Education is a wide-ranging field that includes structured and alternative pathways to teaching in the US and abroad as well as leadership roles in schools, communities, government, technology and media firms, higher education, museums, and nonprofit organizations. Opportunities can be found in public policy, data analysis, curriculum development, instructional design, and more.

Popular career pathways in Psychology include clinical and counseling services to address mental and emotional health. issues. Consider populations you’re interested in helping or particular issues you’d like to help with.  For those interested in studying the science of behavior to help identify solutions to human and organizational problems in a work setting, Industrial and Organizational Psychology (I/O Psych) can be a good career path to consider. This growing field requires expertise in the design, execution and interpretation of research.

Social workers can practice at the micro level, (working one-on-one with clients), or on a macro level (policy work). Social workers work in many environments, including private practice, schools, hospitals, private or government agencies, correctional facilities, hospice, and more.

Finding Internships

Working with children, in structured or unstructured settings, should help you decide if you enjoy teaching. Phillips Brooks House offers numerous opportunities to work in educator roles, in school and community settings. Tutoring Plus or holding a summer job in a college-based program for secondary school students such as Breakthrough Greater Boston, are but a few of the other ways in which you might test your interest (and gain creditable experience) in teaching. Look for internships that will enable you to develop skills working with the populations or issues in which you’re interested. For example, if you’d like to focus your social work practice on working with domestic violence survivors, intern at a women’s shelter. If you envision a macro social work practice, consider interning at a Department of Social Services.

Finding Jobs

Teaching in public schools generally requires state certification, which is offered at Harvard through the Teaching and Teacher Leadership (TTL) Master’s Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. However there are several programs that enable those with a bachelor’s degree to teach as they work toward their certification. Visit the National Center for Alternative Certification for details. Public charter schools and private schools are not bound by the same state certification requirements and will hire those with a bachelor’s degree. Various independent schools also offer teaching assistantships or year-long internship opportunities. Consider the variety of non-teaching options including consulting, policy, administration, and more!

While most full-time jobs in psychology and social work require professional licensure, there are other opportunities such as a psychology post-baccalaureate (post-bac) program working directly with patients at university-affiliated hospitals like McLean. Many group-living residences hire recent grads as daytime or overnight staff. And with some research experience as an undergrad, you can likely find work as a research assistant at a major hospital.

To find a full-time job as a social worker, you’ll need to complete an MSW program and pass a licensing exam. If you don’t plan to go to graduate school directly after completing your undergraduate degree, look for jobs or post-grad internships that will enable you to develop skills working with the populations or issues in which you’re interested.

Graduate and Professional Programs

Graduate schools of education train teachers, researchers, school and district leaders, counselors, education technology developers, nonprofit leaders, and policymakers. The Harvard Graduate School of Education’s master’s program in Teaching and Teacher Leadership (TTL) gives new and experienced teachers the knowledge, support, and professional network they need to design and lead transformative learning, advance equity and social justice, and generate successful outcomes for students in U.S. schools. For Harvard applicants, selected candidates can receive a funding package that includes 80% of their tuition and a $10,000 living stipend.

In many education professions, a master’s degree is preferred or required, especially further along in a career. Independent schools can hire uncertified teachers and often seek individuals who have demonstrated some experience in teaching, tutoring, or mentoring and have majored in the subject they will teach. Administrators train in schools of education, or occasionally in business schools. People who work on policy matters may have degrees from schools of education, public policy, or arts and sciences.

To be eligible for licensure in clinical and counseling psychology a PhD or PsyD is required, followed by a year-long APA-accredited internship. Less time-consuming paths exist within the profession, such as helping facilitate change within business and monitoring youthful offenders. For social work, the NASW website has information on accredited programs, and is a great place to begin researching graduate programs.

To practice as a clinical social worker, it’s necessary to obtain a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and pass a licensing exam. Becoming a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, eligible to accept third-party payments, requires two years of supervised practice and passing a second, more advanced licensing exam.

A PhD Student’s Guide to Academic Job Market Resources at Harvard

Harvard Griffin GSAS Students:

As you consider the academic job market there is a lot to learn, and a lot to do, and you may have many questions.

Good news! Apart from the disciplinary expertise available in your department, a …

By Laura Stark
Laura Stark Associate Director: Academic Careers & Applying for PhD Programs
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Resource Spotlight: Vault

Vault is a valuable, comprehensive career planning tool – whether you have a career in mind, are not sure where to begin, or want some options to consider. Peruse this terrific resource to access numerous career guides, explore career fields, …

By Loredana George
Loredana George Assistant Director, Consulting, International Relations, Global Development, Education, Psychology, Global Health, Human Rights, & Alumni Engagement
Read more

Building a Career in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Curious about what a career in Industrial-Organizational Psychology can entail, where you can apply the relevant skillsets, and what background may be needed in different iterations of the field? Read on for details from the Harvard Extension School blog on

By Guest or External Blog
Guest or External Blog
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