How Teens Can Explore Psychology as College Major

Is your homeschool high schooler wrestling with college major choices?

Can I make a suggestion? We need more homeschool high schoolers to choose psychology as a college major.

The United States is woefully short on mental health professionals and there is such a great need! Christians are especially needed in the field.

Many parents these days discourage teens from considering psychology as a career.

It is one of those professions that usually needs a graduate degree and the pay is never as competitive as the STEM-related careers. US News and World Report reports that mental health counselors achieve an average salary compared to other US careers (median salary of $43,000 whereas in much of the US, the median income is $50,000). However, there are some careers teens can choose, not to become wealthy but because they feel called.

Psychology careers are truly a calling. (Of course, you can say that all careers are a calling. This career, unfortunately, is a career that is often overlooked these days.)

Vicki loves her career as a mental health counselor. She got her degree through Liberty University and has been on staff at Pike Creek Psychological Center for over twenty years. She also serves there as a life and career coach.

How can teens tell if they are called into a career in psychology?

    • They are interesting in helping people
    • Also, they are interested in making the world a better place
    • And, of course, they pray about it

Career Exploration: Psychology. Help your teen who wants to explore psychology as a college major by knowing themselves. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolCareerExploration #CollegeMajorChoices #PsychologyAsCareerChoice

In case your homeschool high schooler would like to think about psychology as a college major, here are some ways to give them some experience that can help them decide (while building a transcript with Career Exploration sparkle).

There are a number of ways to explore psychology as a college major and career choice. Vicki recommends developing career pathways credits in psychology for the homeschool transcript. Here’s a Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode that explains the concept of Career Pathways. 

Explore Psychology as College Major: Take courses in the field of psychology

introduction to psychology

  • Human Development
    • Human Development is the study of the way people grow and change from womb to old age. It is a foundation to the study of psychology. 7Sisters etext Human Development from a Christian Worldview, like our Psychology etext, is no-busywork, level-able and fun.

Human Development

  • Career Exploration
    • Career Exploration is an important branch of psychology. 7Sisters has a comprehensive Career Exploration textbook that gives teens a hands-on look.

Career Pathway activities for logging hours

  • Do some fun activities for enrichment that help teens understand themselves
  • Check out this blog post with lots of examples of career in Psychology
  • Volunteer work
    • While teens can’t sit in on therapy sessions due to privacy laws, they can help needy people. Volunteer where people need help: Nursing homes, community outreach centers. Seeing people in their ups and downs helps give a feel for the compassion needed to be counselor. Volunteering well requires being with hurting or needy people in a non-judgemental, non-biased way.
    • One of our favorite local volunteer opportunities is Urban Promise.

Go through counseling themselves

  • Many teens experience times of anxiety or sadness. Give them a few sessions of counseling just to see what it is like. It will help!

Experience Life or Career Coaching

  • Gives a close feel to counseling but geared toward goal-setting and achievement. Counseling is about healing. Coaching is about fulfilling. However the the presence and compassion of the life coach is the same as a counselor.

Explore Psychology as College Major: Read books

Check out Vicki’s coaching website

There are so many posts related to emotional intelligence (a topic in psychology). Plus there are freebie downloads such as Personal Discovery Links. SO much fun!

Explore Psychology as College Major: Read about different areas of psychology careers. Check out to read more about these careers:

  • Mental Health Counselor: Masters Degree needed. Counselors are general practitioners. Degrees for counselors include: Masters in Counseling, Community Mental Health, Marriage and Family Therapy.
  • Psychologist: PhD needed. Two common types of psychologists are Counseling Psychologist and Clinical Psychologist.
  • Human Resources: Human Services, Human Resources, start at Bachelors level in agencies or government.
  • Experimental Psychology: Work to help discover best practices in psychology, conduct research.
  • Marketing Experimental Psychology: Works on marketing research.
  • Forensic Psychology: usually at least an MA needed
  • Sports Psychology: at least MA needed. Help athletes achieve peak performance.
  • Organizational Psychology: Work with organizations to make workplace happy and healthy
  • School Counselors (MA), School Psychologist (usually PhD):  Help with practical student needs such as fixing schedules, developing or overseeing IEPs, crisis management
  • Educational Psychologist: PhD needed. Experts testing and evaluations
  • Psychiatrist: MD with Psychology emphasis, dispenses medications.
  • Social Work: MSW. Similar to counseling more community slant in training. In private practices we do the same work.
  • Neuropsychology: MA PhD. Research on the workings of the brain.

For more information on Career Pathways credits in Psychology, check out this post.

Check out possible scholarship opportunities.

Join Vicki for this episode on Psychology as a Career Pathway. If you have a teen who has question about Psychology as a career, have them send them to me. I’d be happy to answer.

For college-prep study skills, check out this post and here is a post that pulls together extra Psychology resources

Teens can study Psychology in our online, self-paced course that accompanies the 7Sisters Psychology text.

Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective Online Course
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How Teens Can Explore Psychology as College Major

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

4 Replies to “How Teens Can Explore Psychology as College Major”

  1. Thank you for this post. I have a 15 year old daughter that is set on studying psychology and working with mental health in some way. As a homeschool mom, without a background in psychology, I’m trying to find resources to help guide her through career exploration and this is invaluable for me to help guide her.

    • Hi Valerie,
      I get SO excited when I hear about young folks wanting to go into the field. I’m so glad when I find that we have something that can be helpful for them. It’s so cool that you are helping her explore her interests!

  2. trying to decide if want to go with the psychology videos or just the book. is there any way i can see a short example of the video. Thanks.

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