What Careers are Available with a Degree in Social Psychology?

Social PsychologyThere are actually a limited number of careers available with a degree in social psychology. However, these careers offer appealing benefits and challenges.

Social Workers

Most students will be surprised to know that one of the careers available with a degree in social psychology is a social worker. Most social workers are expected to have a master’s degree in social work or counseling psychology, but social psychology provides valuable inside into collective and community behaviors. After obtaining state certification, a graduate with a degree in social psychology will be able to work for a non-profit, such as a private or community organization, or a public organization, such as a state child welfare or human services agency, according to the American Psychological Association. Social workers manage a case load of different clients who they help evaluate and connect with appropriate services and resources. Some social workers deal directly with foster children placements and others work with adult clients who struggle with poverty, homeless and substance abuse.

Research Psychologist

Research psychologists work in private companies and higher learning institutions. They create and conduct a wide range of survey services, which involves expert consultations, research development and focus groups. Afterwards, they collect and analyze data that is transformed into informative reports and graphic presentations. Research psychologists must be familiar with traditional survey methods, such as manual questionnaires, and electronic surveys, such as email surveys. Modern research revolves around thousands of collected surveys that are analyzed through sophisticated software programs in order to establish correlating variables and patterns. Research psychologists must have an accredited degree in cognitive, research, experimental or social psychology. They must be comfortable working in a fast-paced team environment under strict deadlines.

Academic Instructor

Students interested in the field of higher education can become social psychology instructors. A teaching position requires the individual to teach from an approved curriculum, but also develop daily lesson plans that incorporate technology and instructional aids. Social psychology instructors work closely with their students to provide feedback concerning behavior, attendance and especially academics. They are expected to motivate students to actively participate in their classes, which can be challenging because not all students are interested in psychology. Higher education instructors must maintain expertise in their specialty areas and establish credibility through publishing papers or research. Some social psychology instructors who work in colleges focus more on experiments and lab work.

Behavioral Health Specialist

A behavioral health specialist is a key member of a mental health team that provides services to clients entering inpatient treatment facilities for substance addictions. They conduct treatment intakes and assessments in order to determine the necessity for certain medical treatments, such as methadone detoxification. They work with licensed mental health professionals to gather and assess client data in order to create an integrated assessment. They support treatment plans through following protocols, providing support and assisting with case management. They must be sensitive to the needs of their diverse clients, but also act assertively when needed.

Related Resource: Forensic Examiner

Clearly, the careers available with a degree in social psychology are mainly in education and mental health, but they are rewarding and fascinating.