Your journey doesn’t end with graduation—it’s the beginning. A BA in psychology or BSc in behavioural neuroscience gives graduates a diverse set of skills which can transfer into a number of careers and opportunities.
If you’re passionate about research, you may want to continue on to graduate school where you can discover and pursue your research interests. UBC Psychology’s graduate program offers opportunities to study and practice clinical psychology, behavioural neuroscience, cognitive sciences, developmental psychology, health psychology, quantitative methods, and social and personality psychology.
Not considering graduate school with the Department of Psychology? Read other career options for your degree and learn about the career journeys of some of our alumni.
If you choose to study psychology because you’re passionate about mental health care, enter a career in health care and mental health. The Faculty of Education offers graduate programs in Education and Counselling Psychology. Learn more about their programs to see if they are a fit for you.
If you work well in high-pressure situations and want to support people during their mental health or other crises, consider a career with a crisis line or as a 911 call taker.
Meet Lexie Bergen, a UBC Psychology 2016 alumna with a career in emergency response. Her degree in psychology prepared her for this career through learning about behaviour, mental health and understanding people’s individual differences.
“As a 911 call-taker, I speak to people with mental health diagnoses or I reference mental disorders everyday and beyond that, things I learned in Psychology classes—like biases, eyewitness memory, stress, bystander effect, and so many other things—have become so real.”
For Lexie, tangibly using her psychology degree without further schooling has been one of the pleasures of her career field.
Looking for other options in health care? Your psychology degree is a great start towards a career in nursing or in healthcare. George Kachkovski, who graduated with BA Hons in Psychology from UBC in 2018, says his experiences as a psychology student “taught me how to find evidence, and evaluate it, which is an important part of being a nurse.”
“Psychology teaches you how to analyze evidence and probe the human experience. This translates in a variety of ways; it can help you optimize team dynamics, understand how environments shape human behaviour, and how placebo effects can lead to positive health outcomes.”
Throughout your time at UBC Psychology, you have learned to understand why people behave the way they do and what drives human interaction and behaviour. Put this knowledge to work in industry. Whether in advertising, marketing, sales or more, your ability to communicate your ideas in a clear and concise manner, along with your understanding of human behaviour, will help you in the business sector.
Connor Meakin, psychology alumnus, entrepreneur, and CEO of Bluebird Provisions agrees. His degree in psychology developed his writing ability and currently allows him to grow his business and increase sales.
“I use psychology to help better understand our customers, distributors and trade partners. This helps me empathize with them. It also helps me understand how to serve them better. Psychology forces you to take the other side’s perspective in every situation. This helps me every day in business.”
Your classes and professors at UBC have taught you to communicate effectively. Use these skills in a communications role post-graduation! Media relations, technical writing, communications, and digital marketing careers will utilize the communication skills and understanding of research that you’ve developed.
Like Ziya Tong, your degree can prepare you for a career in journalism. Being able to understand the arts and sciences develops an understanding of the world around you and communicate it with others.
“One of the big struggles in science journalism is getting information and data across artfully and emotionally, especially when we look at things like the climate crisis, and the need for better storytelling. How important is storytelling when it comes to being able to impart all of this scientific data? It’s critical. It’s really important … that we’re able to bridge the gap between the arts and the sciences.”
Looking for some last advice?
“Take some time to experiment and find out what industry you want to work in. I felt pressure to get a job right away post-graduation. That doesn’t matter. You’re going to work your whole life. Who cares if you delay a year or two while you’re experimenting with different industries?”
The reason you chose to study psychology, combined with new passions picked up along the way, can help you apply your degree to your future career. The options are endless.
By Kaja Bakken