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Books on Careers for Psychology Majors

Updated 2/16/98. These are well known publications and should be available at most schools in the U.S. in the department office, department library, main library, or career center. All the books published by the American Psychological Association (APA) are reviewed, and can be purchased online, at the APA science book site. For books specifically about getting into graduate school, see the page titled "Graduate School Admission: Helpful Books."

100 Best Careers for the Year 2000

Field, S. (1992). 100 Careers for the Year 2000. New York: Prentice-Hall.

This book is a guide to 100 of the fastest growing occupations for the year 2000. It divides careers into 11 sections: medical technology and health careers, geriatric careers, computer careers, conservation and environmental careers, advertising, communications, and public relations careers, sales and service careers, fitness and nutrition careers, education careers, hospitality careers, science and engineering careers, and home-based business careers. For each career, information is provided on job responsibilities, employment opportunities, salary, advancement opportunities, necessary education and training, and necessary experience and qualifications.

Great Jobs for Psychology Majors

DeGalan, J., & Lambert, S. (1995). Great Jobs for Psychology Majors. Lincolnwood, IL: VGM Career Horizons.

If you're one of those psychology majors who is asking, "What can I do with a bachelor's degree in psychology?," this book will be of interest to you. In the first part of the book, the authors discuss a variety of work-related topics including self-assessment, researching careers, networking, resumes, interviewing. The second part of the book is devoted to detailed descriptions of four career paths open to psychology majors: residential care, community and social service, human resources (business), and preprofessional therapy. Teaching is also discussed as a fifth career path, but it is an option only for those with at least a master's degree.

The Handbook of Psychology

Appleby, D. (1997). The handbook of psychology. Reading, MA: Longman.

This 118-page paperback offers many helpful suggestions for developing critical thinking skills, getting a job with a bachelor's degree in psychology, and being a successful applicant to graduate school programs.

Is Psychology the Major for You?

Woods, P. J. & Wilkinson, C. S. (Eds.) (1987). Is Psychology the Major for You? Planning for Your Undergraduate Years. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

This book consists of 22 brief articles arranged into six sections: (1) is psychology the major for you?, (2) psychology and career preparation, (3) psychology majors in the workplace: traditional and unconventional careers, (4) presenting yourself to employers, (5) beyond the bachelor's degree, and (6) issues of interest to special groups. Articles in sections 1-4 will be especially helpful, as well as the introduction, "What are 40,000 psychology majors going to do next year?"

Joyce Lain Kennedy's Career Book

Kennedy, J. L. & Laramore, D. (1993). Joyce Lain Kennedy's Career Book. Lincolnwood, IL: VGM Career Horizons.

This comprehensive book covers career- and employment-related topics such as decision-making, goal-setting, information-gathering, risk- taking, self- awareness, demographic trends, jobs of the future, and life-long career management. Embedded in each section are numerous exercises and questionnaires designed to motivate readers to apply information to their own situations. This is a book that you might want to considering purchasing for your own library.

Majoring in Psych? Career Options for Psychology Undergraduates.

Moran, B. L., & Korschgen, A. J. (1998). Majoring in Psych? Career Options for Psychology Undergraduates. Boston:  Allyn & Bacon.

This small paperback addresses several issues of interest to psychology majors: jobs that are available to psychology majors, how to increase the chances of getting these jobs, deciding on whether to go to graduate school, and how to prepare for graduate school admission.

Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (latest edition). Occupational Outlook Handbook Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

This government document is a comprehensive guide to occupations. It includes job descriptions, education and training requirements, advancement possibilities, salaries, and employment outlooks for 250 occupations. In addition, it describes other sources of career education, training, and financial aid information as well as resources for special groups such as youth, the handicapped, veterans, women, and minorities.

Opportunities in Psychology Careers

Super, C. M., & Super, D. E. (1994). Opportunities in Psychology Careers. Lincolnwood, IL: VGM Career Horizons.

This 150-page paperback surveys a number of important topics that will be of interest to those interested in a career as a psychologist. It is directed at PhD-level careers, and so will be of greatest interest to those who are thinking about graduate school. Chapter topics include, "The Field of Psychology," "The Rewards of Psychologists," "The Psychologist's Education and Training," and "Scientific and Professional Organizations in Psychology."

Psychology/Careers for the Twenty-First Century: Scientific Problem Solvers

American Psychological Association (1996) Psychology/Careers for the twenty-first century: Scientific problem solvers. Washington, D.C.: Author, 1996)

This 37-page pamphlet, written for psychology majors, is most relevant to those students who are interested in careers requiring doctoral degrees in psychology (Ph.D. or Psy.D.), but also devotes some space to jobs for those with master's and bachelor's degrees. It describes the job outlook in psychology for the next two decades, what psychologists do, and the settings in which psychologists work. In addition, the pamphlet provides information about numerous paper and electronic resources for those interested in psychology.

A fourteen minute companion video is available. This and other APA publications (including Is Psychology the Major for You? and Getting In: A Step-by-Step Guide to Gaining Admission to Graduate School in Psychology and Graduate Study in Psychology and Related Fields) can be ordered directly from the APA at 800-374-2721.

Psychologist's Guide to an Academic Career

Reingold, H. (1994). The Psychologist's Guide to an Academic Career. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

This book deals is not aimed at undergraduates but may give psychology majors valuable insights into what it means to be a psychologist at an academic institution. The book is described this way at the APA book site:

Rheingold's advice covers all of the central stages in an academic professional life, from preparation in graduate school to tenured service in an institution. Young professors are instructed in the various facets of becoming effective teachers, and the procedures for academic advancement are outlined for maturing professors. Other topics include writing and publishing articles, formulating research ideas and obtaining grants, and responsibility to uphold the concepts of academic freedom, as well as recruiting more women and minorities into the discipline.

Taking Charge of Your Career Direction: Career Planning Guide

Lock, R. D. (1992). Taking charge of your career direction: Career planning guide, Book 1. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

This paperback textbook can be used on a self-instructional basis. Chapters focus on current trends in the world of work, making career choices, clarifying motives, skills, aptitudes, and values. A strength of the book is its use of exercises to help the reader in the self-discovery process.

The Psychology Major:  Career Options and Strategies for Success

Landrum, E., Davis, S., & Landrum, T. A. (2000). The Psychology Major: Career Options and Strategies for Success.
Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall.

This paperback covers a broad range of issues of interest to psychology majors:  undergraduate opportunities that can make students good candidates for a job and graduate school, entry-level career options, opportunities gained by attending graduate school in psychology, and how to apply to graduate programs. The authors also offer tips on doing well in psychology courses, writing psychology papers (APA style), and ethical issues for psychology majors.

What Color is your Parachute?

Bolles, R.N. (latest edition). What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.

This job-hunting manual, now in its 25th edition, gives step-by-step instructions for finding a job by teaching you how to pinpoint the skills you enjoy using. In addition, it helps you decide where you want to work and learn which person in an organization has the power to hire you. It also includes 35 specific suggestions for improving your chances of finding a job, as well as useful appendices.


APA-style reference for this page:

Lloyd, M. A., & Dewey, R. A. (2001, January 18). Books on Careers for Psychology Majors. [Online]. Available: http://www.psywww/careers/job-books.htm.

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