3 Careers for psychology grads that aren’t psychology

Many people study psychology with the hopes of one day becoming a psychologist or therapist. After all, these are the kinds of professions that a psychology degree can prepare you for.

However, other people study psychology for the pure fascination and interest in the subject. While some people may expect to become a psychologist or therapist after studying psychology, they may later decide it’s not for them.

After all, training to become a research psychologist, clinical psychologist, or therapist can be an extremely time-consuming and expensive process.

For psychology graduates looking for alternative options, they may be wondering what other careers will be suited to them. The good news is that there are plenty of options. Here are four examples of psychology careers that don’t involve becoming a psychologist or therapist.

Career Adviser


Many of the benefits that psychology offers to life coaching can apply equally well to career advising. Many people feel lost when it comes to their career. They might feel stagnant in their current job, unsure of where their true passion lies. Sometimes, it’s necessary to follow the seasoned advice of a career counsellor or coach.

If you have a background in psychology, you will be well equipped to become a career adviser. This is because career advisers need to understand personality psychology, so they can help their clients find careers that match their personal attributes and temperament.

For example, having an in-depth knowledge of personality types, such as introversion and extroversion, will allow you to offer career advice that is relevant and meaningful for individual clients.

HR Officer


When you study psychology, you can learn many skills that will benefit a career in human resources. For example, you may learn about the concept of active listening, a skill that involves being able to listen to others in an empathetic, understanding way. This is a skill that HR officers need to develop, as it often proves essential in dealing with workplace disputes and conflicts.

Active listening involves paying attention to someone’s tone of voice and body language as a way of assessing their feelings and attitudes. HR officers who are adept at this will be prepared to respond effectively. In addition, being able to empathise with different team members is crucial to finding a solution that works for everyone.

Studying psychology can also allow you to understand the manifold variations of personality, which proves useful when it comes to hiring ideal candidates for a role. As a student of psychology, you will also learn about the importance of mental health and what factors can improve or worsen it.

This understanding can certainly be applied to HR. After all, more emphasis is now being placed on well-being in the workplace, with many HR officers playing a vital role in protecting employees’ mental health.


Market Researcher


Psychology and market research share many similarities. Both try to understand people on a deeper level, what makes them tick and why they behave the way they do. These two disciplines use research as a way of figuring these things out.

Psychologists will carry out controlled experiments, case studies, and correlation studies in order to gain insight into human emotions, attitudes, thought processes, and behaviours. Likewise, market researchers will use research methods ­– including surveys, focus groups, interviews, observation, and field trials – in order to gauge consumer needs, preferences, and trends.

What’s interesting, though, is how the insights gained from psychological research can help market researchers improve their work and achieve more reliable results. For instance, market researchers can utilise proven thought processes and patterns of behaviour to devise more effective questions and study designs.

They can also take into account psychological biases that people have and try to avoid them when carrying out research. Furthermore, market researchers can leverage their psychology background in order to add more context, insight, and nuance to their work.

Psychology and market research complement each other nicely. Important components of market research such as brand development, pricing strategies, and packaging design all have psychological influences. The most successful market researchers are keenly aware of these influences and can apply that knowledge to consumer behaviour.

As we can see, if you study psychology, you can open yourself up to so many different career opportunities. Having an interest in the human mind doesn’t mean you have to become a psychologist or therapist. There are other career paths that may be far more suited to your attributes, skills, experience, values, and long-term goals.


Sam Woolfe writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs. He is particularly interested in self-development, psychology, mental health, and the future of work. Most of all, though, Sam is passionate about helping people find work that is meaningful and fulfilling. You can follow him on Twitter and find more of his work at www.samwoolfe.com.


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