Oregon State University


What is Psychology? Related Careers
Related Skills Job & Internship Search Links
Career Planning Links Professional Association Links
Miscellaneous Links OSU School of Psychological Sciences

What is Psychology?

"Why people do the things they do is an age-old question. However, psychology -- the science concerned with the behavior of both humans and animals -- is only about 125 years old. Despite its youth, it is a broad discipline, essentially spanning subject matter from biology to sociology. Biology studies the structures and functions of living organisms. Sociology examines how groups function in society. Psychologists study two critical relationships: one between brain function and behavior, and one between the environment and behavior. As scientists, psychologists follow scientific methods, using careful observation, experimentation, and analysis. But psychologists also need to be creative in the way they apply scientific findings.

Psychologists are frequently innovators, evolving new approaches from established knowledge to meet changing needs of people and societies. They develop theories and test them through their research. As this research yields new information, these findings become part of the body of knowledge that practitioners call on in their work with clients and patients. Psychology is a tremendously varied field.

Psychologists conduct both basic and applied research, serve as consultants to communities and organizations, diagnose and treat people, and teach future psychologists and other types of students. They test intelligence and personality. They assess behavioral and mental function and well-being, stepping in to help where appropriate. They study how human beings relate to each other and also to machines, and they work to improve these relationships. With America undergoing large changes in its population makeup, psychologists bring important knowledge and skills to understanding diverse cultures."

Dr. John Edwards, Director of Pyscological Sciences, OSU

Psychology - What Can I Do with This Degree? pdf - lists the industry areas, employers, and strategies for using your degree.

Related Careers

Some careers may require further education:

Account Executive Crisis Intervention Counselor Personnel Assistant
Activity Leader Customer Service Representative Personnel Interviewer
Admissions Evaluator Customs/Immigration Officer Personnel Manager
Advertising Assistant Employee Assistance Director Physical Therapist
Art Therapist Employment Agency Counselor Probation Officer
Assistant Account Executive Financial Advisor Professional Employment Recruiter
Career Planning Professor Financial Aid Director Program Developer
Case Worker Food & Beverage Assistant Manager Psychiatrist
Child Psychologist Health Club Manager Psychologist
College Student Affairs Health Educator Public Opinion Surveyor
Community & Social Service Hospice Coordinator Public Relations Assistant
Community Relations Director Hotel Even Management Recreation Specialist
Communtiy Relation Representative Human Resources Researcher
Copywriter Human Resources Administrator Sales Representative
Corporate Merchandising International Student Advisor Social Service Professional Staff
Correctional Caseworker Job Developer Sociologist
Corrections Officer Junior Market Analyst Statistician Assistant
Cottage Parent Labor Relations Specialist Teacher
Counselor: Alcohol/Drug Market Research Analyst Technical Writer
Counselor: Career Marketing/Sales Manager Technical Communicator
Counselor: Guidance Media Buyer Television/Media Researcher
Counselor: School Mental Health Coordinator Training & Development Professional
Counselor: Vocational Music Therapist Wage/Benefits Analyst
Creative Director Occupational Therapist Youth Corrections Officer

Related Skills

Ability to Resolve/Mediate Conflicts Good Listener
Able to Observe, Analyze, & Interpret Information Insight to Deal Effectively with People
Able to Promote Healthy Relationships Interpersonal Communication (Oral & Written)
Concern for & Sensitivity to Others Interviewing Techniques
Critical & Inferential Thinking Knowledge of Human Development & Behavior
Decision Making Problem Solving
Engage in Ethical Practice Understanding of Group Dynamics

Job & Internship Search Links

USAJobs.gov - check out the Students and Recent Grads section and the Federal Jobs by College Major for a listing of job titles related to your major.

Psychology Career Center - established to help aspiring psychologists, psychology students and job seekers make better, more informed career choices by providing them with relevant, reliable and up-to-date career development, job search and employment information.

Counseling Employment Classifieds


APS Employment Network

Philanthropy: Jobs by Poslition Type


Human Services Careers


Nonprofit Jobs

Peace Corps

Social Psychology Job Posting Forum

Social Work Jobs


The Mentor Network Jobs

HHS Careers

Career Planning Links

Occupational Outlook Handbook -  the following links also provide a summary of the career, what they do, the work environment, how to become one, the job outlook, similar occupations and contacts for more information.

Explore Careers in Life Sciences

What Can I do with a Major in Psychology? - CareerThoughts.com has a similar page to this one, which includes career options, expected salary, and job outlook information.

PsychologyDegree.net - offers a lot of useful information and guides on post-graduation plans, different psychology degree programs, and additional career resources.

All Psychology Schools

Online Psychology Career Center

Encyclopedia of Psychology Careers

Careers in Psychology

Non-Academic Careers

Psychology Career Specialities

Professional Association Links

American Psychological Association

Society of Clinical Society

Association for Psychological Science

Society for Industrial and Occupational Psychologists

American Counseling Association

National Board for Certified Counselors

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

Miscellaneous Links

About Psychology

Psychology Today: Test Yourself

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