A psychology degree has a surprisingly diverse set of career paths, depending on what level of degree you seek—bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate.

What’s more, there is demand for these careers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of psychologists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Settings vary, too, including hospitals, schools, private businesses, social service agencies, mental health centers, corporations, and the criminal justice system, to name a few.

Here’s an overview on what can you do with the different levels of psychology degrees.

Bachelor’s Degree

First, let’s be clear about what you can’t do with a bachelor’s in psychology: You can’t become a licensed psychologist doing individual counseling. More advanced degrees and licensure are needed for that. However, a bachelor’s degree in psychology can give you an understanding of human learning, emotions, and behaviors. It can also help you develop a wide range of skills in research, writing, problem solving, and synthesizing information. You can use this degree as the precursor to more advanced degrees, but you can also pursue these career paths with the bachelor’s itself:

  • Case manager
  • Mental health technician
  • Human resources generalist
  • Residential counselor
  • Recruiter
  • Research assistant
  • Training manager
  • Academic advisor
  • Psychiatric technician
  • Mental health specialist

Master’s Degree

A master’s degree can open the door for you to pursue positions in mental health care, human services, or health care organizations. You can also use it to prepare for pursuing a doctoral degree. A master’s degree alone won’t make you a licensed psychologist, but it can lead to other career options, some of which involve leadership roles, including:

  • Adjunct or part-time faculty
  • Social services coordinator
  • Clinical manager
  • Mental health professional
  • Psychologist
  • Clinical supervisor
  • Human resources manager
  • Research associate
  • Employment specialist

Doctoral Degrees

There are two types of psychology doctoral degrees: the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD). The type of doctoral degree you choose will depend largely on your career goals. You’ll see that there is a little overlap on some of the career paths, but overall, which degree program you choose depends on what your career goals are: Do you want to work directly with counseling and assessments and related fields, or are you more interested in pursuing new research or teaching at advanced academic levels?

The PsyD is a professional degree and focuses more on practice and clinical work, and it prepares you for a career as a practicing psychologist. Career paths include:

  • Psychologist
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Clinical manager or director
  • Adjunct or part-time psychology faculty
  • Research psychologist
  • Clinical therapist

The PhD is more focused on continued research and produces psychologists who can understand and apply research as well as conduct it. The PhD is designed to prepare someone for a role in academia or continued research, with positions that include:

  • Adjunct or part-time psychology faculty
  • Full-time psychology faculty
  • Instructor
  • Program administrator/director
  • Consultant
  • Dean of psychology faculty
  • Research coordinator/administrator

No matter which degree program you pursue, you have career options to consider. The bachelor’s is foundational to the others, but on its own, it can provide options. Once you’ve attained the bachelor’s, you can develop hands-on experience and then possibly consider moving to the graduate degrees, depending on what your long-term goals are.

Learn more about Capella University’s online psychology degree programs and certificates.