Where do I go from a psychology BA career- and education-wise?
April 24, 2012 8:07 PM Subscribe
Any advice on turning on turning a psychology BA into a research-related, but non-academic and non-clinical career?
posted by H4D11 to Work & Money (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
For background, I graduated with a good GPA and a BA in psychology from an unknown, small private university.
Right now, I’m working for a consulting company that primarily does survey and program evaluation-type research for federal (and a few other public and commercial) clients (primarily large-scale military work at the moment). Though survey research is not necessarily a long-term interest area, I’ve found that I like: working in the private consulting sector, getting to occasionally travel actually if I could find a job where I could travel more regularly – even to non-sexy destinations – I’d be quite happy), working on projects in a variety of research topics, and seeing how various research methods are applied to solve real-world problems. I’ve also found that, being somewhat competitive, I enjoy the business development and contract capture process.
At any rate, I’m wondering where I go from here, as there’s not too much I can continue to do with just an undergrad degree besides more grunt work. The problem is, looking into various psychology graduate programs, I have very broad research interests (think social/cognitive/educational, though not so much I-O or, tangentially, market research), don’t feel strongly committed to one content area, and my research experiences in school were scattered and basically “take-it-where-you-can-get-it” (working in a personality psych lab at a nearby R-1 university for a semester, doing qualitative data entry and basic quantitative analysis for various professors, conducting a social psych-related original study).I’m also not particularly interested in becoming an academic anyway.
I’ve really enjoyed the research methods and stats classes that I took and the work I’ve done/do involving data analysis and presentation. It’s made me especially interested in learning about quantitative methods beyond just “stats for social sciences” type courses, but my actual mathematics background is limited at this point. Though I did well in calculus way back in high school, I was initially studying for a communications-related degree and took the minimal math and science requirements in college early on. I’m definitely not opposed to increasing my skill set through additional courses, but if I’m going to spend money on them, I’d like to have a plan of action.
So, any advice or thoughts on where I may want to go from here? What kind of graduate programs and/or eventual careers could be a good fit? What I may want to do to prepare for them? Any related personal anecdotes – in particular if you happen to work in research consulting, how did you get there and what have your experiences been?