Critical thinking skills
Employers want to hire applicants who can “think on their feet” and analyze what they encounter in the workplace. The psychology major provides plenty of opportunities to engage in critical thinking. Introductory psychology students, for example, are quickly immersed in a sea of perspectives on the causes and nature of human behavior. Soon students realize that research often supports several theoretical explanations and that their task is to weigh multiple points of view, compare and contrast evidence and make reasoned explanations for behavior. Don’t underestimate the value of these skills.
Employers need staff that can solve the range of small and large problems that arise daily in the workplace. Psychology students learn how to identify questions, frame them, devise and carry out procedures to test them and analyze the data to draw conclusions. Courses in research methods and statistics help students develop skills in scientific problem solving that are transferrable to everyday settings such as the workplace.
Oral, writing and interpersonal communication skills
Over their undergraduate years, psychology students write a great many papers and enroll in courses that require discussion and debate. They learn how to substantiate arguments by referring to evidence from empirical research. Group assignments give students the opportunity to practice interpersonal skills and cooperate with others to solve problems. Courses in clinical psychology, social psychology and persuasion, for example, provide students with specific information about interpersonal communication, team work, leadership and conflict management.