Way to Make Psychology Degree Pay

By Moody, Candace | The Florida Times Union, October 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Way to Make Psychology Degree Pay


Moody, Candace, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Candace Moody

Sarah Bowen is a twenty-something professional who moved to Jacksonville just a few months ago. She relocated from Atlanta to take a position with an international company that provides assessment tools for employee selection and development. She's energetic and she loves her work, and she's an example of how to build a career on a psychology degree.

It can be challenging to find work that pays well with a bachelor's degree in psychology. The 2014 report released by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University called "What's It Worth - The Economic Value of College Majors," details the earning potential of specific college majors. The highest median earnings are found in engineering, at $75,000, while the lowest are the education and psychology and social work groups, at $42,000. Undergraduate psychology degree holders earned a median wage of just $29,000.

Many students are drawn to the subject matter - what could be more interesting than the study of why we do the things we do - but jobs in the field require more than the basic undergraduate degree. To be clear, Sarah actually has a master's degree in psychology; her undergraduate work was in economics and organizational management. Her career path provides a model for students who would like to work in the field and are not sure how to get started.

Sarah became interested in psychology in high school, before leaving to study economics at Agnes Scott College in Georgia. She completed her masters in Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Maastricht in Europe. When she returned to the U.S. to start her career, she worked for a consulting company that helped companies implement assessment and development programs. Hogan assessments were one of the product lines her employer used, and when the company made Sarah an offer, she took the opportunity to move to Jacksonville to work with Hogan Assessment Systems. …

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