You don’t just get knowledge from your degree at university. You develop a whole range of skills that are relevant in the workplace. In fact, the selection criteria that are listed for many jobs will be very similar, and you will be able to easily adapt your knowledge and skills across many different job types and working environments. Here are some of the most common criteria that employers look for, and how a psychology degree enables you to develop these skills and abilities.

Knowledge of individuals, groups and communities

The knowledge you gain won’t always look exactly like the subjects you have studies, so consider how you might apply the knowledge you have gained, such as:

  • Child and adult development (Developmental Psychology).
  • Mental illness, assessment, selecting appropriate interventions to support individuals and groups (Abnormal, Clinical Psychology).
  • How people think and process information (Cognitive psychology).
  • Consumer behaviour, attitude change, group dynamics (Social, Community Psychology).
  • Social and community psychology.
  • Knowledge of diversity and cultural differences (Cross-Cultural psychology).
  • Identifying and solving social problems (Research methods).
  • How to liaise with people, negotiate and manage conflict (Interpersonal communication).
  • Health, emotion and motivation (Health Psychology, Motivation).
  • How teams work, helping groups work effectively (Organisational Psychology).
  • Impact of crime on individuals and communities (Forensic psychology and criminology).
  • How to help individuals and team perform at their best (Social, Organisational, Sport Psychology).

Oral and Written Communication skills

Psychology graduates have developed advanced writing skills throughout their degree, with critical essays, reports, literature reviews, and projects. They explore issues in detail and to develop critical thinking, evaluation and decision-making skills. In particular, you gain the ability to produce a concise report, which is often important in the workplace.

Psychology graduates also develop advanced oral communication skills through not only the study of interpersonal skills, but in the practice of presenting to small and larger groups in debates, seminars etc.

Computer Skills

Psychology graduates develop high-level skills in using a variety of computer programs used for statistical analysis, data entry and management, word-processing, multi-media and online communication.

Critical thinking Skills

Psychology graduates are experienced in gathering information, evaluating the relevance and credibility of information, and developing alternative explanations.  They have an eye for detail, but are also able to consider the bigger picture (such as in identifying relevant theories to explain what is observed). They develop the ability to reason and problem-solve through the systematic use of information.

Interpersonal Skills

Psychology students not only develop a theoretical understanding of interpersonal behaviour, but also the skills relevant to working effectively with other individuals and groups. These skills are essential in most workplaces. They develop knowledge and skills in conflict resolution, team-work, as well as the importance of ethics, the importance of confidentiality and complying to codes of practice and other organisational policies.

Problem-solving Skills

Psychology graduates learn from their discipline, how to identify problems, gather relevant information, and make decisions about how to best approach solving a problem. In essence, psychology is focussed on understanding the problems related to human behaviour and finding effective solutions.

Research and Data Management Skills

Psychology graduates learn how to systematically draw together information relevant to an issue, develop appropriate research questions and strategies for gathering data, as well as then analysing the data and interpreting it in light of the relevant issue.  They develop the ability to make sense of information, and apply it to social problems.

Time Management & Organisational Skills

Psychology graduates have develop the ability to work independently, keep on track, and manage project timelines, as an individual as well as in a group.

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