There are many reasons students choose to get a bachelor degree in psychology. There is definitely a healing aspect to the discipline. Many like the idea of helping others overcome psychological trauma or issues. Some of us may have a particular focus in mind in regards to helping others. There is also an academic aspect to psychology. Some find it interesting to discover how the mind works, how humanity reacts to certain situations. For most, an interest in psychology encompasses both of these things – a sincere desire to help others coupled with a fascination with the mind and its processes. Regardless of your personal reasons, psychology is an exciting field full of opportunity.
Now that you've decided on psychology as your major, you are likely asking yourself a few very important questions: What will your college experience be like? Should I get a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree? What career options will you have after getting a bachelor degree in psychology? This article attempts to briefly answer these two questions.
What will your college experience be like?
Your first year will likely cover the basics, with an introduction to psychology and some of the prerequisite courses in math, English and science that are needed with almost any bachelor degree. In your second year, you will likely delve more into the depths of psychology, learning about psychological testing, personalities, and abnormal psychology. At the same time, you will be picking some electives than can help you steer your degree program toward your focus. Your third and fourth years will continue to explore general psychology topics as well as lecture classes and research classes. Many of these classes will depend on whether you have decided to take a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. Overall expect a set of coursework that is faster paced and more rigorous than your high school courses have been. You will be spending a lot of time on research as well as in the lab, if you are getting a bachelor of science degree.
Should I get a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree?
A bachelor of arts degree focuses more generally on the liberal arts. It is a good degree for those planning on entering the workforce right after the undergraduate degree is finished, or who plan to get a master's degree in some other field, such as social work. A bachelor of science degree contains much more of a focus on psychology, and also includes classes in math and more scientific disciplines such as biology and physiology. Someone who is planning on eventually getting a master's degree in psychology may want to consider the B.S. option.
What career options will I have?
Obviously, if you wish to become a psychologist, psychiatrist or some other advanced position, you will need to go beyond the undergraduate degree to accomplish your goals. Many with a bachelor degree will enter the workforce as a social worker or case manager, a counselor, rehabilitation specialist or a psychiatric technician. Many of these positions are somehow related to social services. It's important to note, however, that many undergraduates enter the workforce doing something unrelated to psychology, such as sales, management, or real estate. Typically a bachelor degree is fairly well-rounded and can help you in your career whatever you decide to do.
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