News from APA’s Center for Workforce Studies
What do people do with their psychology degrees?
1 National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT). (2013).
Integrated Survey Data [Generation of custom tables]. Retrieved from www.nsf.gov/statistics/sestat/. This report includes weighted estimates on employed
individuals whose highest degrees were in psychology at the following degree levels: approximately 1. 3 million individuals with bachelor’s degrees,
435,000 individuals with master’s degrees, 115,000 individuals with doctorates and 45,000 individuals with professional degrees. The use of NSF data does
not imply NSF endorsement of the research, research methods or conclusions contained in this report.
2 Primary job refers to primary work activity, the work activity on which the individual spent the most hours in their principal job.
3 Research included applied and basic research. Other work activities included design, development, computer applications, production, quality management
and work activities not otherwise specified.
Data show how career paths differ for doctoral, professional, master’s and
bachelor’s degree holders.
— Karen Stamm, PhD, Luona Lin, MPP, and Peggy Christidis, PhD
For more information, contact email@example.com.
More than half of people whose highest degree is
a master’s, doctorate or professional psychology
degree1 work in professional services — such as
health care, counseling, financial services or legal
services — as their primary job. 2 Another one-third
of doctorate holders work in teaching or research. 3
A smaller proportion of master’s degree holders
( 18 percent) and professional degree holders ( 15
percent) work in teaching or research.
But people with psychology bachelor’s degrees
work in a wider range of primary jobs. Sales was
the most common primary job for these individuals,
followed closely by other work activities, 3
professional services and management/supervision.
Primary job by level of highest psychology degree1, 2, 3
Level of highest psychology degree
Other work activities