How to get into tech with a psychology degree

The booming tech industry has room for employees of all backgrounds. Are you wondering how to get into tech with a psychology degree? Read on.

According to CompTIA, the tech industry contributes more than $2 trillion to the national economy, over 10% of its total. Witnessing the incredible growth in this industry, you might be considering a career or industry change. 

Psychology degrees help you develop in-demand skills, allowing you to move between fields and positions. We highlight the technical and non-technical careers that may be available to you and offer some tips for how you might stand out in the process.

Transferable skills from psychology to tech

Psychology training equips learners with skills they can apply to many fields, including the technology industry. Graduates gain people skills useful to computer science careers, including: 

  • Communication 
  • Critical thinking
  • General analytical abilities
  • Leadership
  • Organization 

Psychology students also graduate with applicable hard skills, including:

  • Statistical analysis 
  • Research skills
  • Familiarity with client management systems 
  • Knowledge of human behavior 
  • R computer programming language 

Technical roles available to psychology graduates in tech

The following computer science jobs list showcases positions that may be well-suited to psychology graduates. Depending on the employer and the role, candidates may need particular training, skills, or experience. 

Information security analyst

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s 
Alternate job titles: Information security officer, network security analyst, information security specialist
Important characteristics: 

  • Good communicators with analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Creative people who are detail-oriented and understand how people think
  • Technically capable professionals with knowledge of business and security principles 

Information security analysts handle the cybersecurity responsibilities for organizations. They assess systems to look for vulnerabilities and upgrade opportunities. They also monitor suspicious activity, study cybersecurity developments and trends, and prepare and implement recovery plans.

Advanced positions may require a cybersecurity degree, such as a network security master’s.

Data scientist

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s 
Alternate job titles: Information research scientist, business intelligence analyst, clinical data manager 
Important characteristics: 

  • Interpersonal people with problem-solving skills
  • Good communicators who are detail oriented and logical 
  • Critical thinkers with math and analytical skills 

Data scientists analyze information to gain insight into complex issues and solve problems. They use database applications to collect, mine, and extract information. Models, computer applications, and visualization software help them present their findings. To get into tech with a psychology degree, graduates may wish to also complete a data science bootcamp.

Non-technical roles available to psychology graduates in tech

Below, we highlight non-technical roles in the technology industry that psychology graduates might have access to. These roles require little to no programming, though mastering one or more of the easiest programming languages could give you an edge.

Candidates may need additional training, experience, and skills to qualify. 

Product manager

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s 
Alternate job titles: Director of product management, product officer, product lead
Important characteristics: 

  • Good communicators with problem-solving skills
  • Analytical and creative professionals
  • Interpersonal leaders with critical thinking and organizational skills

Product managers oversee the product lifecycle, including planning, marketing, and rollout. They perform product and market research to determine the consumer appetite and demand, cater the design and marketing to meet consumer needs, and manage the development and manufacturing. 

HR manager

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s 
Alternate job titles: Labor relations director, employee relations director, staffing manager
Important characteristics: 

  • Leaders with strong communication and problem-solving skills
  • Decision-makers with interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Critical thinkers with labor law and human behavior knowledge

Human resources managers oversee employee relations, including staffing, compensation, and labor disputes. They may ensure that the organization follows labor laws and health and safety regulations. Candidates typically possess leadership experience or a human resources master’s degree.

Market analyst

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s 
Alternate job titles: Market research analyst, demographic analyst, business development specialist
Important characteristics: 

  • Good communicators with research and analytical skills
  • Critical thinkers who are detail oriented 
  • Problem-solvers who understand consumer behaviors and economics

Market research analysts help organizations understand their markets and consumers. They research market conditions, competition, and consumer behaviors to determine pricing, marketing campaigns, and product and service launch strategies. They collect and analyze data, make forecasts, and prepare reports based on their findings. 

UX designer

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s 
Alternate job titles: Web design specialist, web developer, front-end web developers
Important characteristics: 

  • Good communicators with design and problem-solving skills
  • Creative professionals who are detail-oriented
  • Professionals with strong customer service skills

UX designers focus on developing and maintaining user-facing applications and interfaces. They create quality user experiences, improve accessibility, and ensure the human-computer interactions run smoothly. Psychology graduates may need to complete UX bootcamps to access this field. 

Tips for how to get into tech from psychology

Entering the tech industry after completing a psychology degree is possible with the right preparation and approach. Follow these tips to improve your chances of success. 

1. Get clear on the type of tech role you want.

Start your journey into tech by imagining your dream career, including what type of position you want, what size or type of company you prefer, and what industry you are aiming for. If you want to work at one of the big tech companies, that might require more preparation and a longer timeline.

Decide on your desired work-life balance. Think about your ideal salary range and how challenging you want your days to be. Your ambition and priorities can help you identify a career destination to target, such as one of the least stressful jobs in tech or one with significant responsibilities.

2. Upskill.

A psychology degree can prepare you for information technology careers, but certain employers and positions may require additional training, experience, or credentials. While an advanced or specialized technology degree may be necessary, you can also build on your psychology degree with targeted training. 

Consider free online classes with certificates, a coding bootcamp, or one of the many information technology certifications to boost your tech skills quickly.

3. Maximize the quality of your application and portfolio.

The best job applications highlight the applicant’s most unique qualities and skills. Psychology graduates trying to break into the tech industry need to focus on their special attributes, such as their interpersonal, analytical, and problem-solving skills. 

Use your resume to highlight these traits and skills and your cover letter to give examples.

Your portfolio should then provide illustrations of your diverse technical skills. Include school, work, and hobby projects that show off different talents and abilities. If you want to highlight coding skills, learn how to build a coding portfolio. Otherwise, you can compile your portfolio projects on a webpage or an online portfolio platform.

4. Show your expertise, self-awareness, and passion throughout the interview process.

The tech interview process typically starts with a phone or online screener, the same as in most other industries. Tech interviews usually feature a technical skill component during the second stage, such as a coding exercise. 

In the final stage, candidates may be asked to complete a similar technical exercise, often under supervision or within a timed environment. Interviews for high-profile roles, such as Amazon software engineer positions, can be intense!

To improve your chances of getting a second interview, read through these phone interview tips. And remember to prepare your own questions to ask in an interview.

In conclusion

The skills and foundations developed in a psychology degree can set you up for success in many industries and careers. 

Use this guide to learn how to get into tech with a psychology degree or how to switch careers to tech after working in the psychology field. 

This article was reviewed by Sarah Holliday, MS 

Sarah Holliday has years of experience working with nontraditional and traditional-aged students in various areas related to career coaching and training and development. Holliday holds a BA in English from The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and an MS in instructional design and technology (training and performance improvement) from Walden University. Holliday is currently working on her doctorate and looks forward to dissertating soon.

Sarah Holliday is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network. 

Last reviewed March 31, 2022.

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