Psychology Internships: How to Apply your Skills in Various Industries

Psychology internships

Each fall, CRCC Asia’s university partnerships team travels to schools across the world to meet with students at study abroad fairs, and to explain the international internship opportunities we offer. We answer questions about what cities they can travel to, where they will live, how much it will cost, and more. But the one tricky question that we get quite often pertains to psychology internships:

“I’m a psychology major – what kind of internship opportunities do you have for me?”

The tricky part about this question is that psychology is a very diverse major in terms of the career paths that students studying it can embark upon after graduation. Many psych majors today are choosing less traditional careers within their field of study. In fact, as of 2017, only 3.5% of college graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology were working as clinical psychologists.

So what kinds of careers are the other 96.5% of psych majors pursuing? 

It turns out that many of the skills that students learn through psych studies are found to be very desirable by today’s employers, including:

  • Empathy of human behavior
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Written and oral communication

These skills can transfer into a number of different careers within human resources, administrative services, non-profit work, and more.

So when considering the types of psychology internships that CRCC Asia offers, the answer is, it depends on the type of career that a student wants upon graduation and the skills needed to pursue itWe understand that’s not an easy decision to make. Many students in their first, second, and third years are still learning about and considering the various careers in their field. To help navigate that decision, we’ve outlined a few possible career fields for students majoring in psychology that are seeking an internship.

Human Resources

The role of HR is to ensure good performance and build a positive working environment for all employees within a company or organization. They must use excellent communication and problem-solving skills to recruit and train employees, set and enforce policies, and mediate conflicts at work. Psych majors are trained to understand human behavior and interactions which can allow them to best shape the office environment through hiring and policymaking decisions. Various positions in this field to consider include:

  • HR Manager/Staff
  • Recruitment/hiring Manager

CRCC Asia Career Field: Recruitment & HR

Top Cities: Shanghai, Manchester, and Seoul

Marketing & Communications

Marketing and communications professionals use an array of skills to connect with consumers, persuade buying-decisions, and analyze ROI. Psychology majors have a leg up in this field because they studied and understand how people interact with each other and their environment. Psychology majors are also trained to conduct scientific research, which can assist with gathering and analyzing market trends and findings. Various positions in this field to consider include:

  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Copywriter
  • Market Researcher

CRCC Asia Career Fields: Marketing and Media, Communications, & Publishing

Top Cities: Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, and Manchester

Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice

Those working in law enforcement and criminal justice interact with an array of people on a daily basis, including victims, suspects, defendants, or the public. Understanding human behavior and mind frames can help professionals adapt to the different types of people they need to interact with and provide the appropriate support. Those who study psychology have this foundational skill set, which will be enhanced through further training, that can allow them to have an empathetic but analytical approach to a career in law enforcement and criminal justice. Various positions in this field to consider include:

  • Police Officer
  • Detective
  • Parole Officer
  • Lawyer

CRCC Asia Career Field: Legal

Top Cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Ho Chi Minh City

Hospitality Management

The hospitality industry exists to support the booming businesses and services linked to leisure and customer satisfaction such as bed & breakfasts, restaurants, and cruises. Psychology majors can apply the skills they learned in class to handle common situations within hospitality service such as overseeing the day-to-day running of events and functions, dealing with customer complaints and queries, and ensuring health and safety regulations are adhered to. Various positions in this field to consider include:

  • Resort or Hotel Manager
  • Event Planner
  • Restaurant Manager

CRCC Asia Career Field: Hospitality, Tourism, & Events

Top Cities: Tokyo, Shanghai, and Ho Chi Minh City

International Development and Non-profits

Working in international development and non-profits involves tackling some of the world’s most pronounced social issues like poverty, global health, and education. Those in this field can expect to immerse themselves in other cultures while also having to interact with various stakeholders including financial funders and support providers. Psych majors are a natural fit for work in international development because of their Intense empathy, communication, and problem-solving skills, which are vital for making an impact in this line of work. Various positions in this field to consider include:

  • Activist
  • Community Economic Development Officer
  • Fundraiser
  • International Aide and Development Project Analyst

CRCC Asia Career Field: International Development, NGO, & Charity

Top Cities: Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City, and Mumbai

Administration

Positions within administration involve coordinating the support services for employees within a company or organization. Professionals in this field require excellent organization and communication skills as they collaborate with all internal and external departments.

Psych majors do well in administrative roles because they are very well equipped to understand workplace behavior and apply psychological knowledge to management principles and activities. Various positions in this field to consider include:

  • Business Administrator
  • Community Engagement Manager
  • Customer Service Representative

CRCC Asia Career Field: Business

Top Cities: Any and All

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