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Career Preparation

Academics / Departments & Programs / Psychology / Careers & Outcomes / Career Preparation

As a psychology major, you will develop many skills that are to prospective employers in the job marketplace.

Calvin psychology majors are experienced in:

  • Research skills (which can be applied in a wide variety of settings)
  • Quantitative reasoning skills (i.e. knowing how to make judgments with statistics)
  • Assessment skills
  • Increased knowledge of self and others
  • Interviewing and helping skills
  • Group leadership skills
  • Critical thinking about psychological issues
  • Appreciation for diversity
  • Computer and communication skills
  • Specific lab skills

Whatever you choose to do with your degree in psychology—whether it is pursuing further studies in the field or finding employment in an area not directly related to psychology—you should take advantage of the resources Calvin provides to discover your vocation.

Coursework

A careful selection of courses is important to discovering your areas of interest in psychology. At least some of the classes you choose at Calvin—whether for core requirements, a psychology major or electives—should be relevant to the work you pursue after graduation. Aim to develop some of the specific skills mentioned above. Take advantage of the wide variety of courses that Calvin offers. Be assured that a degree in psychology will serve you well, but also be aware that many employers respect a college record which gives evidence of a wide range of interests and abilities. You may find it helpful to talk to upper-class students, graduates or faculty members to get opinions on course selection.

Connections

It is important to make connections with people who can guide and assist your career planning. Make an effort to get personally acquainted with your professors. Developing a professional network (a collection of people in the field who you know and who know you) can be a great asset in finding entry-level positions and apprenticeships, assistantships and in connecting with other professionals. Student memberships with organizations like the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Psychological Society (APS) and the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) are beneficial for additional involvement with the field of psychology.

Experiential learning

Assisting a professor with research or doing an internship at a local organization can get you a long way when it comes to building your career. Find out what kind of opportunities the psychology department provides to learn outside the classroom.

Career counseling

Calvin provides two resources to help you identify your interests and build your career:

  • Broene Counseling Center: The Broene Counseling Center offers its services to all students at Calvin and provides help in identifying and organizing personal interests and career goals. The counselors there can assist you with career planning, as well as self-growth and self-understanding.
  • Career Development: Career Development provides vocational guidance and career preparation to students of all years and majors. For those interested in careers in psychology-related fields, career development provides information concerning the outlook for employment in fields like social work, education, counseling, rehabilitation and more.

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