What Types of Skills Are Best for a Psychology Major?

With its deep insights into human behavior, psychology is a fascinating major that helps to develop students’ understanding of mental health. If you’re considering becoming a psychology major, you might be wondering about the types of skills you’ll need in order to be successful.

Here are some of the most common skills for psychology majors.

Open-mindedness

Human behavior is a complex subject and learning about it in detail requires an open mind. In your classes, you’ll be learning about various types of behaviors and mental health disorders, as well as about the different ways that people interact with one another. In order to get the most out of these classes, and to ensure that you’re developing an in-depth understanding of the field, it’s important to be objective and flexible in your thinking and to be willing to change your mind when presented with new information.

Critical thinking skills

Another important skill for psychology majors is the ability to think critically. Since you’ll be learning about various psychological theories and analyzing an array of case studies in your classes, the ability to form connections between different areas of psychology (and to determine which theories resonate most closely with your own ideas) is an extremely important part of succeeding in this major.

Research skills

Psychology majors also need to have well-developed research skills including the ability to conduct experiments and to quantify and interpret data. As a psychology major, you’ll be putting these skills to use by carrying out different experiments and presenting your research to your professors and your peers. You’ll also spend a lot of time reading about various behavioral theories and therapeutic modalities so being able to find relevant texts and pull information from them is extremely important.

Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills are important for almost every major and psychology is no exception. In fact, being able to solve problems in an effective and creative way is a necessary part of studying psychology since so much of the subject is focused on assessing and treating mental and behavioral problems. If you’re more interested in research than on the clinical aspects of psychology, having great problem-solving skills will help you design and implement experiments to further your research.

Communication skills

Since psychology trains you to work closely with others, being able to communicate effectively is key. Strong communication skills are also important when it comes to presenting research papers at conferences, so ensuring that your style of communication is clear and effective is a great way to set yourself up for success.

Although psychology majors come from a variety of interest areas and backgrounds, those who really succeed in this major are able to develop these skills and to put them to good use.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What Is a Psychology Major and Is it Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 3 Ways to Be More Productive at Work.

What Is a Psychology Major and Is it Right for Me?

Are you fascinated by human behavior and interested in figuring out what makes people tick? Are you passionate about helping others and helping them work through difficult situations? If you answered yes to these questions, a psychology major might just be for you.

What is a psychology major?

Psychology is the study of human behavior at both the individual and group level. As a psychology major, you’ll learn about the various factors that affect mental health (such as cultural and environmental factors), and about the different dynamics that can impact the psychology of a particular group. You’ll also dive deep into the world of psychological disorders and learn about common mental health issues including anxiety and depression.

In psychology classes, you’ll learn the basics of cognitive function and then go on to study advanced theories about what drives particular types of behaviors. Covering physiology, statistics and experimental psychology, this major will give some solid insights into the inner workings of the human brain.

Is it right for me?

Psychology is an exciting field with plenty of career opportunities for those interested in helping people and learning more about the nuances of human interaction.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether a psychology major is right for you:

  • Am I excited to do in-depth research on mental health and human relationships?
  • Am I open-minded? Am I able to be objective about the things I’m learning and able to adjust my views accordingly?
  • Do I handle feedback well? Will I be able to deal with constructive feedback from my professors and classmates?
  • Am I willing to devote a lot of time to reading and understanding clinical research in the field?

What can I do with a psychology degree?

A psychology major can be applied to a broad range of fields including social work and teaching. Popular career paths for psychology majors include:

  • Psychologist
  • Social worker
  • Professor
  • Career counselor
  • Non-profit aid worker
  • Guidance counselor
  • Teacher

What do people who major in psychology earn?

The earning potential for psychology majors depends a lot on the types of career paths they choose. For example, entry-level social workers earn approximately $40,000 per year while clinical psychologists with advanced degrees can earn as much as $110,000. No matter what career path you choose, a psychology major will help you develop a broad range of skills that can help you be successful in any role.

What is a Journalism Major and is it Right for Me?

Have you always been a natural writer? Do you love being persistent when talking to people? If you enjoy getting to the truth of a matter as well as putting in the work to research, write and edit stories about issues around the globe, the world of journalism may be for you.

