of the advising within
the Department typically focuses on what students will
be doing after their graduation from LVC.
While this process can begin at any time, its formal commencement
coincides with students completing PSY
201 (Sophomore Seminar) during the Fall of their Sophomore year. This course is designed to help
clarify students’ interests and long-term plans in the field of
include identifying the academic and interpersonal abilities necessary to
become a successful student at the undergraduate level and beyond, reviewing
both the specific and broad skills/values related to different careers in
psychology, preparing students for the different elements of job searching and
applying to graduate school, exploring employment options in psychology
available to individuals with bachelor’s and graduate degrees, and reflecting on one’s own
skills/interests to develop a general career plan for their post collegiate
Beyond this class, advisors
typically begin career-counseling discussions in earnest during Junior year,
advising students to consider enrollment in graduate school or the work
force. Those opting for graduate work
are then counseled in terms of the necessary requirements
for a graduate school application (e.g., letters of reference,
research/internship experiences, completion of the GRE, etc.), as well as how
to go about choosing graduate programs. Students opting for immediate entry
into the work force are also advised how to go about preparing for application
screening and job interviews.
In addition to
Department-based career advising, the College’s Career Services Office “engages
students to become active participants in developing and implementing their
career plans and graduate/professional school pursuits.” Details about their offerings can
be found at http://www.lvc.edu/career-services/
Four Year Career Decision Making Process
Choosing a career path,
ideally, involves a series of decisions made over many years, both prior to and
during one’s college years. During their
time as an undergraduate the Psychology Department strongly urges students to
follow the steps below in order to reach an informed decision about one’s
- Begin self-assessment process: Focus on skills, interests, and values.
- Get involved in extracurricular activities and gain valuable experience through the psychology club and other organizations.
- Attend workshops and programs conducted by the Psychology Department.
- Become familiar with
the Career Services Office.
- Explore career fields by talking with family, friends, alumni and the faculty in the Department.
- Browse through the Psychology Department materials and learn more about careers by reading books, articles, and magazines.
- Talk with faculty advisers and other students in psychology about career possibilities.
- Read the newsletter and
attend workshops and programs of the Career Planning Office.
- If interested in
attending graduate school, become involved in research with LVC faculty.
- Enroll in and complete the
Sophomore Seminar (PSY 201) course, to engage in serious reflection about
- Continue involvement in
campus-based activities, but begin to seek out leadership positions when
- Prepare a resume (with
the help of Psychology faculty and/or the Career Planning office) that details
both specific work-related experiences as well as skills that you have
developed over the years; update this document periodically.
- Investigate graduate
and professional school requirements to determine that your academic record
will be complete.
- Gain career experience
through an internship or as a volunteer.
- Begin to gather letters
of reference from faculty, internship sponsors, and summer employers.
- Attend Career Forums to
hear alumni speak about their careers.
- Contact Alumni Career
Consultants through the Psychology Department and/or Career Services to ask
them for career advice and information.
- Read the Career
Planning Newsletter and attend as many workshops and programs as possible.
- Prepare for and take
information about specific graduate schools.
- Apply to graduate programs.
- Meet with your advisor
(and feel free to contact other faculty as well) as soon as possible to begin
planning your job search or graduate school strategy.
- Do extensive research
on specific organizations and on the career field of most interest.
- Conduct information
interviews with Alumni Career Consultants and other professionals.
- Prepare a final resume
that will be sent to prospective graduate schools and/or employers.
- Open a credentials file
in the Career Services Office and make sure that your letters of reference are
- Read the Career
Planning Newsletter thoroughly and do not miss any of the important workshops,
programs, and career forums.
- Interview for positions
in chosen field(s) with organizations on and off campus.
Beyond the general steps outlined
above, students are strongly urged to conduct their own research (in
consultation with their Department advisor) on various career paths that are of
interest to them. Currently,
approximately 40% of LVC psychology and psychobiology students attend graduate
school after obtaining their college degree, and the remaining 60% enter the
workforce. With this in mind, some
possible research sources include the following, many of which are available in
the Psychology Department Library (LYN 286).
- Kuther, T. L.
(2006). The psychology major’s handbook (2nd Ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
Kuther, T. L.
