Philosophy or Psychology?

<p>I'm a freshman in college, and I'm having a difficult time deciding whether to major in Philosophy or Psychology. I've had background education in both (Ancient Philosophy + Modern and General Psychology). I'm very interested in people - how they think and why they think they way they do, especially social psychology - like persuasion, impressions, group interactions, etc, but I am definitely not a science/math person. I don't like how limiting/factual/evolution-connected science can be - there is so much more to the world than what can be shown in experiments, and I definitely don't like medicine or mental hospitals; I'd rather work with mental healing and counseling. I am fascinated by the mind and it's infinite capacity to imagine an ideal world/government/society and the value of humanity, but it seems that sometimes Philosophy has little connection with the real world. So both have good and bad things about them: what factors should I take into consideration when seriously considering this? It would be easier at my school for me to major in Philosophy - fewer requirements.</p>

<p>I have given thought to pre-law, counseling, or maybe psychotherapy? I'm a great writer, did very well in literature/critical thinking classes, and I currently attend a liberal arts college. I love analyzing people in order to understand them, and I love debating. Grad school is an option but I don't see a crucial reason for it yet since I'm still deciding my career.</p>

<p>Public Relations? That way you can take speech, psychology, pre law, and philosophy classes towards a ba</p>

<p>I have my BA in psych and my area of interest was social psychology. Keep in mind that if you major in psychology, you will still have to take a variety of courses including cognitive, clinical, counseling, social, personality, and developmental, depending on how your school's program is set up. </p>

<p>If you enjoy writing and critical thinking, you may enjoy pursuing graduate school in psychology and then being a practitioner, but also writing articles, doing research, etc. The most science you'll encounter in psych is research methods (which isn't too difficult and is often taught in conjunction with statistics), as well as some biology (usually learning about the brain in cognitive and clinical courses). </p>

<p>You could also major in philosophy but attend grad school for psychology...you would just have to look into this by your sophomore/junior year and see what prerequisite courses you need, which usually include intro to psychology, statistics and research methods. </p>

<p>Ultimately it comes down to what kind of career you want to pursue, and that isn't easy to answer right now. You might start out as a psychology major and switch to philosophy, or some other field. But that doesn't mean you can't take courses in both until you figure it out.</p>

<p>I've taken both intro to philosophy and intro to psychology and I've really enjoyed them both. Will it be more difficult if I majored in one for undergrad and went to grad school for the other? In my honest opinion, I see more career opportunities with psych, but I've felt a stronger passion for philosophy, classic studies and religion.</p>

<p>Where did your studies take you? What careers were you presented with? Did you take any philosophy courses and did they aid in your pursuit of a BA in psych?</p>

<p>In terms of supply and demand there are way too many pyschology majors of every level for the amount of jobs that are available. Those majors have extremely high unemployment rates with some of the highest numbers of degree earners not ever entering their field of study. Piling on more degrees in such fields only slightly increases the chances of breaking into a high paying position in such fields of study. I'd only do it if I loved the subject and enjoy doing tons of research for years and a meager return in compensation over a lifetime.
As silly as it sounds, at least PR and advertising, leads to a job in todays market society. You learn about people, society, media, ethics, and law plus develop skills in oral, written, and visual communication. You could always look into Organizational Psychology and do a minor. Depends on what college you go to.</p>

<p>Correct - psychology as an undergraduate degree doesn't prepare you to do much of anything because you have general courses and don't get to study anything in-depth to the point where you can practice it. My plans were to apply to doctorate programs in marketing (consumer behavior - highly related to social psychology), but due to issues with my loans changing their terms, I did not have the opportunity to do that. I am a human resources manager at the moment and I am going into an RN nursing program with the new intent of pursuing psychiatric nursing. </p>

<p>With a bachelors in psych you might find a job as a behavioral assistant or something similar, but these are low-paying jobs. If you're serious about psychology I would recommend double-majoring with another field that offers more stability. Even if you go on to graduate school, licensed social workers and many clinicians don't make all that much more, and doctoral students going in academia aren't going to be wealthy either. So it needs to be something you are truly passionate about. Private practice is also tough to get going, although it can be lucrative if successful.</p>

<p>And it is certainly possible (and not necessarily difficult) to pursue graduate school in a field unrelated to your undergrad. I was interested in marketing, which is part of the business school, but they love undergraduate with different degrees (such as psychology or communication, etc.). </p>

<p>I don't know much about career opportunities for philosophy majors, but I would expect it to be even more difficult. I had only taken a Greek Philosophy course, but I didn't care much for it. </p>

<p>When I graduated college, I didn't have many career opportunities - I had chosen to do a lot of research instead of internships to prepare me for graduate school, and internships are important to gaining entry-level positions. Many positions in my area were part-time and required me to travel a lot. Some other jobs I looked at were admissions counselors for colleges, other management positions in retail - a lot of the behavioral positions also required experience with children, which I did not have (nor did I want to work with children). So if that's something you're interested in, find experiences to work with children and gain as much as you can in internships or working at daycare centers or camps.</p>