What Types of Careers in Academia are Available with a Master’s Degree in Psychology?

Searching out what can be called psychology academia careers can be a daunting task, particularly for those who hold master’s degrees. Academic careers, generally, are scarce, even for those who hold terminal degrees; for those who have yet to earn the doctoral dignity, prospects are narrower. But “narrow” does not mean “nonexistent,” as the information below notes.

Classroom Work

HigherEdJobs.com lists a number of college teaching jobs available to those who hold a master’s degree in psychology. Such jobs will typically provide undergraduate instruction, often introductory courses at the freshman or sophomore level. Teaching is a solid part of the work of the academy, and undergraduate education is the most widely recognized part of the collegiate mission, so working in the college classroom is certainly a career choice for those with degrees in psychology who wish to work in academia. Typically, the jobs will have such formal titles as “Instructor” or “Lecturer” and will be additionally divided into full-time and part-time or adjunct positions. “Lecturer” is often considered more prestigious, and full-time work is more desirable than part-time. Also to be looked for is whether or not the position is continuing; if it is, it is more stable, and therefore a better job to have.

Other Academic Work

Something many people fail to recall is that there is more to the collegiate environment than the classroom–and it is outside the classroom that those who hold master’s degrees in psychology can most easily find careers in the academic world. HigherEdJobs.com also notes that colleges employ counseling staff, many of whom need have no more than a master’s in counseling or a related field–and psychology is certainly a related field. Many members of the university community are under great amounts of stress; they have many demands on their time and attention, and the focused environment of higher education often causes such stresses to mount uncomfortably. There is thus great need for counseling services, offering psychology academia careers not often considered.

There are also other careers, admittedly unconventional, that a master’s in psychology suits a person to pursue. There are always research assistant positions open to people, and while many will be filled with graduate students enrolled in university programs, many others will seek out workers who can remain with the projects beyond the two years typical of master’s programs or seven traditional to the doctorate. Too, there are other service positions available, such as advising (academic and otherwise) and human resources staffing, both of which deal with people extensively and therefore benefit from the insight into the psyche that a master’s in psychology affords.

The information above is offered in the hopes that people will use it to find the paths of study right for them. It is particularly meant for those who will seek psychology academia careers, using what they have learned to help others to know more and be better people.

Related Resource: Career Paths with a Master’s in Psychology