The idea that mental health is somehow a less legitimate concern than physical health is, fortunately, a relic of the past. Recognizing the importance of mental health in overall well-being, government, and business leaders have worked to provide more people access to mental health services in recent years.
That action has multiplied the number of careers for psychology graduates. Psychology expertise is now paired with various fields, including human factors engineering, business process consulting, human resources, and change management. Graduates from bachelor’s degree programs are prepared to earn positions in many psychology careers, including mental health counselor, market research analyst, social worker, and training and development specialist.
These opportunities continue to increase as awareness of the importance of mental health grows.
“Research has continued to reveal that the separation between mind and body is a false one: chronic emotional distress can significantly increase the chances of developing serious physical disease,” wrote the editors at Scientific American. They joined the chorus of experts calling for expanding mental health services in recent years.
The Value of Mental Health Services
The federal government projects a 6% increase in psychology jobs over the next decade, with about 14,100 job openings yearly. There’s also been a spike in salaries, with about 17% of graduates from a bachelor’s program in psychology making at least $90,000, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
“People who have an understanding of behavior and the scientific method – and interpersonal relationships that are strongly foundational in psychology – will be very well positioned for the future,” Karen Stamm, director of the Center for Workforce Studies at APA, told Fortune Education.
Two ways that the growing importance of psychology has become apparent in recent years are telemedicine and the coupling of psychology with other fields.
Telehealth Options Continue to Grow
Telehealth involves using technology to provide remote healthcare services to patients. It includes digital communication tools such as video chats and connected medical devices that transmit real-time data to clinicians in another location. It’s a service that grew in popularity at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when it provided a way for patients to continue to see counselors and talk with other clinicians.
The popularity of telehealth, as well as its uses in so many areas of health services, led Omnia Health Insights to name telehealth “the interconnected future of healthcare.” According to Fortune Education, services such as Teledoc and Minded provide online mental health counseling options, as do national chains such as CVS and Walgreens. This rapid expansion of services has helped increase the number of jobs available for psychology graduates.
Employers also increasingly understand the benefits of providing mental health benefits to workers, a need that became clearer for many business leaders during the pandemic. Telehealth services allow them to better provide employees with mental health counseling and other health services.
Psychology Coupled with Other Fields
Many organizations also now combine psychology with other disciplines. For example, human factors engineering combines engineering skills with the expertise of psychologists to design workspaces that incorporate factors such as human behavior, abilities, and limitations. It allows organizations to create workplaces that optimize the performance and reliability of processes and systems while maximizing employee safety and well-being.
Given the widespread acceptance of the importance of mental health, human resources directors also benefit from understanding psychology when helping to create workplace policies and procedures. Expertise in psychology also benefits change management directors who design and implement policies meant to improve company cultures and organizational structures.
Psychology is indispensable for business process consultants who work with businesses to identify inefficiencies, streamline operations, and optimize performance. Their work hinges on knowledge of human behavior and performance.
Working in these areas requires knowledge in both fields. However, in some cases, businesses ask psychologists to advise them, pairing them with, for example, design engineers, human resource directors, and business process consultants.
NMU Global Campus BS in Psychology
The NMU Global Campus online Bachelor of Science in Psychology prepares students for success in many areas where knowledge and skills in psychology are highly valued. The 100% online program is designed for working adults who benefit from the flexibility and convenience online programs offer.
Students learn from experienced faculty in a wide variety of areas. They include psychological research, developmental psychology, learning and cognition, the brain and behavior, abnormal psychology, and the ethics of psychology. As with all online degree programs at NMU Global Campus, students receive strong support from the university, including 24/7 access to course materials and expert tutors in more than 300 subjects.