& Morgan, R. D. (2004). Careers in psychology: Opportunities in a
changing world. Belmont, CA: Thomson
Buskist, W. & Sherburne, T.
R. (1996). Preparing for graduate study in psychology: 101 questions and answers. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
- DeGalan, J. & Lambert, S.
(2001). Great jobs for psychology majors (2nd Ed.). Lincolnwood, IL, VGM Career Books.
Getting in: A step-by-step plan for gaining admission to graduate
school in psychology. Washington,
DC: American Psychological Association.
Graduate programs in psychology: 2004. (2003). Lawrenceville, NJ: Thomson/Peterson’s.
Keith-Spiegel, P. (1991). The
complete guide to graduate school admission: Psychology and related fields. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.
Landrum, E., Davis, S., &
Landrum, T.A. (2000). The psychology major: Career options and
strategies for success. Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Sternberg, R.J. (1997). Career
paths in psychology: Where your degree can take you. Washington, DC: American Psychological
In addition to these sources,
students should frequently check the website of “Eye on Psi Chi,” a
magazine published by the National Honor Society in Psychology (one does not
need to be a Psi Chi member to access this website), at www.psichi.org.
This site provides full-text versions of all articles that have appeared
in this magazine over the years, including many with up-to-date information
about various careers in psychology, and how to apply for psychology-related
jobs and/or graduate school admission.
General Career Options with a Degree in Psychology
Each specialty area in psychology and neuroscience/psychobiology has entry-level positions, which require a bachelor’s degree, as well as advanced careers requiring additional graduate study. Some of the careers appropriate for students with interests in these fields are listed below.
Research Psychologists: Clinical, Comparative, Developmental, Educational, Engineering, Experimental, Gerontological, Psychometric, Social, Statistical, Cognitive, Psychobiologist, Neuroscientist
Human Services: Behavioral Technician, Career Counselor, Case Worker, Child Development Specialist, Child Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Counseling Psychologist, Criminologist, Day Care Center Director, Development Officer, Extension Service Specialist, Family Therapist, Guidance Counselor, Health Psychologist, House Parent, Inmate Worker, Juvenile Counselor, Elderly Care Activities Director
Business: Industrial Relations Coordinator, Administrative Assistant, Advertising Agent, Bank Trainee, Business Manager, Claims Representative, Rehabilitation Worker, Consumer Psychologist, Corporation Counselor, Customer Service Representative, Employee Counselor, Employment Training Specialist, Engineering Psychologist, Import Specialist, Industrial Psychologist, Job Analyst, Labor Relations Coordinator, Management Specialist, Management Trainee, Market Research Analyst, Research Assistant, Marketing Specialist, Organizational Psychologist, Personnel Administrator, Personnel Trainer, Program Coordinator, Program Trainee, Recruiter, Sales Person, Systems Analyst
Public Service: Affirmative Action Officer, Community Organization Worker, Community Planning Specialist, Psychiatric Assistant, Environmental Psychologist, Field Health Officer, Health Policy Planner, Intelligence Specialist, Police Detective, Psychiatric Social Worker, Policy Analyst, Probation Officer, Relocation Worker, Psychiatric Aide, Psychometrist, Resident Advisor, School Counselor, Therapeutic Activity Aide, Volunteer Services Director, Youth Counselor, School Psychologist, Social Service Aide, Social Work Specialist, Social Worker, Sports Psychologist
Neuroscience-specific: Neuroscientist, Neuropharmacologist, Neurobiologist, Neuroanatomist, Neuroimaging Technician, Medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.), Physician’s Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Physical Therapist , Nurse, Dentist, Optometrist, Pharmacist, Veterinarian, Clinical Psychologist, Epidemiologist, Biostatistician, Clinical Research Assistant, Biomedical Research Assistant, Lab Animal Care Technician, Neuropsychologist, Genetic Counselor, Occupational Therapist, Speech-Language Pathologist, Forensic Psychologist, Sports Medicine and Athletic Trainer
Communications: Statistical Report Writer, Public Opinion Survey Worker, Media Director, Consumer Researcher, Technical Writer
Miscellaneous: Family Medicine Physician, Pediatrician, Psychiatrist, Recreation Resource Specialist, Animal Ecologist, Corrections Administrator, Curriculum Designer, Lawyer, Museum Worker, Park Recreationist