When you think about careers in psychology, a typical role like clinical psychologist probably comes to mind.

What you might not expect is that a master’s degree in psychology can yield a variety of career opportunities in diverse fields. Critical thinking, reasoning, and an understanding of human behavior are valuable skills psychologists can bring to the fields of business, education, and even the correctional system.

Here are four careers to consider—beyond clinical counseling—for master’s in psychology graduates.


1. Parole or Correctional Officer

Parole and correctional officers spend time listening and providing direction to individuals who have broken the law, and encouraging them toward positive future decisions. Professionals in corrections with a background in human behavior and psychology have a great opportunity to change lives through their work.

Daily responsibilities may include:

  • Providing support to inmates and parolees
  • Conducting assessments
  • Offering therapy sessions with inmates and parolees


2. Learning and Development Specialist

Learning and development specialists assess the needs of a business and develop employee training programs based on their findings. These programs are often delivered through presentations, group discussions, and team exercises. Professionals with a background in psychology, human resources, or education are often the best fit for this position.

Important qualifications for this position will include analytical, interpersonal, and teaching skills.

Daily responsibilities may include:

  • Assessing employee needs through surveys, interviews, or consultations with managers
  • Creating manuals, learning modules, and training materials
  • Delivering training programs to employees
  • Evaluating training programs to ensure their effectiveness

3. Market Research Analyst

In this field, the analyst dives deeply into how consumers are spending their time, where they are looking for information, how they want to be perceived, and which products and services they are looking at to solve their immediate needs.

As psychologists are taught to recognize trends in human behavior, they can make valuable contributions researching and analyzing data to draw educated conclusions about the state of the market.

Daily responsibilities may include:

  • Gathering and analyzing market data
  • Conducting surveys and consumer studies
  • Developing new research techniques
  • Preparing reports and presenting research

4. Special Education Teacher

While special education teachers are required to have a bachelor’s degree (at minimum) specific to this occupation, a master’s in psychology is a good supplement and advanced degree option.

Teachers in special education can use psychology training to help assess students’ needs, provide effective emotional support, and work with parents to ensure that school and home strategies are aligned. A background in psychology can provide the additional professional development and situation-specific knowledge needed to be successful in this specialized area of education.

In addition to an MS in Psychology, special education teachers may want to consider a MS in Education, Special Education, which allows for additional field experiences with in-depth work in real-life situations.

Daily responsibilities may include:

  • Assessing students’ skills to determine needs
  • Planning, organizing, and assigning activities specific to each student’s abilities
  • Teaching and mentoring students
  • Discussing student’s progress with parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators

When considering a master’s in psychology, be sure to look beyond specialties in traditional mental health settings. Developing advanced skills in critical thinking, reasoning, and human behavior can help you in these fields and many more.

Learn more about Capella University’s online Master of Science in Psychology program.