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How a Psychology Degree helps in Business: Hidden Benefits and Potential Careers

Psychology is the fourth most common undergraduate major in the United States. Thousands of students enter psychology degree programs across the country each year. The field covers a wide range of topics and areas of study, ranging from child development to analyzing the management of the workplace.

Those interested in pursuing a degree in psychology and improving their understanding of human thought and behavior may be surprised to realize that the field also allows students to easily transition into other professional careers, including business.

Here are four benefits of having a psychology degree in the business sector.

1. Excellent analytical skills

Completing a degree in psychology requires students to develop their analytical skills. They will have extensive practice researching information, reading studies, and interpreting the results. Many psychology programs also require advanced math courses, such as statistics, which increases complex thinking.

Psychology itself is a younger science compared to other fields of study, leaving plenty of room for advancements and new ideas. As students engage with the degree material, they will find ample opportunity to critically examine the concepts they are taught, studies that have used these concepts, and even run their own studies to better appreciate how these concepts can be applied.

How this benefits those interested in business
Business success similarly requires complex analysis. Leaders must interpret market research and reports, bring together different sources of information, and make decisions based on the data and opinions available. Independent thinkers will form their own ideas that have the support of the evidence available and will set themselves up for success.

2. The ability to understand people and their motivations

Throughout much of human history, people have sought to comprehend the behavior of those around them. Psychology, at its core, consists of the study of people. It examines why people behave like they do, including what motives them. Throughout the courses of study in psychology, students will gain an intimate insight into the different theories of people’s behavior and how those around them can encourage or discourage particular types of action. 

How this benefits those interested in business
Those who succeed in business must know what products to sell and how to sell them. They need to have a well-developed understanding of their customers so that they can engage them and communicate with them effectively. 
With a psychology background, business professionals will find it easier to know their target markets and their desires. Uncovering motivations and knowing how to appeal to that innate want will also come simpler to them.

3. A better ability to lead groups and manage interpersonal relationships

Psychologists who emerge from their degree programs with an excellent grasp of people also find that it can benefit their own interpersonal relationships. Their ability to understand what drives behavior and reactions from other people also helps them improve their ability to communicate and engage with those around them. Their studies enhance their skills in decoding what might have influenced another person’s reaction to a particular situation and how compromise can be achieved in instances of disagreement.

How this benefits those interested in business
Businesses grow when teams work well together. A well-led team can get more work done and find opportunities to develop the brand.

Psychology benefits those preparing to enter the business world by improving their ability to engage with others. They can mitigate disagreements with coworkers and work to find solutions and compromises. They can also grasp how others think and feel and can shape the behavior of the rest of the team.

These former psychology students can also use their insight and understanding to improve morale. Their comprehension of what might inspire others on the team and use of that to provide motivation can help keep everyone moving in the right direction.

4. Improved soft skills

While studying psychology, students have the chance to explore group dynamics in depth. They learn about what helps groups succeed and thrive. And they get insight into why groups often struggle to communicate effectively. Their studies can help develop strong working theories that predict how people will likely respond in a given situation and the type of language that will best help to communicate their point and convince other people to get on board with their idea.

How this will benefit those interested in business
Soft skills remain some of the most desired traits within the professional world today. Ninety-two percent of those in hiring positions report that they find soft skills to be more important than technical skills. These soft skills consist of areas such as:

  • Communication and listening
  • Motivating others
  • Working successfully in groups and teams
  • A strong work ethic

Those who bring these skills to the workplace will be far better equipped to work within their team effectively. Their ability to master the highly desirable soft skills will set these professionals apart.

Types of business careers where those with a psychology background thrive

Thanks to the rich and varied background of a psychology degree, those who follow this course of study will find that they can find a number of different types of jobs in the business world including: 

Industrial-organizational psychology

In this newer discipline that uses psychology to understand the workplace, professionals use their insight and training to interpret the dynamics of workers and teams, how to improve production and satisfaction, and how to help the business function in a healthy, productive way.

Marketing and marketing research

The marketing branches of business use their psychology skills to connect with prospective customers, grasp the dilemmas and pain points faced by particular populations, and then help them appreciate how a particular product or service can help them with their problems.

Human resources

Human resources professionals manage many internal organizational functions to help with the hiring and onboarding of new employees as well as boosting communication between the management of the company and front-line employees. Those with a background in psychology can call upon their understanding of group behavior and dynamics as well as their communication skills to thrive.


Sales teams must have excellent communication skills to build relationships with potential customers and demonstrate why a particular product or service fits their needs. These professionals also need to be engaging and assertive when reaching out to potential buyers to begin building towards a sale.

Customer service

Customer service representatives also need strong communication skills to engage with current customers and help them with the products and services they have purchased. It requires an understanding of behavior and an ability to communicate effectively, even if the customer exhibits anger or frustration.

Psychology degrees can offer a number of opportunities for students, even outside the field of psychology itself. The lessons students learn and the skills they develop will benefit them in a variety of ways in the business world. Those considering entering the professional fields should consider how a Psychology degree from ACU Online might help them reach their goals.

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