What is a journalism major?

Majoring in journalism is a fast-paced endeavor, where you’ll be quickly learning the ins and outs of how to write a variety of different types of stories on many different topics. You’ll often be sent out into the field to work on your own, and you’ll have to come back with polished articles on quick, hard deadlines.

Is it right for me?

If the idea of getting to research, write and edit stories sounds great to you, here are several key questions to consider before you commit to majoring in journalism.

  • Do I feel confident in my basic writing, research and editing skills?
  • Am I someone who likes to spend lots of time fact-checking my work and making sure every detail is correct?
  • Do I like reaching out to people (often through cold calls or emails) to interview them for a story? Am I persistent in following up with people to get what I want?
  • Am I okay with not everyone liking a story I publish? How do I react to backlash?
  • Am I able to handle and incorporate criticism and feedback from my professors and peers? Do I have a thick skin when it comes to my writing?
  • Am I okay doing lots of my research, writing and editing by myself?
  • Am I good at multitasking and working on multiple stories on a variety of topics at once?
  • Will I dedicate myself to getting internships and jobs through college that will further my level of experience?

What can I do with a journalism degree?

Often people say that journalism is a dying field, but that can’t be further from the truth. While traditional print journalism might not be in the same place it was several decades ago, it is still relevant. Additionally, digital journalism has become more and more prevalent, and there are many different jobs out there for people with a journalism degree.

There are also many people with journalism degrees who work on the opposite side of the industry in public relations roles, pitching ideas and stories to journalists on behalf of clients.

Some potential career options include becoming a journalist, blogger, social media manager, broadcast journalist, communications manager, publicist, marketing manager, advertising copywriter, multimedia reporter, photographer and editor.

What do journalists earn?

Journalism is a field where salaries vary greatly based on where you’re located, what your official title is and the type of company you work for (for instance, a bootstrapped media startup versus and established magazine brand). Starting salaries typically run between $25,000 to $40,000 depending on those factors.

Many journalists also choose to go the freelance route, which affects your income from month to month. This doesn’t mean you can’t make a comfortable living; it just means that your salary won’t be consistent every single month, and some months may be tighter financially than others.

If you do choose to pursue a career in journalism rather than something like public relations or marketing, you’ll most likely be on the lower end of the salary spectrum, around $35,000 to $40,000 per year.

 

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Types of Internships for Journalism Majors

For those majoring in journalism, there is no better way to explore potential career options than by taking on an internship. Internships for journalism majors are wide-ranging, giving you the hands-on experience you need and an in-depth look at the industry of your choice. Best of all, internships are a great way of getting one step closer to your dream job.

Here are some of the most common internships for journalism majors:

Journalism intern

As a journalism intern for a newspaper, magazine or a digital media property, you’ll learn how to produce engaging content that fits the style and tone of your publication. During your internship, you’ll take on projects such as conducting interviews, uploading website content and managing the company’s social media accounts. You may also be offered the opportunity to write articles which you can add to your portfolio. If you’re considering a career in journalism, this is the internship for you.

Editorial intern

An editorial internship is similar to a journalistic one except that it’s not always affiliated with a traditional publication. As an editorial intern, you might be hired by a PR company, a startup or a nonprofit to develop content for their website. During your internship, you’ll be responsible for writing content, sourcing photos and crafting posts that can be used across the company’s social channels. You’ll contribute to strategy designed to increase the organization’s internet presence. In addition to researching, writing, editing and creating outlines for new articles, you’ll also monitor feedback and statistics for blog posts and assist with SEO strategy. This is a great internship for anyone who wants to learn as much as possible about digital media and to develop solid editorial skills along the way.

Content marketing intern

A content marketing internship is perfect for journalism majors who are looking to work closely with marketing, advertising and PR teams. From writing content for the company’s website to organizing and researching information for the organization’s newsletter, you’ll be participating in most aspects of content marketing and sharpening your copywriting skills along the way. During your internship, you’ll also get a chance to research, outline and write blog posts relevant to your company’s target audience as well as writing press releases for new campaigns. This is a wonderful internship for anyone interesting in going into marketing after graduation.

