Though Psychology is an academic degree, the training and skills received put graduates in a good position to stand out when applying for jobs. In particular, their background in meticulous scientific research, coupled with their in-depth understanding of human thinking and behaviour, make them some of the most versatile graduates in the market.
Psychology graduates can offer research skills, and data and numerical skills, which are vital in sectors like Finance, Banking, Accountancy or Insurance. An ability to work with numbers, apply them in real world situations, and subject them to analysis is something employers in these fields look for - and something which Psychology graduates can offer.
On top of their research skills, Psychology graduates are able to understand peoples thought processes and behaviour. This knowledge and experience is important in fields like Advertising and PR, Retail, Management, Media and Human Resources. Psychology degrees are applicable to nearly any customer or client-focused industry.
Source HECSU - What do graduates do? September 2013.
Taking Stock of Skills
As with any degree, the key to a successful job search is knowing how to showcase the right skills.
In particular, Psychology graduates can offer the following:
Analysis - Psychology graduates have excellent analytical skills which allow them to study large amounts of information and extrapolate trends and themes. This skill is not only relevant to scientific research, but can also be applied in financial or business settings.
Behavioural understanding - Understanding how and why people think and act is a unique skill which opens up many opportunities for Psychology graduates, and which they should make sure to highlight on their CVs, as it can show prospective employers that they can offer valuable insight into audiences, customers and markets.
Communication - With a heavily academic and research-based degree, Psychology graduates are able to express their ideas through intelligent written reports, and to effectively present complex ideas to audiences.
Data and numerical skills - Psychology graduates spend a lot of time working with data and statistics. Being able to manipulate numbers to create and analyse statistics is an attractive skill to offer employers, especially for roles which require graduates to be comfortable with influencing the direction a company chooses to take.
Research skills - Psychology graduates are trained in conducting thorough and comprehensive research, constructing detailed reports, and summarising useful information. These skills are applicable beyond an academic setting and can be beneficial to many potential employers.