Social psychology involves studying how certain situations and other people influence an individual's behavior, thoughts and feelings. Topics related to this field include group behavior, social perception, emotions, prejudice and socialization. Bachelor's degree programs in social psychology can prepare students to pursue a variety of careers.
|Career||Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialists||Market Researcher||Public Relations Specialist|
|Recommended Education||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*||-1%||32%||12%|
|Average Salary (2014)*||$53,360||$68,700||$64,050|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Those who study social psychology concern themselves with the behaviors of people under different situations. By studying human behavior, social scientists can prepare themselves for careers in several diverse industries. Read on to learn about job descriptions for four such careers.
Courts place criminal offenders who receive probation rather than time in jail under the guidance and supervision of probation officers. The duties of probation officers include developing treatment plans, meeting regularly with offenders, writing reports and providing testimony in court.
Probation officers typically hold a related bachelor's degree in psychology, criminal justice or social work. Probation officers with a background in social psychology can develop effective treatment and counseling plans for offenders to understand how different environments influence human behavior.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for probation officers are expected to decline by 1% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2014, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists earned an average wage of $53,360 per year.
Market researchers gather and analyze consumer information for organizations to help them make informed decisions. Researchers use methods, such as focus groups and surveys, to decide what products and services the public may want. These researchers may also examine competitors' prices, analyze demographic information and identify factors that impact product demand.
The BLS notes that students can prepare for this career by taking courses in economics, psychology and sociology during their bachelor's degree program. A social psychology degree can benefit market researchers by providing a background in social attitudes and public opinion, data analysis, research methods and group dynamics.
The employment of market research analysts is expected to increase by 32% from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than the national average for all jobs, according to the BLS. Market research analysts were also listed as earning an average annual salary of $68,700 in 2014.
Advertising Sales Agent
Social psychology majors can use their communication, research and analytical skills for this career. These agents sell advertisement programs to television and radio stations, newspapers and websites. Before meeting with potential clients, sales agents usually gather information about the clients and the products being sold.
After meeting with the client, the sales agent develops an advertisement plan that includes cost estimates and advertisement proofs. Other duties include monitoring competitors' prices and drafting contracts.
The BLS lists the expected change in employment opportunities for advertising sales agents as a decline of 1% during the decade of 2012 to 2022. In addition, the average annual wage of advertising sales agents is listed as $60,910, as of May 2014.
Public Relations Specialist
The goal of public relations specialists is to promote organizations and people by sending a positive image to the public. The duties of public relations specialists include writing press releases, preparing speeches, informing the public about an organization's activities and planning conventions. According to the BLS, courses in psychology and sociology are beneficial to public relations specialists to help them understand the attitudes and concerns of the public, as well as the clients they represent.
Public relations specialists should see an increase of 12% between 2012 and 2022, which is in line with the average for all careers in the United States. The BLS reports that the average annual salary of public relations specialists was $64,050 in 2014.