Social media intern

As a social media intern, you’ll assist in crafting social media posts and monitor the impact of those posts across different social channels. You’ll also get hands-on experience with social media tools like Google Analytics and HootSuite, as well as learning how to use metrics to optimize campaigns. This is a great internship for journalism majors interested in developing creative social campaigns and engaging users in the process.

Copywriting intern

A copywriting internship is all about writing engaging material and maintaining good communication with your team. As a copywriting intern, you’ll gain hands-on experience writing brochures, reports and marketing materials. You’ll also assist with drafting and editing blog posts, news articles and website content. Last but not least, you’ll learn how to monitor marketing and media trends and modify your writing style to suit your audience. This a wonderful internship for anyone interested in advertising or marketing.

Broadcast intern

As a broadcast intern for a TV or radio station, you’ll get to observe the planning, operation and execution of a TV show, radio program or podcast. Your responsibilities could range from administrative duties like researching and fact-checking news stories to more advanced tasks like booking guests, developing scripts and putting together press releases. If you’re interested in learning about broadcasting, this could be the right internship for you.

Whether you’re interning at a famous digital media company or writing copy for a small tech startup, a journalism internship will give you the skills you need to succeed in your first job after graduation.

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What is a Communications Major and is it Right for Me?

Do you enjoy talking to people and figuring out what makes them tick? Are you an outgoing person who is comfortable connecting with diverse groups of people and getting your message across effectively? If you answered yes to these questions, then being a communications major might just be for you.

What is a communications major?

A communications major is a major designed to teach you about effective communication and how to apply it to fields like media, law and business. Coursework for this major is very similar to coursework for related majors such as public relations, advertising and journalism. As a communications major, you’ll be taking a broad range of classes including marketing, sociology and business as well as more traditional communications classes like media studies and journalism.

Is it right for me?

Majoring in communications means having a broad understanding of how this field impacts others such as business and media. Here are some key questions to ask yourself before embarking on this major:

Do I feel confident in my writing and communication skills?
Do I like studying a broad range of subjects including sociology, psychology and media studies?
Am I able to handle and incorporate criticism and feedback from my professors and peers?
Am I good at multitasking and working on multiple projects and subjects at once?
Will I dedicate myself to getting internships and jobs through college that will further my level of experience?

What can I do with a communications major?

Since communications is a broad major with significant overlap to other majors, there are plenty of available career options. Some of the most common ones include:

  • public relations
  • journalism
  • law
  • marketing
  • copywriting
  • … and more

What do communications majors earn?

Salaries for communications majors are as varied as the career paths they take after graduation. While public relations specialists can expect to earn starting salaries between $40,000-$45,000, entry-level salaries for attorneys start at $55,000-$60,000 and quickly go up from there.

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What is a Design Major and is it Right for Me?

Are all of your Instagram posts works of art? Do you love going above and beyond when drawing on Snapchat photos? Is Photoshop your second home?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to consider becoming a design major, where you’ll be able to learn about the principles of design, the mediums people use to create those designs and the history of art as a whole.

What is a design major?

Contrary to popular belief, being a design major is about more than just creating pretty things. It’s both an art and science, and many of your classes will deal with both of these over the course of your college career.

Design majors take courses in several different areas of study including art history, modeling, drafting, computer programming, studio art, typography and more.

Is it right for me?

If you’re still trying to decide if a design major is the right path for you, here are several key questions to ask yourself.

  • Am I able to receive and incorporate constructive criticism from my professors as well as my peers? Am I excited to share my work with others, or do I dread it? Do I have a thick skin?
  • Am I a team player when I have to work with peers on projects?
  • Do I like spending a lot of time alone working on my designs?
  • Am I ready and willing to still spend time on academic parts of the major and put as much time and effort into them as my art?
  • Do I have a keen eye for design and know when art looks “good” and when it doesn’t?
  • What can I do with a design degree?

For art-minded students, graduating with a design degree can open up a huge number of potential career options, including positions like illustrator, animator, art director, graphic designer, fashion designer, photographer, marketing professional, textile maker, programmer, web designer, video game designer and theater/set designer.

What do designers earn?

