Is a Psychology Degree Useless? (With Student Quotes)

Many people believe that having a psychology degree is useless and won’t’ help them get a job. But is this true? Is a psychology degree useless?

In this article, I’ll explain why a psychology degree will or will not make you more employable. I’ll also tell you how you can use a psychology degree to advance your career instead of wasting your time.

If you’ve got questions about psychology, then read on. I’m going to answer all of your burning questions about psychology and help you decide whether a psychology degree is worth it.

I’ll also use my own experiences studying Psychology at Harvard University on the CNEP Track (Cognitive Neuroscience & Evolutionary Psychology). 

Psychology Title

Is a Psychology Degree Useless?

Although having simply a bachelor’s degree in psychology is not completely useless, it is not very helpful either. A bachelor’s in psychology is not particularly useful if your job aim is not research-based. A Ph.D. may even be necessary for some psychologists who want to pursue careers in teaching and clinical practice.

Although it may not be as immediately beneficial as a STEM degree, a psychology degree does provide you an advantage over other non-STEM degrees. You can comprehend human behavior and mental processes by getting a degree in psychology. Employers value communication skills, therefore having this insight will help you improve yours.

While a psychology degree may not offer you many transferrable abilities when you’re seeking for work, it nonetheless gives you many useful skills. These are transferable talents that you may apply in a variety of professions, including law, management, customer service, marketing, and sales.

Our understanding of ourselves and others is aided by psychology. It instructs us on our feelings, reasons for acting the way we do, and behaviors. It informs us about our thought processes and the factors that influence our behavior.

Because it sheds light on our motivations, behaviors, and interpersonal relationships, psychology is an important subject. How we feel, think, and experience the world is another area of psychology that interests researchers.

About yourself and others, psychology teaches. You’ll acquire critical and logical thinking skills. You will get insight into the thoughts and actions of others. You’ll discover how our thoughts and behaviors are influenced by our emotions. Understanding the complexities of life and how people interact with one another is made easier by psychology. You get the resources you need to excel in any career route from it.

The majority of psychology majors have a broad knowledge foundation and are quite well-rounded. The careers of many psychologists include those of psychiatrists, therapists, counselors, and other professionals.

Learning about the brain and how it functions is something that psychology degrees educate students. The understanding of various illnesses and their treatment are taught to students. Along with dealing with trauma, they also learn how to recognize and prevent mental diseases.

Graduates of psychology programs are well-prepared for professions in the criminal justice system, social services, counseling, education, law, and many other sectors thanks to their training in these areas.

Psychology and Humain Brain Function
Psychology and Humain Brain Function

Is Becoming a Psychologist Worth it?

A fulfilling professional path worth pursuing is becoming a psychologist. By understanding more about yourself and how you work, you may better assist others. You’ll aid them in overcoming obstacles and enhancing their quality of life. In addition to assisting many individuals, you will earn a good salary.

One of the most well-paid professions in the US is psychology. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychologists make an average yearly pay of $81,040. (BLS). It will need further study to earn a master’s or doctorate, though, before you can become a psychologist.

You must first obtain your bachelor’s degree in order to become a licensed psychologist. You can submit an application for graduate school after receiving your bachelor’s degree. Following your college graduation, you must finish at least two years of postgraduate education.

You must spend at least two years gaining experience after receiving your master’s degree by working in a clinical setting, conducting research, and receiving therapy. This will enable you to advance your professional capabilities and guarantee that you are prepared for a doctoral program. It can take two to five years to complete the doctoral program.

When you have received your Ph.D., you can then apply for a license in the state or nation where you now reside. Where you live and whether you want to work independently or for a company determine different aspects of the procedure.

Before you can begin working as a psychologist, the entire process will take at least eight years. However, there are numerous options for career development and progress after you get a license to practice psychology.

There are numerous chances accessible to you if you choose to pursue this area. There are positions available in public and private institutions such as hospitals, schools, and community centers.

Psychologist Session
Psychologist Session

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Psychologist

The cost of becoming a psychologist depends on where you go to school and where you live, but the full cost may range between $80,000 – $400,000. That’s excluding any financial aid, grants, and scholarships that might be offered.

  • Four-year University: $40,000 – $200,000
  • Master’s Program: $20,000 – $100,000
  • Doctoral Program: $20,000 – $100,000 

In addition to the tuition, most students who attend graduate school will need to pay for books, supplies, transportation, housing, food, and other expenses. Some schools offer scholarships to help cover these costs.

Private institutions generally charge higher tuition than public universities. If you’re in-state, you might have lower costs if you attend a public state university instead of a private institution. Private universities usually require applicants to pay application fees that vary based on the school. Public universities typically do not charge any fees.

Even though tuition costs can run high, becoming a psychologist is still one of the best career choices out there. According to the BLS, psychologists earn an average annual income of $81,040. And with so many different job options available, you should find plenty of employment opportunities as a licensed psychologist.

Is it Hard to Get a Job with a Psychology Degree?

Getting a job with a psychology degree can be mildly difficult because there aren’t many technical skills that you will learn as a psychology major. A psychology degree helps students develop many transferrable, soft skills though. These include communication, interpersonal skills, leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork.

