Education (Primary, Secondary, and Higher), Psychology, Social Services

In education, teaching options include public and private schools as well as apprenticeship programs. Non-teaching opportunities include operations, administration, consulting, and sales, and can include working in government education departments and boards, cultural institutions, and educational technology designers and providers. Psychology is another “helping” profession, often more research-focused than teaching or social work. Clinical and counseling psychology are popular career pathways. Other, less time-consuming paths include helping facilitate change within business and monitoring youthful offenders. 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. 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. Most full-time jobs in psychology and social work require professional licensure. There are exceptions: university-affiliated hospitals like McLean and Butler offer entry level jobs working directly with patients. Many group-living residences hire recent grads as daytime or awake 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 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, administrators, and policy-makers. For long-term public school teachers, a master’s degree in such an institution is usually required. Independent schools are free to hire uncertified teachers, but they often appreciate some higher education, in a subject area or in education theory. Administrators train in schools of education, or, occasionally in business schools. People who work on policy matters may have degrees from education schools, from public policy schools, or from arts and sciences schools. For clinical and counseling psychology a PhD or PsyD is required, followed by a year-long APA-accredited internship, in order to become eligible for licensure. Other, 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.

…But How Do I Make The Right Choice?

It’s that time of year – you’re starting to hear back from volunteer sites, research opportunities, graduate schools, or internship/job applications. Now that you know what your possibilities are, how do you decide which one to pursue?

Making big decisions …

By Katie Fell
Katie Fell Assistant Director, Harvard College Still Deciding, Exploring, & Self-Assessment
Read more »

Neuroscience and Brain Behavior Career Pathways Panel Recap

Did you miss the Neuroscience and Brain Behavior Career Pathways Panel?  Our amazing alumni panelists (see below) had some valuable insights to share. 

Take Note! 

OCS PAF Meera’s Take Away: 

Reverse engineering your career is a thing! Either divert from your …

By Katie Fell
Katie Fell Assistant Director, Harvard College Still Deciding, Exploring, & Self-Assessment
Read more »

Arjun Prasad, Chemistry and Physics; Educational Studies Secondary

Where are you located now?
New York City

What are you doing?
I will be working at an Education Tech start-up called Level All – they have created a general advising platform for young adults.

What advice do you have …

By Mignone Center for Career Success
Mignone Center for Career Success
Read more »


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Graduate Spotlights

Skill Building Courses

Instructional Designer

Joe Pulichino
Instructional design (ID) models are frameworks that help you create quality training. In this course, instructional design expert Dr. Joe…

Learning to Teach Online

Oliver Schinkten
Technology has changed the nature of education—and the jobs of educators. Online instruction requires different methods to help students learn.…

Neuroscience for More Effective Learning & Development

Stella Collins
The brain works in mysterious ways. Why is some knowledge retained, while other information just fades away? Neuroscience—the study of…

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