Psi Chi Honor Society
Department of Psychological
& Brain Sciences:
Career Development Overview & Student Roadmap
Why are you in college? Because you want a great career someday - right?
If, on graduation day, you want a diploma in one hand and a job offer or graduate school acceptance letter in the other hand, you'll need to focus time and energy on career development activities throughout your 4 years in college.
What if you aren't sure of your career goal? Psychology and neuroscience majors have hundreds of career options. Our majors go on to careers in psychology, business, universities, social services, law, medicine & allied health, education and beyond.
Whether you are already pretty confident of your career goal or haven't yet seriously begun to explore careers, the career development process for most college students includes:
Self-Assessment: Many students begin the career decision-making process by gathering information about occupations, degrees and licenses. This is important, but it's useless without first researching the most critical part of job satisfaction: yourself. What are your values, interests, personality, and skills (VIPS)? How well will your VIPS fit with careers that you are considering? Learn more.
Career Exploration: Websites that describe a variety of careers can be useful, but you'll also need to consult in-depth resources such as books and professional associations. Learn more.
Interact with Professionals: You cannot learn everything that you need to know about a career from the web, books, and journals - you must interact with professionals in careers of interest to you. Networking, informational interviews, extended mentoring relationships are key to making sound decisions! Learn more.
Try It Out: Internship experiences allow you to discover whether a profession is really right for you. In a good internship experience, you'll network with professionals, get to observe them in action, and receive instruction and supervision as you perform some of the tasks that are part of that career. Employers and graduate schools prefer applicants who have career-relevant experience over those who do not. Over 80% of college students will have completed two internships before they graduate. Learn more.
The career development steps described above sound easy enough and most students will benefit from career coaching at various points in their journey. Explore the rest of the pages in this section of the PSYUGRAD website and connect with Career Services - career counselors and others on campus who are here to help you.