors and experts from several universities and companies to get their opinions on where the job market for recent graduates is heading, as well as how young graduates entering the industry can be adequately prepared. Here are their thoughts.

Associate Professor of Psychology, Columbus State University, Psychology Department

In your opinion, what are the biggest trends we’ll see in the job market given the pandemic?

Dr. Diana Riser Ph.D.: I think while we are likely to see some jobs becoming more limited, we are seeing an increased need for other jobs. For example, there has been a greater demand for helping positions and positions that support positive mental health & wellbeing (e.g., counselors). In terms of all jobs, there is an increased demand for flexibility and well-rounded skills. Job places may need candidates with more flexible schedules or candidates with the ability to work remotely with proficiency. It’s an interesting and changing phase in our world as we get a better sense of what jobs can operate in a work from home/telehealth capacity versus those that truly need to be in person. We are also seeing a focus on increasing diversity in mental health fields as there is a clear need for practitioners from underrepresented or historically marginalized groups.

What skills stand out on resumes?

Dr. Diana Riser Ph.D.: Adaptability, flexibility, and resilience are pretty key personal skills these days. Job requirements and settings can change rapidly in a pandemic. If you are established as a person who is flexible and able to adapt to changes efficiently, that is likely to be valued. Similarly, technology skills are essential. Employers and colleagues want to know that you either know the tech that is being used or that you can figure it out and learn it efficiently. Everyone is busy and overwhelmed, it goes a long way to know that you can learn and use the technology tools without overburdening others. Finally, writing and math/statistics skills are important in our digital age. People often underestimate the function of professional, written communication skills.

Are there any particularly good places in the United States for graduates to find work opportunities in this field after they graduate?

Dr. Diana Riser Ph.D.: Often, undergraduate psychology majors need to go to graduate school to become counselors or clinicians. However, there are many opportunities in the non-profit sector and in health professions. Health professions need individuals who are strong with data for COVID-19 tracking. Health professions and non profits also need individuals with experience in psychology to support the socio-emotional needs of clients. Psychology majors can often find fulfilling careers helping those in their community by working in either of these areas.

Read full article here.

By Center for Experiential Learning & Career Design
Center for Experiential Learning & Career Design