FAQ: Human Resources Jobs With a Psychology Degree
Updated June 24, 2022
Knowing the answers to relevant questions regarding a psychology degree can increase the odds of you earning one and using it to enhance your career in human resources. A psychology degree can also potentially lead to many other highly lucrative career paths. Learning about psychology degrees is a valuable step towards basing a career on it, but it requires research and determination. In this article, we discuss some of the most important questions regarding a degree in psychology and how it can lead to a career in human resources.
What is a psychology degree?
A bachelor's degree in psychology is an undergraduate degree certifying that a student spent four years in college studying psychology and met all graduation prerequisites afterward. Some colleges also allow earlier completion, with some students only needing three years to graduate. Students who earn a psychology degree generally get a better understanding of how the human mind works, including the emotions and behaviors it generates. After graduation, students can pursue different psychology-related careers, including those in human resources.
Related: Working in Human Resources
Can you get a human resources job with a psychology degree?
Although human resources specialists tend to have degrees in human resources or business management, most companies tend to be flexible when it comes to the areas of study of candidates for human resources positions. Not all colleges and universities have a human resources undergraduate program and psychology is a highly compatible field, as it trains students to study and observe how people act and how they think. Ideally, students who major in psychology should also have a minor in human resources.
How can you use a psychology degree for human resources?
Psychology students are introduced to many concepts that are relevant to human resources careers, including major concepts like the reward system and motivation factors. They also study how the human personality manifests itself, how the need to be social influences human behavior, the psychological particularities of different cultures and other elements of the human mind that are helpful when dealing with an organization's personnel.
Students who pursue industrial or organizational psychology degrees have many similar areas of study to the ones studying human resources. Throughout the years of college, they learn how to make decisions regarding human resources by applying various psychological principles. However, not all courses of an industrial or organizational psychology degree are relevant to the human resources field.
How can a psychology graduate enter the field of human resources?
One of the best ways to transition from college to a career in human resources with a psychology degree is by pursuing an internship in the field. Some psychology departments support their students in finding various internships, but students can also perform independent searches. Along with a human resources degree, a degree in psychology is one of the most preferred majors for companies looking to hire human resources interns. Other degrees that can help you pursue a career in human resources are marketing and sociology.
What does a human resources career involve?
Human resources professionals work for companies in various areas of activity and are responsible for managing, hiring and firing employees. Their work with a potential employee starts with the selection process and human resources specialists usually post job offers according to each department's specific needs, select the suitable candidates, invite them to interviews and hire the ones that are the most compatible with the hard and soft skills needed for that particular position.
Once a candidate is hired, the human resources professionals are tasked with managing their career with the company, including setting their schedule, resolving any work-related issue that they may have, keeping track of various employee benefits, such as health insurance, and any other task involving the employee's relationship with the hiring company. Finally, when an employee's relationship with the company ends, the human resource professional is responsible for terminating the employment agreement as amicably as possible.
What specific human resource-based roles can a psychology degree lead to?
Human resources departments generally depend on the size of the organization, with large ones typically having many specialized HR positions. With most companies hiring human resources specialists with bachelor's degrees in either human resources or business management, some of the most in-demand HR roles for psychology majors are usually related to recruiting candidates, reviewing resumes, making preliminary candidate selections through interviews and training the ones that get hired. After gaining enough experience, HR professionals with a psychology degree can get certified and apply for specialist roles.
What other careers can you pursue with a psychology degree?
Psychology majors have extensive knowledge of human behavior, this being a useful skill in many professions. While the most sought-after career for psychology graduates is usually that of a psychologist, there are many other potential career paths that require their skill set. Some of them are:
Social worker: They treat clients with various behavioral emotional and mental issues, teaching them how to cope with them and integrate into society.
Family and marriage therapist: They work with families or couples and study how their relationship dynamics affect their mental health.
Sales representative: They work for product producers or distributors and are tasked with selling their products to customers on their hiring companies' behalf.
Teacher: Although teachers usually have degrees in education, psychology is a relevant alternative.
School counselor: They help school students overcome various personal and academic issues. Becoming a school counselor also requires a master's degree in school counseling.
Advertising manager: They use their psychological training to create ad campaigns for various brands.
Market research analyst: They help companies create more appealing products, by using their knowledge of the human mind.
Rehabilitation counselor: They help clients with various physical and mental issues gain control of their lives and function normally despite their disability.
Mediator and arbitrator: They are hired as independent third parties in various disputes and attempt to find a compromise between the two opposing parties, helping them avoid going to court.
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