My journey as a social scientist began when I declared to my parents and family in my senior year in high school that I was going to college to be a….yep you guessed it….a DOCTOR!
8 years later when I earned my Bachelors Degree in Psychology ( no kidding)…that became one of the most expensive but fulfilling journeys of my life.
Social science is unique, fun and interesting because it deals with all aspects of human, and non-human, interaction. How we think, feel, and comprehend the world around us. The internal and external factors that shapes almost every decision we make and action we take.
While I was going through the first 3 and a half years in college as a pre-med student taking biology, chemistry and physics classes, I really got bogged down in the mundane and endless facts and figures to memorize. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love biology, but I wanted more out of my college experience (and ultimately my long term career) than learning the classification and species name for the sea anemone. So, to the displeasure and everlasting credit of my parents, I did a complete 180 and turned my studies towards Psychology…with their blessing.
Why psychology you ask? What is it about psychology that is so unique and interesting? There are 3 main reasons.
1. It’s a social science discipline that can easily fit into many diversified “categories” and “careers”.
Psychology is much more than treating mental health concerns as a psychiatrist, being a marriage counselor , or leading group therapy for addictions. Though these are very good and rewarding career options that are greatly needed, psychology embodies so much more to so many other people.
Psychology is ultimately a constant, creative search for the understanding of how individuals interact with the world around them, and why they are uniquely impacted by specific people, environments, situations, and circumstances. If that’s not enough fun, then you also get to assess and analyze the findings and outcomes observed from those interactions and influences. As an added bonus, you can then apply innovative solutions and enhancements to similar future occurrences as to help create and manage new and improved outcomes.
All of these roles of a psychology major, or psychology specialist, can carried out in many great and exciting careers that extends to virtually all meaningful parts of society. Examples include becoming an analyst, advertising salesperson, actor, air traffic controller, manager, supervisor, real estate agent, police officer, detective, investigator, correctional officer, industrial-organizational psychologist, lawyer, marketing manager, occupational health technician, public relations specialist, politician, photographer, security consultant, teacher, entrepreneur, writer, author, reporter, researcher, school counselor, forensic psychologist, sports psychologist, sports agent, school psychologist, and healthcare administrator to name a few.
So as you can see, not only can psychology lead to an interesting and rewarding career, but you can also become a more interesting person.
2. This social science discipline helps make one a well rounded, and well adjusted individual.
After earning a degree in psychology, you gain some very crucial skills in communication, reasoning, problem solving, understanding different and diverse perspectives, writing, researching, analyzing in-depth information, leadership, motivation, influence, training, and most assuredly understanding the many different mental health issues going on in today’s world.
This occurs based on the wide ranging subject matter that is taught in psychology. The variety is the spice of psychology after all.
Here are some interesting examples:
Understand the diagnostic criteria for mental health concerns in Abnormal Psychology, apply emotional states to physical fitness in Health Psychology, discover what drives a person to purchase one product over another in Consumer Behavior, create new ways to improve job performance at a multi-million dollar company in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, investigate and analyze if and how a new method of instruction improves graduation rates at a high school through Learning and Cognition Psychology, construct the next poll for a political candidate with Quantitative Research Design, or influence a friend to always lend you money when you ask for it through Social Psychology. But it can’t be all about you, can it?
3. This social science discipline allows one to really help others.
With great knowledge comes great understanding. When someone can take a step back from “life” and realize how or why others act a certain way, or feel something different, or say specific things at specific moments in time, then you are five steps ahead of biology majors when you graduate. All kidding aside. Then you can empathize, sympathize, and help others understand the world around them. Psychology helps you become a type of everyday professional helper.
Based on the large continuum of subjects psychology covers, the individuals immersed this field, or major, are especially equipped to serve as a link between the everyday world and everyday people. Psychology specialists have the ability to merge theoretical plans to practical uses. They can transform scientific research findings into applied solutions. They can analyze complex information gathered from a government agency and provide “kitchen table” answers to a family of four. All for the greater benefit of others. No matter the many different settings, among vastly different professions, working for a greatly diverse populous; a psychology specialist is a rare class of person that can truly make meaningful change for many people.
So I’ll say it again, I psyched myself out of memorizing the difference between a radius and an ulna…and into my current role as a social science consultant helping others with important scholarly research, article creation, research design, thesis formation, background investigation, surveys, and report writing to name a few.
***To all of the potential psychology majors, college students, academics, instructors, businesses, or interested parties, I hope you enjoyed a brief introduction to Psychology 101, and Careers in Psychology.***
To gain a greater understanding of my personal story and biography I invite you to read more at www.socialsciencepro.com