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FROM STUDY TO SKILLS

All academic programs offered at the UM help students develop valuable transferable skills. Psychology is the application of scientific methods to study how humans act, think, or feel. As a Psychology student, you will gain an appreciation of human diversity, of the complexity of human and animal behavior, and of the value of the empirical approach to understanding complex problems. As a Psychology major you will therefore develop skills in critical analysis, accurate problem definition, and interpretation of data. Because psychology draws from the biological and social sciences, you may want to combine your study in psychology with course work in related fields.

Related fields include Anthropology, Sociology, Statistics, Biology, Urban Planning, Women’s Studies, Program in the Environment, Education, and Social Work.

SKILLS AND ABILITIES

Research Skills

Framing a research question
Developing theories / ideas
Gathering information
Observing people / data / things
Clarifying goals / problems
Summarizing results
Synthesizing conclusions

Analytical Skills

Defining problem areas
Creating a system to analyze data
Organizing and analyzing data
Offering new perspectives
Developing new solutions for recurring problems
Evaluating theory and evidence
Comparing/contrasting ideas and information

Interpersonal Skills

Analyzing / modifying behavior
Counseling
Motivating
Perceiving and understanding individual differences
Fostering group dynamics
Exhibiting empathy towards others
Identifying and understanding needs

Communication Skills

Influencing and persuading groups / people
Informing / explaining ideas
Mediating / negotiating conflicts
Writing clearly
Presenting complex ideas and information effectively

BUILDING YOUR SKILLS OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

Employers seek out individuals who can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic. The Psychology Department provides numerous ways for undergraduates to develop these skills, for instance through extensive research opportunities. Student organizations and campus employment offer further ways to add to the skills you are developing in your classes. Other options include study abroad, off-campus employment, or volunteering in the community, for instance through service learning opportunities and the Ginsberg Center. Finally, a summer internship may be the best way of all to test out a career field and develop marketable skills.

FROM SKILLS TO CAREER

Psychology majors develop both general and technical skills applicable to a wide range of careers. For example, developed interpersonal skills may be equally useful whether working as a clinical psychologist, a corporate recruiter, or a rehabilitation worker. Many concentrators go on to graduate or professional school. The list below is a sample of careers undertaken by Psychology graduates.

Research Skills

Experimental psychology researcher open book icon
Clinical psychology researcher open book icon
Consumer researcher
Consumer psychologist open book icon
Research associate
Research scientist open book icon
Market researcher
Advertising account manager
Biomedical laboratory technician

Analytical Skills

Criminologist
Child development specialist open book icon
Neuropsychologist open book icon
Curriculum designer
Statistical report writer
Community planning specialist
Policy analyst
Job analyst
Field health officer open book icon
Health policy planner open book icon
Environmental psychologist open book icongreen leaf icon
Industrial psychologist open book icon
Occupational health psychologist open book icon
Human factor engineer / ergonomist
Organizational psychologist open book icon

Interpersonal Skills

Caseworker
Day care center administrator
Training specialist
Probation / parole officer
Youth counselor
Psychiatric social worker open book icon
Psychotherapist open book icon
Volunteer services coordinator
Rehabilitation worker
College student affairs administrator open book icon
Affirmative action officer
Community organizer
Employment recruiter
Human resource manager
Labor relations coordinator
Relocation worker
On-line customer service representative
Fundraiser / development officer

Communication Skills

K-12 teacher
College professor open book icon
Technical writer
Media director
Public opinion survey worker
Employment counselor
Social media blogger

green leaf icon = Green Jobs
open book icon = Further Study Required

For more career information, see O*Net at http://online.onetcenter.org/

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

The Psychology Department offers two different majors: Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCN); and Psychology. To major in BCN or Psychology, students need at least a C in Intro Psych, a C- in Stats 250, plus 32 additional credit hours. To declare the Neuroscience major, students are referred to the Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience. To declare the Cognitive Science major, students are referred to the WeinbergInstitute for Cognitive Science. 

For more information visit the LSA Bulletin or the Department website.

Department of Psychology
1343 East Hall
734-764-2580
www.lsa.umich.edu/psych

Newnan Advising Center
1255 Angell Hall
734-764-0332
www.lsa.umich.edu/advising

NEXT STEPS / RESOURCES

For a list of volunteering and service learning opportunities, go to:  www.lsa.umich.edu/psych/undergrad/currentstudents/studentresources

To learn about career and internship opportunities, along with career profiles of alumni, go to: 
www.lsa.umich.edu/psych/undergrad/currentstudents/postgraduationplanning

To begin connecting to professionals in fields that interest you, create your own LinkedIn account:
www.careercenter.umich.edu/article/getting-started-linkedin

To identify internships or job opportunities, visit Career Center Connector:  www.careercenter.umich.edu/article/career-center-connector

Maize Pages list hundreds of organizations for students to get involved in:  http://studentorgs.umich.edu/maize

On-campus jobs (work-study and non work-study jobs) are listed at:
https://studentemployment.umich.edu/JobX_Home.aspx

The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building
734-764-7460
www.careercenter.umich.edu
www.facebook.com/careercenter.umich
http://twitter.com/careercenter

The Career Guide series was developed by the University of Michigan Career Center, Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. ©2011 Regents of the University of Michigan