Because they’re in a creative field, design careers vary greatly, and therefore so do their salaries. A typical entry-level graphic designer earns around $40,000 but this could vary based on where you live (for instance, in New York City versus St. Louis) and if you’re working for a larger firm or independently as a freelancer.

Moreover, many people who major in design (especially recent grads) often take on lots of freelance projects at the beginning of their careers, which means income may be inconsistent from month to month. That doesn’t mean your total earnings will be low; it just means they could vary over time.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What Types of Skills Are Best for a Design Major? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 6 Things to Do in Your First Week at a New Job.

What is an Arts Major and is it Right for Me?

Did you love art class as a kid? Do you use every inch of paper to doodle? Do you love visiting interesting museums and exhibits? Do you look at the design of a website or graphic and wonder how it was made? If so, becoming an arts major in college may be right up your alley.

What is an arts major?

An arts major in an interdisciplinary major, weaving together multiple academic subjects like art history, painting, sculpture and photography. Additional areas of study include subjects like the business of visual arts and art therapy.

Is it right for me?

Before you start majoring in the visual arts, there are several important considerations to think about. Arts major don’t necessarily create art all the time, and there could be financial ramifications as well.

Here are several key questions to ask yourself before you officially declare yourself an arts major:

  • Am I prepared for the financial costs of being an arts major, including paying for art supplies or traveling to museums or exhibits and paying fees for those?
  • Am I okay with taking academic classes as well as art classes?
  • Do I have a thick skin? Am I able to take and incorporate constructive criticism I receive from professors and peers?
  • Am I prepared to spend much of my course of academic study alone working on my art?
  • Do I enjoy spending a great deal of time visiting museums and exhibits and looking for inspiration elsewhere?

What can I do with an arts degree?

Just because you major in visual arts doesn’t necessarily mean you have to become a “starving artist,” creating your own exhibits and selling pieces. While that’s definitely a valid career option, there are other ways to make your arts degree applicable.

Some potential career paths include:

  • art professor
  • art therapist
  • graphic designer
  • advertising executive
  • art critic
  • fashion designer
  • textile designer
  • museum, gallery or exhibit curator
  • art educator
  • gallery owner
  • filmmaker
  • photographer
  • photojournalist

What do artists earn?

Pursuing a career in visual arts isn’t necessarily known to be lucrative, and salaries vary wildly depending on where you live, what you do and how much work you take on at any given time.

“Fine artists” like painters, sculptors and illustrators usually make starting salaries around $40,000-$60,000 if they have steady work, whereas people in other art-related careers may make more or less depending on the type of work and how consistent it is (for example, the average annual salary for a graphic designer is $41,000 a year while the average salary for a museum curator is $53,000).

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What is a Computer Science Major and Is it Right for Me?

From creating computer games to programming technology for the CIA or building the next Facebook, there are a lot of amazing things you can do with a computer science degree. It’s an exciting and constantly evolving field with virtually unlimited growth. And did you know that several successful celebrities are former computer science majors? Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and even comedian Jimmy Fallon all got their start by studying computer science.

What is a computer science major?

A computer science major involves the study of computers and programming languages. Majoring in this field will help you develop great technical skills and give you a new perspective on problem-solving. You’ll learn how to break problems apart and execute them effectively.

Is it right for me?

To be successful as a computer science major, you need to enjoy the process. This means that new technologies and software should excite you and you should be comfortable throwing out what you currently know to learn something new. This will ultimately lead you into a successful future, helping you deal with hard problems inside and outside of your career.

You can start by asking yourself the following questions.

  • Would I enjoy learning languages to communicate with computers?
  • Am I creative, logical and persistent?
  • Do I enjoy being able to solve challenging problems?
  • Do I like to create tools that increase productivity?
  • Do the latest technologies excite me?

What can I do with a computer science degree?

One of the best things about computer science is that it’s a rapidly-growing field. Many people with computer science degrees work as programmers or computer systems analysts, helping to build and maintain complex technological systems.

Some other potential career options include becoming a software engineer, business intelligence analyst or database administrator.

What do people with a computer science degree earn?

