Students

Should I Major in Psychology and do a minor in economics?

[OP]
Newbie
Nov 20, 2009
24 posts
North York

Should I Major in Psychology and do a minor in economics?

I am in my first year here at Waterloo and I have to declare my major soon (I'm in arts and business program).
I am 100% sure that I want to major in psychology. To be honest, I have no idea what I want to do after I graduate. I obviously heard that I can't do anything with a BA degree in Psychology unless I go for Masters or Ph.D. I want to help people who suffer from depression, anxiety, etc. but The problem is that I do not want to do any more school. I am taking microeconomics right now and I really enjoy it. I find it interesting even though the graphs can be quite confusing sometimes. I was thinking if I should do a minor in economics along with my psychology major. Would that be beneficial? I am just worried about all the math in economics because I am really, really weak at math. I only took advanced function in highschool and finished with a 61% even though I worked my butt off. I never took Calculus.
I was also considering adding a human resource management specialization onto my degree. But at the same time, I am not really interested in human resources (I think)

I don't know if adding the minor and specialization would help me get a good job
I am really confused whether I should stick with this plan. What do you think? Beneficial or no?
15 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 12, 2003
2849 posts
54 upvotes
Markham
What career direction are you interested in or remotely interested in??

I think that's a key question. If you want to learn for fun, then learn whatever. If you want to learn and apply your education in the job market...then psychology or minor in econ or the combination of the two, I doubt will be very useful.....

You are 100% sure you want to do a psychology major but don't know what you would want to do or what you will be able to do with it after graduation. So I can only assume you are learning for fun....
Newbie
Mar 10, 2011
3 posts
1 upvote
Markham
im pretty sure that no one cares what you minor in... after all it is just a minor. you should choose something that you're interested in.. and i can assure you that econ material is not interesting at all. Econ really depends on the prof.. I heard that Larry Smith is a great econ prof, and really relates the material to the real world, but other than him.. i wouldn't lol. There's always those more interesting minors.. like classical studies, or geography actually looked quite interesting when i looked at the required courses
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 20, 2009
24 posts
North York
I want to major in something that I have an interest and a strong passion for. I don't want to spend the rest of my life doing something that I do not enjoy.
I really like psychology. But there are a limited number of jobs for people with a BA degree in psychology. So I was just wondering if I should minor in economics (which is a subject I also enjoy) to increase my career opportunities when I just graduate with a BA.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 12, 2003
2849 posts
54 upvotes
Markham
The job market for Psychology majors at the undergrad level is thin, just as you say. But doing a psychology + economics under grad......I don't see how that will increase your job search horizons....

I think the job market for psychology majors is VERY thin actually.....what aspect of psychology or psychology-type-work do you like?? perhaps you can find the same aspects in another career.
Newbie
Mar 18, 2009
98 posts
3 upvotes
Kitchener
Why stop at just a BA? if it is something you really enjoy and have a passion for, there's no reason you can't go on and do a Masters and PHD. As for the economics minor, first year micro/macro courses are not really indicative of what economics is like in the upper year, there will be more graphs, mathematical equations etc. As people have already mentioned, a minor will not do much for you in terms of job prospects either.
Newbie
Jan 24, 2010
99 posts
1 upvote
I agree with the others. I major in Psychology will not get you into a career where you can really help people the way you are interested. You will need graduate school on top (I would say a PhD as I'm not even sure a Master's would cut it having watched friends in similar situations). Graduating with an undergrad degree and not wanting to continue further would likely mean a general role after graduation (eg. customer service). I suggest you look at it another way and instead of focussing on your major and how much schooling you'd like to do, look into career paths you would like to move into and work backwards in terms of educational requirements. See if it is really something you can see yourself doing.
Sr. Member
May 5, 2010
971 posts
118 upvotes
Major in economics, minor in psychology. An economic undergrad has a higher chance replacing a psych major than vice versa. Just consider simply working entry level at a bank and this concept.
Newbie
Dec 14, 2018
1 posts
Hi, this is weird, but I am in the same situation as you. I finished with a 61% in Adv. Functions too. May I know how doing Psychology worked out for you? I am not sure what I want to do in the future, and I am worried about the pay because I researched and it seems like Psychologist does not make that much. So, how did studying Psychology work out for you? I want to study Economics as well, but I did not take any Calculus, so I cannot take Economics. Plus, even though I studied in a Canadian programme, I am going to study in the UK. So, requirements are strict. Thank you!
Sr. Member
Nov 9, 2011
682 posts
430 upvotes
Toronto
You may want to re-consider Economics if you don't like Math. I don't know about Waterloo, but at UofT, you are required to take Calculus and Statistic - it can be fairly challenging.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
2488 posts
729 upvotes
Woodbridge
Edit I really ought to start looking at the OP date... necro thread. In any case, others might find this helpful.

