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Little-known careers in your major: psychology and education

Picking a major can be daunting. Considering all the career choices that accompany it seems impossible. For psychology and education majors, below is the third installment of Connect’s newest series exploring little-knowns careers. 

Psychology

Typically, if someone is working toward a degree in psychology, their career goal is to be some type of psychologist. This can range from behavioral psychology to clinical, child, educational, organizational and developmental psychology. The scope is big. Regardless, every psychologist has three things in common: they conduct research, provide some form of therapy or problem-solving services. Here are a few interesting psychology careers you don’t hear about every day.

Police Psychologist

Police officers are exposed to dangerous environments, situations and people on a daily basis. They risk their lives and encounter a level of violence that could be traumatic. This can potentially affect their mental health and familiar life. This is where a police psychologist comes in. A police psychologist treats the physical and mental health of police officers, public safety officials, and their families by using behavioral science and mental health principles to help them overcome traumatic or stressful situations.

A psychologist understands the workings of the human brain and applies psychological principles to help others with their mental state. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

A psychologist understands the workings of the human brain and applies psychological principles to help others with their mental state. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Clinical and mental health therapy are not the only duties of a police psychologist. Within their roles are a variety of services that many of those working in police departments benefit from. Police psychologists also participate in investigations. They utilize psychological principles to provide insight and advice on interrogations and testimonials and collect evidence to make suggestions. According to Glassdoor, the national average salary of a police psychologist is $75,186.

Aviation psychologist

Aviation psychology is another uncommon career within the psychology niche. Much like police psychologists, aviation psychologists use their skills to assist pilots, flight attendants and air traffic controllers. Due to equipment malfunctions, terrorist threats, crashes and so forth, flight crew members are experiencing more stress, trauma and anxiety when flying. They are requiring the counseling and therapeutic treatment of psychologists. This also includes military pilots who may be dealing with anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

An aviation psychologist also conducts research on aviation safety, investigates aviation accidents and designs flight decks. A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for entry-level jobs. However, additional education or concentration on aviation is typically required.

Aviation psychologists work closely with flight crew members. Photo courtesy of Blake Guidry on Unsplash.

Aviation psychologists work closely with flight crew members. Photo courtesy of Blake Guidry on Unsplash.

Education

People who earn a degree in education gain a variety of skills. They learn the ability to analyze information, think critically, coordinate, communicate effectively and much more. Commonly, those skills prepare people to become teachers and professors, that is if lecturing in the classroom setting is the profession of choice. With a little more schooling, people can also use their education degrees to become administrators and counselors. But a degree in education can deviate even further from the classroom. Here are a couple little-known careers.

Curriculum design

A curriculum designer works in the realm of education but focuses on creating the teaching material rather than teaching it. The goal is to design a curriculum that will help students learn and retain information in a way that allows them to move in stages. A curriculum designer can create material for websites or print and often take on standardized tests as well. There are three types of curriculum design: learner-centered, subject centered and problem centered. Each one focuses on a different route to learning. Each requires a deep understanding of a particular subject.

Education policy and research

Want to be on the law end of education? A professional in the field of education policy and research must be knowledgeable in law in order to work with different organizations, districts, and states to implement policies for the educational system. In addition to the teaching skills acquired, research skills are also a must. Similarly to curriculum designers, these professionals ultimately determine exactly what is being taught and how it’s executed.

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