Career Options: Psychology

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Psychology involves research and study of human behaviour and processes related to how people think and feel. Psychologists provide treatment and counselling to assist clients with behavioural and psychological issues.

Graduates are highly suitable for employment within various government departments, particularly those connected with health, social and disability services, youth services, corrective services, the armed services, research agencies such as the CSIRO, and in education. Private industry is also a large employer of both students who have completed undergraduate study in psychology and registered psychologists. Specifically, opportunities exist within management, human resources, market research, recruitment and specialised consultancy services.

Professional recognition

To practice as a psychologist in Australia, you must be registered through the Psychology Board of Australia. To qualify for registration you will need to complete four years of undergraduate study in psychology followed by two additional years of either postgraduate training in psychology or supervised workplace experience as a probationary/conditional registered psychologist. See the Australian Psychological Society website for a comprehensive description of career pathways.

For detailed information on how to register as a psychologist go to the Psychology Board of Australia.

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Employment prospects and starting salaries

Weekly average earnings in 2014

Weekly avergage earnings for Psychology graduates in 2014

Job openings in 2014

Job openings in 2014 for Psychology graduates

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Where do SCU Psychology graduates go?

Below is a sample of recent employers and position titles for our Psychology graduates. Note that employers and positions are sorted separately in alphabetical order below — they are not matched lists.

Sample of employersSample of position titles
Anderson & Associates Account Officer
APA Group Accountant
Attune Hearing Pty Ltd Accountant Assistant
Automotive Holdings Group Qld Accounts Coordinator
BDO (Qld) Pty Ltd Agribusiness Analyst
Bentleys (Qld) Pty Ltd Analyst And Accounts Assistant
Beyond Tax Assistant Accountant
Calcino Green Accountants Associate
Carter Holt Harvey Auditor
Clearview Towing Mirrors Business Analyst
Clout & Associates Business Banking Manager
Cross Miller and Wilkinson Business Teacher
CWL Accountants Client Manager
Davis Knox Maynards Group Corporate Accountant
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Cost Accountant
Department of Corrections Finance Graduate
Department of Health SA Finance Officer
Ferrerro Australia Financial Accountant
First Unity Financial Controller
Grafton Paint and Colour Financial Officer in Training
Grace Hotel Graduate — Audit & Assurance
GSM (Operations) Pty Ltd Graduate Accountant
Hamilton Simmons & Co Hotel Accountant
Harris Black Chartered Accountants Intermediate Accountant
HLV Chartered Accountants Legal Secretary
Holmes & Partners Chartered Accountants Management Accountant
Huaxing Taida Foundation Management Corporation Manager
James Bennett Ltd Manager Of Government & Corporate Relations
John Robinson Accounting Pty Ltd Operation Clerk
Kytec Group Senior Business Services Accountant
Lend Lease Systems Analyst
Luna Park Sydney Pty Ltd  
Macquarie Business Accountants  
Mark Edmunds Associates  
MBT Group  
Media Options Group  
Mid North Coast Institute of TAFE  
MJ Accountants  
Mobile Communication  
National Australia Bank  
McGrath and Associates  
Northern Territory Treasury  
Novotel Brisbane Airport  
NSW Aboriginal Land Council  
O’Connor Heckenberg Business Services Pty Ltd  
Pilbara Ice Machines WA Pty Ltd  
Power Tynan Accounting  
Q&T Accounting Services  
SEE Civil Construction  
Skinner Hamilton  
Sydney University  
The City Of Newcastle  
Thomas Noble & Russel  
Toohey Reid  
Veolia Environmental Services  
Victorian Branch Of The RSL  
Wattyl  
WD Nicholls Accounting  
Woolworths Limited  

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Graduate and vacation programs

Graduate programs are formal programs, usually offered by government departments and large companies. They are designed to attract new graduates and feature structured on-the-job training and development. Graduate programs often close applications 12 months prior to the job starting. This means you may need to apply for these roles as early as February/March in your final year of study.