A major in psychology with any minor won't really open any significant doors for you. One third of Canadians aged 25-34 with a BA in the humanities work a job that requires only a high school diploma. You say that you want to help those suffering from depression, anxiety etc. That suggests you want to get into counselling or therapy. That requires at least a little more than just an undergraduate degree. There are programs in psychotherapy and social work that wold be required for work in those areas. An post-graduate degree is certainly common among psychotherapists. A clinical psychologist typically holds a PhD.

You'll find that if you're passionate about the program and the content then you'll actually want to pursue post-graduate work in it. If not, maybe you'll find some area that you're interested in. Out of high school I went into psychology wanting to go all the way to a PhD and be a clinician. Part way through first year I became really interested in the developmental aspect of psychology and learning about and working with children so I decided I wanted to get into research. I got a job in a research lab and I realized that for the most part, researches spend years and years and years learning a hell of a lot about not all that much. They have a very narrow focus and in most cases the research has very few apparent practical applications and exists only to add to the wealth of human knowledge. However, through my work there I realized that I really want to work with kids so I made the decision to get into education and pursue teaching as a career.

The best thing you can do during your undergrad, unless you're dead set on pursuing a certain career path, is expose yourself to several different areas of study so that you can find what you're interested in. While a minor in economics might not open doors for you in terms of career options, it might open ideas for you in terms of what type of career you want to pursue. You might enjoy the business side of it and want to go into something like human resources or occupational therapy or marketing or other areas that have some sort of overlap between human behaviour and the business world. If you look at it from that perspective, I think that taking some business electives, even if they aren't enough to qualify for a minor, would be a benefit to you.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 15, 2015
1513 posts
192 upvotes
Markham, ON
I think people who are successful at providing counselling services will tell you that they gain their counselling skills from work and not from theories, histories or definitions they learned in psychology class. Psychology class will give you a good foundation into the field of psychology though. You kept referring to abnormal psychology.

For example, there is also developmental psychology which covers, among other things, children development. What is normal at what age in terms of cognitive skills, motor skills , spatial skills and etc.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
2488 posts
729 upvotes
Woodbridge
Poppwl wrote:
Dec 27th, 2018 10:22 pm
I think people who are successful at providing counselling services will tell you that they gain their counselling skills from work and not from theories, histories or definitions they learned in psychology class. Psychology class will give you a good foundation into the field of psychology though. You kept referring to abnormal psychology.

For example, there is also developmental psychology which covers, among other things, children development. What is normal at what age in terms of cognitive skills, motor skills , spatial skills and etc.
I'm honestly not sure that there's a single profession on the planet in which the skills you use daily are gained in university rather than on the job. In so many cases, having your degree is simply a test to see if you can handle it and a means of reducing the applicant pool.
Jr. Member
Sep 2, 2015
119 posts
26 upvotes
East York, ON
Economics degree is arguably even more useless than psychology.

I'd skip the minor and just get a head start on your McDonald's training program since that's what you're gonna be doing anyway.

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