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Pass the pumpkin pie…and some career advice, please!

While you are feasting on your Thanksgiving favorites and spending time with family and friends, why not ask for some career advice while you are at it?  Relatives can provide a surprising amount of information on choosing and pursuing a career.  Here are a few questions to get the conversation going:

  • How did you choose your major?
  • What things do you like or dislike about your occupation?
  • What is a typical day like at your job?
  • Do you know anyone who works in the _____ industry?

You could gather some great career information and hear some interesting stories.  You might even uncover leads for information interviewing, job shadowing, or internships.  Don’t pass up the opportunity to learn from people with expertise on the world of work…even if they are your parents!

What Can I Do with a Major in Psychology?

The above question is one that I certainly raised as an undergraduate, despite my confidence that I would enjoy my major.  Family and strangers also felt compelled to ask where I thought my psychology major would lead me in life.  Now, more than ever, I believe that psychology can provide an excellent foundation for many careers.

First, I encourage you to evaluate if the major is a good fit for you.  Consider that psychology is a science.  As such, you will be required to complete courses in neuroscience, statistics, and research methods.  Also, keep in mind that many of the career options directly related to the study of psychology require education beyond a Bachelor’s degree.  Graduate programs typically have rigorous admissions standards and are quite competitive.

Let’s say that you have already confirmed that psychology is the major for you.  Baylor’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience has information on their website regarding a multitude of relevant career possibilities.  The site includes recommendations of specific psychology courses that could be most useful for students on various career tracks.  There is also a section dedicated to careers for students who do not continue their education beyond the undergraduate degree.

Some additional sources of ideas are:

Public Health

The above poster was utilized during World War II to education British citizens on healthy eating during times of food rationing, according to  This idea of educating the public on health issues leads me to today’s topic.  What is the field of public health exactly?  Well, recently I gathered my convictions and typed “What is Public Health?” into my Google search bar.  Guess what?  There is an actual website called and it is really neat!  You can watch an interactive presentation all about public health right on the homepage.  Click on the link and watch for yourself.  Here are a few details about the definition of Public Health from the website:

Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. Public health professionals analyze the effect on health of genetics, personal choice and the environment in order to develop programs that protect the health of your family and community.

Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country.

Public health professionals try to prevent problems from happening or re-occurring throughimplementing educational programs, developing policies, administering services, regulating health systems and some health professions, and conducting research, in contrast to clinical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured. It is also a field that is concerned with limiting health disparities and a large part of public health is the fight for health care equity, quality, and accessibility.

The field of public health is highly varied and encompasses many academic disciplines. However, public health is mainly composed of the following core areas:

If this field sounds interesting to you, might want to explore Baylor’s Community Health major.  This link will take you to the department’s homepage and this link will take you to the Meet the Majors podcast with Dr. Beth Lanning, Director of the program.  Also, many graduate programs focus on public health issues, too.  You can explore more about the profession at, which is the website for the American Public Health Assocation, a public health professional organization.  This website can keep you up to date on the latest trends and focus areas for the profession.
“Public Health regards the community as its patient”.  This quote from the video on  is my takeaway for the day.  I hope this information was helpful and perhaps clarified a bit what is involved in this fascinating health-related field.  Please let us know if you have further questions or would like more information.  Thanks for stopping by!