In addition to being an exciting field, computer science is also quite profitable. Starting salaries typically run between $50,000-$70,000, depending on location and experience. An established programmer with four to five years of experience can expect to earn anywhere from $100,000 to $120,000 per year.

 

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What Types of Skills Are Best for a Design Major?

Looking to major in design? Stellar art skills aren’t the only talents you’ll need to succeed in college. Here are five areas that are important for doing well as a design major and in your design career after college.

Creative skills

Obviously, having a keen eye and a feel for beautiful art is extremely important if you want to major in design. But going above your own creative skills, you’ll also have to learn about how others created their art and the thought processes that went into their pieces.

Part of creativity is knowing how and when to gain inspiration from others, and you’ll spend lots of time focusing on that as a design major.

Computer programming skills

Surprisingly enough, design majors need to be relatively tech-savvy nowadays, especially if they hope to pursue careers in design after college.

Knowing how to use programs like Adobe Creative Suite, HTML and CSS will propel you light-years ahead of everyone in the job market, and that begins with paying attention to honing these skills in college.

Organizational skills

Design majors are often juggling any number of projects at various stages of completion, so being able to keep yourself organized both in terms of logistics (for instance, knowing where all of your art supplies are) and creativity (like understanding what’s inspiring each particular piece) is extremely important.

Organization skills become more important if you begin getting paid for your work, even as a college student. Many design majors juggle freelance work on top of schoolwork, and it’s crucial for you to keep these different assignments straight and to also handle the business aspects of running your own side gig.

Ability to take criticism

Whether you’re working with peers, professors or clients, you’ll have to have a thick skin as a design major and know how to incorporate criticism and feedback from all sorts of people. Creative majors are definitely not for the weak-minded and often require a certain amount of resilience.

Interpersonal and communication skills

Being able to communicate effectively with people you’re working with as well as people who are critiquing your art is crucial if you want to succeed as a design major. Even more importantly, if you begin taking on clients as a design major, you’re going to have to flex your interpersonal skills to deal with client requests and handle them efficiently and effectively.

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What is a College Major?

Whether you’re just starting your freshman year of college or even if you’re a rising junior, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of a college major. Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make during your college career, so it’s extra crucial that you weigh your options and choose the area of study that will benefit you the most.

Here are some things you need to know about college majors.

What is a college major?

A college major is a group of specialized courses students are required to take in order to obtain a college degree. A major usually consists of mandatory core courses and elective courses, totaling between 10-12 classes altogether. For example, if you decide to become an English major, you will be required to take core classes in classic British and American literature. Once you’ve successfully passed those, you’ll be able to take electives such as creative writing or contemporary literature.

How do you decide on a major?

Whether you already have a major in mind or you really don’t know which direction to go in, the first step to picking a major is signing up for courses that interest you and seeing how you feel about them. You should also reach out to other students who are already majoring in those subjects and ask them questions about the classes, professors and their general experience.

Finally, be sure to try a variety of different classes during your freshman and sophomore years since this is the only way you can truly discover which subject is most interesting to you.

What if you want to do more than one major?

Depending on your school, you may have the option to double major, have a major and a minor, or even make up your own major (these are usually called concentrations). Each college has their own rules and your academic advisor can walk you through your options to help you make the right choice.

If you are attending a four-year university, you will likely have to select your major by the end of your sophomore year. That means you will have four semesters to decide which area of study suits you best. Once you do decide on a major, you don’t need to worry if it ends up not working out. You can still change your major after that, but it’s better to do it sooner rather than later so you can still have time to complete all the courses required, and you won’t have to stay an extra semester.

Oftentimes, students wonder if their major will dictate their choice of career. In some cases, with specific majors like engineering or nursing, those subjects will translate into a related career. But, if you are studying a subject that has multiple applications, there’s no telling what type of profession you’ll end up with — it’s all up to you.

Pro Tip: Even if you’ve chosen a specific major and you decide you don’t really want a career in that specific field after graduation, that’s okay too. It’s never too late to choose a new direction.

Choosing a college major may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s really an exciting time for you to expand your knowledge and dig deeper into a subject you are passionate about. By trying out different courses and asking your friends, family, and academic professionals for guidance, you’ll be on your way to choosing your major in no time.

 

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