5 Psychology Degrees, 20 In-Demand Career Fields

April 28, 2021

5 Psychology Degrees, 20 In-Demand Career Fields

Plus, Careers You Might Not Have Considered! 

By Alaina Dunn, Assistant Vice President of Admissions, Palo Alto University

What can you do with a psychology degree? Career possibilities with undergraduate or graduate degrees in psychology are abundant. And while an advanced degree can open many doors, not every student needs a PhD to start a rewarding career.

Undergraduate, masters, and PhD or PsyD degrees in psychology all lead to rewarding careers in a variety of settings, with their own set of nuanced skills and training. All programs focus on social justice issues, cultural humility and service to a diverse client population.

At Palo Alto University, we help guide you in the decision-making process to set you on the right educational path to achieve your goals. If you are not sure which degree aligns with your desired career outcomes, we have outlined the important differentiators to make your decision easier.

Take a look at this quick breakdown, then dive into the specifics for your area of interest.

1. & 2. Undergraduate Degrees 

Earning a Bachelor of Science is the first step to beginning your career as a psychology professional. Our career-driven programs help you make the connection between the science of psychology and the real world.

Psychology is a broad field. PAU offers two psychology degrees to focus your studies:

  1. Bachelor of Science in Business Psychology: This degree will prepare you for business roles that rely on heavy interpersonal interaction. The degree is also a good foundation for an MBA or a master's degree in human resources or management. Roles include: Marketing, human resources, sales, and management. 

Advanced education: This degree prepares you for an MBA or Master's degree in Human Resources or Management. 

  1. Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Social Action: This degree focuses on community advocacy and outreach. 

Roles include: Nonprofit and community agency professionals, as well as therapists, researchers, academic consultants and more. Advanced education: This degree prepares you for graduate studies in psychology, such as a PsyD or PhD.  

Take it from an Alum: "After graduating from Palo Alto University in 2012 with my B.S. in Psychology and Social Action, I was offered a job as a Behavior Specialist at Alum Rock Counseling Center. Alum Rock Counseling Center is a not-for-profit agency focusing on supporting at risk youth and families in the social services field. My education from Palo Alto University along with the mandatory internship fully prepared me for the work I am accomplishing now. My internship was at Gardner Family Care Corporation where I learned both concepts and skills that help me to serve the clients I am working with today." – Rosalina Rodriguez, Class of 2012

3. Master of Science in Psychology

Psychology is a diverse field, and an MS in psychology can prepare you for many careers that deal with human behavior.

Choose from three distinct MS tracks:

  1. PhD Preparation: This track prepares you to transition to a PhD in clinical psychology program through our rigorous, non-clinical coursework.

  2. General Psychology: Generalist track graduates can continue on to and advance in a range of careers that involve interpersonal communication and understanding. Roles include: Marketing, HR, teaching, user experience (UX), research, medical center management. 

  3. Forensic Psychology: This track prepares you to apply your study of psychology to forensic settings. Roles include: Parole officer or criminal justice professional. 

Additionally, a master’s degree qualifies you to teach at the community college level and can help advance your career as a research assistant—both popular roles among many PAU graduates.


Take it from an Alum: "The MS program contributed to my career by giving a strong foundation of knowledge in experimental research methods, statistics and clinical interviewing. I have been able to use these areas of knowledge in my day-to-day work as a UX Researcher through analyzing qualitative and quantitative user data as well as during user interviews. The MS program also taught me how to balance multiple projects at once, since I was attending the MS program while working full time." – Jessica Tan, M.S., '16 (UX at Tech Company)"

4. PhD in Clinical Psychology

Graduates of the PhD in Clinical Psychology program at PAU are expert clinicians and researchers, prepped to take their career in the direction they choose. This program offers emphasis areas of study as you work toward your doctorate, so you can steer your research and experience toward your passions. 

Fields include: 

  • Child and Family 

  • Diversity and Community Mental Health

  • Forensic Psychology 

  • LGBTQ+ Psychology

  • Meditation and Psychology

  • Neuropsychology  

  • Trauma 

Roles include:

  • Professor

  • Researcher

  • Consultant

  • Clinician

  • Health system psychologist

  • Community clinic psychologist

  • Self-employed psychologist

Take it from an Alum: "The very first question Dr. Muñoz asked me was, ‘Monique, what are your dreams?’ I was initially taken aback because no teacher, no professor, no mentor had ever asked me that question before. I immediately began discussing my career goals of reducing health disparities and creating a clinic that would provide free and low-cost services to those living in poverty. Dr. Muñoz welcomed my ideas and helped me brainstorm avenues to ensure I would meet my goals. Becoming a clinical professor at a university seemed like the perfect route to take.” – Monique Cano, Class of 2020, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

5. PsyD in Clinical & Applied Psychology (PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium)

If your passion is direct client care, consider earning a PsyD in Clinical and Applied Psychology through our unique practitioner-scholar program. We partner with Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences to provide evidence-based academic and applied experiences over this four-year program.

Graduates from our prestigious course of study go on to pursue rewarding careers dedicated to improving the lives of others. 

Fields include: 

  • Hospital and Private Health Care

  • Community Mental Health

  • Education

  • Youth Mental Health

  • Armed Forces

  • Business

  • Justice System

  • Government

Roles include:

  • Professor

  • Researcher

  • Consultant

  • Clinician

  • Health System Psychologist

  • Juvenile Psychologist

  • Community Clinic Psychologist

  • Self-employed Psychologist

Take it from an Alum: "The culture at PAU is to work hard and use your strengths. People have a sense of urgency here; they are focused, so they accomplish a lot. I get more done here than I’ve ever thought possible – but I still have a life. It has prepared me for a professional environment. – Landon Berger, Class of 2011, Psy.D. in Clinical and Applied Psychology

Build Your Future

Psychology and Counseling is a multifaceted, unique field that combines science and research to solve real-world problems, explore social issues, and alleviate human suffering. 

At PAU, you will have the freedom to pursue the career you want in psychology. Make a difference in the lives of others. 

Start your career in psychology or counseling. Schedule time with an advisor.