Vacation programs are usually paid, short-term contracts of 6–8 weeks. They are typically offered to students in their penultimate year of study. Peak advertising times are July and August of each year and most vacation programs take place in the summer vacation period (December–February). Undertaking a vacation program may improve your chances of being short-listed for graduate programs or roles.

Bookmark the following sites for centralised listings of vacation, internship and graduate programs.

Also monitor relevant company websites for additional information and opportunities.

You can connect with other students and search for questions and answers on a number of graduate programs at the Graduate Programs Whirlpool Forums.

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Targeting potential employers

General and specialist job search websites are listed below. These can be used to source currently advertised roles and can also be used to create your personal database of potential employers and job titles. Being a proactive jobseeker and creating a living database early on in your studies can help you to research potential opportunities and learn more about your preferred industries.

For more job search help, make sure you access the Graduate Careers and Internship Preparation resources on Blackboard in the online SCU Career Development Program (in MySCU select the ‘MyCareer’ link).

Reviewing company websites is the key to ensuring a good ‘job fit’ for you and the potential employer. It can help you identify links between your strengths and qualities (skills, experience, interests and qualifications) and an employer’s needs, which will increase your chances of success in the recruitment process.

It is estimated the majority of jobs (approximately 80 per cent) are filled through word-of-mouth or networking, known as the ‘hidden job market’. Developing your personal and professional networks (professional associations and university memberships, social networking, attending workshops and conferences and undertaking extracurricular activities) are all valuable ways to tap into hidden job opportunities.

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LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the largest online professional network with more than 313 million members in over 200 countries and territories; 6 million of those in Australia.

With 60% of LinkedIn revenue coming from talent solutions (recruitment), building your presence and becoming active on LinkedIn can increase the number of job opportunities available to you.

LinkedIn has fast become an effective tool for students and graduates to:

  • Present a professional online image
  • Showcase their skills, qualifications, qualities and achievements
  • Build their network of connections
  • Research potential career paths
  • Follow and engage with targeted companies
  • Connect with fellow professionals in industry and specific interest groups
  • Source national and international job vacancies
  • Be headhunted by recruiters searching for new talent

Find out how to get started and make the use of LinkedIn at LinkedIn Student Jobs 101.

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Specialist job vacancy websites

Australia

International

If you are interested in finding employment overseas as a psychologist you will need to apply to the registering body for assessment of your qualifications.

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Career Development Service

Don’t forget to visit SCU’s CareerHub for job vacancies, events and resources. Use your MySCU details to log in.

General job vacancy websites

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International job vacancy websites

CountryWebsite
Worldwide (and Australia) Australian Volunteers International
Worldwide Career Jet (use keyword: graduate)
Worldwide Going Global
Worldwide Monster
Worldwide United Nations Careers
Worldwide The World Bank
Europe European Union job opportunities for graduates
Europe Eurograduate Live
Hong Kong JobStreet Hong Kong
India FreshersHome
Indonesia JobStreet Campus Indonesia
Ireland GradIreland
Malaysia Graduan
Malaysia JobStreet Campus Malaysia
Philippines JobStreet Campus Philippines
Singapore JobStreet Campus Singapore
United Kingdom All About Law
United Kingdom Prospects UK
United Kingdom TARGETjobs
United States Quintessential Careers

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Professional associations

If you are interested in furthering your career, joining a professional association is a good start. There are associations for nearly every profession or area of interest and many have national, state and regional chapters you can join. Students are often eligible for significant membership discounts. Some benefits of joining an association include:

  • Updated information on industry-relevant trends and developments
  • Access to a range of resources, including publications, newsletters, webinars, conferences and training opportunities
  • Enhancing your network

So, whether you are looking to learn about career opportunities in your field, network in your professional community, access current events in your industry sector, or just have some fun while meeting new people, joining a professional association is a step in the right direction!

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Below are some useful links to keep up-to-date with the latest research both locally and internationally on the brain and behaviour.

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