Psychology is the study of human behavior and its motivations. The study of psychology can be the first step toward an advanced degree and a career in psychology or it can provide a solid foundation for any of a number of other careers or fields of study. An understanding of psychology is essential in many careers, and it is helpful in almost any pursuit involving human interaction or action.
Specialties within the field of psychology often include: child development, criminal justice, applied psychology, psychology of learning, behavioral psychology, health psychology, or (on an advanced level) psychology of religion, philosophical psychology, and more. It is also possible to focus on such areas as behavioral analysis, comparative psychology, loss and trauma, environmental stress, and social cognition.
Psychology degree programs generally provide a basic knowledge of human emotions, behavior and comprehension and learning. It also covers problem solving, research methodologies, writing, data analysis, and development of explanatory theories. Clearly, analytical thinking, critical analysis and discernment are essential skills in for the study of psychology.
Psychology is commonly used in a variety of other working environments. It is essential for employee development and formation, group interactions, ability to collaborate and build functional teams, and to understand group dynamics on many levels of organizations of all kinds. These insights are very valuable in business, education, medicine and science. This knowledge can enhance organizational capabilities, improve human communication and interaction, and improve human welfare. To an increasing degree, it is valued in building bridges between nations, ethnic groups, races and cultures.
Advanced study can lead to a degree in such fields as gender studies, professional counseling, marriage and family counseling, childhood development counseling, pastoral counseling, as well as research, teaching, and addiction counseling.