However, there are few jobs available for someone with a psychology degree. Most employers prefer candidates with degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or other STEM fields. Psychology graduates can often struggle to find employment if they’re looking for jobs in fields that require technical skills. 

Psychology students often choose careers in healthcare, education, social services, counseling, law enforcement, and research. There are many different types of jobs available for those pursuing degrees in psychology.

What Are Some Common Jobs for a Psychologist?

Psychologists use their understanding of human behavior to treat patients and identify mental health issues. They also carry out scientific research to find out more about human thought and behavior.

They thus frequently collaborate closely with physicians, schizophrenics, social workers, counselors, nurses, teachers, police officers, and others.

Typical jobs include:

Clinical Psychologists – Aid people in overcoming psychological issues like depression, anxiety, phobias, eating disorders, and more. Patients receive counseling and therapy from them.

School Counselor – Counselors are in charge of offering advice and emotional support to kids, teens, and adults. Counselors at the school are frequently asked to help pupils who might be depressed psychologically.

Counseling Psychologist – Employs his or her knowledge to assist clients in resolving personal problems. He or she might focus on assisting clients in overcoming difficulties such as stress, anxiety, sadness, grief, addiction, abuse, and divorce.

Forensic Psychologists – They are psychiatrists who assess suspects in violent crimes and carry out medical exams to determine their capacity to stand trial.

Neuropsychologists – Research the health and dysfunction of the brain. Memory, attention, language, logic, perception, and other cognitive skills are evaluated, as well as motor capabilities.

Social Workers – By providing guidance, counseling, and referrals, social workers assist people in overcoming personal challenges. They might also impart coping mechanisms for averting future issues.

Couples Session with Psychologist
Couples Session with Psychologist

Is Psychology a Hard Major?

Really not a difficult major, psychology. There aren’t many requirements other than a lot of homework, and the most of the subjects are rather simple to comprehend. A lot of reading is required. The most challenging aspect of studying psychology is mastering data interpretation. Before beginning to write your own papers, you’ll need to read a lot of articles and books. This necessitates hours every day in front of a computer or library.

The caliber of the institution you attend determines the degree’s level of difficulty. Because they enroll the most intelligent students, some universities are regarded as top-tier institutions. The rivalry is frequently fierce because these colleges have strict admission requirements.

We have the top academics in their fields here at Harvard. In order to prevent mark inflation, professors at these institutions frequently make their tests more difficult. The elective courses you select after finishing your core requirements will decide how challenging your degree program will be. The difficulty of your college experience will rise if you choose difficult classes in your junior and senior years.

Choosing a major is typically simple for many students, especially in psychology. There won’t be many highly challenging ideas, difficult math topics, or demanding labs. The majority of pupils won’t have any trouble following the course material. Overall, getting a psychology degree shouldn’t be too difficult for most people.

Reasons Why You Should Major in Psychology

One of the most contentious majors among students is psychology because it can seem like a given for those who aren’t sure what they want to study in college. Many individuals will advise you against majoring in psychology since it looks too all-encompassing and you won’t get any technical skills necessary for employment.

But there are a lot of good reasons to study psychology. Here are a few factors that might explain why psychology might be the perfect choice for you:

  1. You Want to Understand Human Behavior – This major is for you if you want to understand why individuals act in certain ways. You can learn about human behavior and the mind by getting a psychology degree. It aids in your understanding of human motivations.
  2. You Want to Help Others – Wanting to help others is another justification for getting a psychology degree. When you work as a psychologist, you deal with patients who have a range of psychological conditions. Your objective is to assist them in resolving their issues.
  3. You Want to Change Society – Earning a psychology degree is the best course of action if you want to change society. Psychologists research the reasons behind certain behaviors and illnesses. They also look for measures to stop such incidents from happening again.
  4. You Want To Be a Better Leader – Psychology degrees do not directly teach how to be a leader, but they will help you understand yourself and others better. This information will help you become a more effective leader.
  5. You Enjoy Learning New Things – Some people believe getting a psychology degree won’t take much work from them. However, earning a psychology degree will be helpful if you’re ready to put in the time and effort to learn new topics.

The study of the mind, behavior, and emotions is called psychology. Since psychology is a person-centered field, psychologists investigate both individuals and groups.

Although many psychologists also perform research and write about psychological issues, they frequently have direct client interactions. Som

Is a Psychology Degree Useless? Final Thoughts

The common misconception is that psychology is a useless degree, but it actually depends on your goals and what you want to do as a career. A psychology degree can open up several opportunities for you, including careers such as counseling or teaching.

It’s important to consider all aspects when choosing a major because there are so many options available.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about psychology or studying it at Harvard! 

Learn more about these other majors and subjects: 

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Written by:

Amy Clark
I’m currently at Harvard Medical School. My undergrad was at Stanford University, majoring in Biology. My career goal as a Pre-med student is to become a cardiac surgeon. I’m passionate about working with people — I have a knack for providing the right treatment at the right time. Fun fact, I’m the one that brought everyone together. I met Chris at Stanford and Amy at Harvard! So glad I’m on this journey with them!

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