Applied Psychology

Why a Foundation in Psychology is Valuable for Your Career

Sep 11, 2023 | By Jenna van Schoor

Exploring basic psychology theories and practices can equip you with many valuable skills, even if you aren’t interested in becoming a practising psychologist. By understanding human behaviour, motivation and how our brains work, you can equip yourself with the knowledge to navigate the wider world and the workplace.

Psychology is a complex subject, and there are many different branches to study. However, fundamental psychological principles apply to any career. Moreover, in a competitive and changing world, understanding people has become more critical than ever as we prepare for the future of work.

This post explores the main reasons for understanding fundamental psychology principles and the high-value skills you can learn.

Reasons Why Psychology is Valuable for Your Career

Develops critical thinking skills

Critical thinking skills are increasingly necessary in a world where artificial intelligence and machines automate tasks and take over previously routine work. In addition, the increased amount of data we create daily using AI means we need people to make sense of patterns and trends in data collection.

We’ve explored this topic in a previous post about the future of work. Machines make processes like data collection more efficient. However, we still need people to programme the devices and find ways to map and make sense of data. It’s also essential to be able to use human resources and make strategic decisions about where to invest your efforts and energy.

Building a solid foundation in psychology can help you develop critical thinking skills because it teaches you to examine behaviour objectively and apply theories to understand various scenarios. While doing so, you are also building analytical skills. These skills are valuable in multiple careers where decisions need to be made based on an assessment of available information.

In robotics, for example, people still need to guide robots to perform specific tasks. Beyond programming skills, critical thinking skills can help implement new technology effectively. Depending on the field, this could involve researching different technological applications and deciding which is the most appropriate for your company or clients.

Enhances communication skill

Communication is fundamental to human interaction. However, most people struggle with it daily! By understanding human behaviour, you can figure out what makes people tick and find ways to collaborate better in any industry.

Understanding human behaviour can also help you know yourself, your strengths and limitations, and build self-awareness. In addition, self-awareness can help you communicate better with others, especially in a culturally diverse world. 

By taking the time to understand and interpret human behaviour, you’ll also develop empathy, which is crucial to working effectively in a team. In business, this can translate into more effectively providing for your customers’ needs, for example, through product development and tailoring marketing messages to ensure they appeal to the right audience.

Improves problem-solving skills

Besides building critical thinking and communication skills, a foundation in psychology can help you identify problems and implement solutions. Our world is becoming increasingly complex and competitive, so practical problem-solving skills are vital. 

Problem-solving skills apply to any industry, from business and education to healthcare. By learning to assess processes and interactions, you can improve them and add value to any business.

Addressing mental health issues is also a prominent concern in a chaotic world. We must build a society where people can function with proper social and emotional support.  

A prominent example of this is finding ways to manage remote teams. While working remotely is convenient, rising burnout levels show a growing disconnect between teams and their perceived productivity levels. You could address this issue with psychological insight by developing ways to manage expectations and improve communication.

Increases emotional intelligence

Intelligence quota (IQ) measures a person’s intellectual capabilities and has historically been an indicator of a person’s ability to succeed. However, as Daniel Goleman discussed in his famous book “Emotional Intelligence”, EQ is essential to functioning effectively in society. 

If you gain a better understanding of psychology principles, you can build emotional intelligence skills, which involve understanding and managing emotions. For example, these skills can help ensure a calm conversation instead of a full-blown conflict in a tense situation.

By managing our emotions effectively, we can build better EQ, which can equip us with the tools to work more harmoniously with others. People make up any company or team, so we can see how critical EQ can be in any career, especially regarding leadership and customer service.

Following our discussion of hybrid work in the previous point, emotional intelligence is also critical to managing hybrid teams. For example, remote work is complicated because many people need help to speak up. Still, with insight into human behaviour, you can find ways to address emotional needs in a virtual space where productivity often takes precedence over social cohesion.

Builds a versatile skill set

Many people who study psychology will pursue a career in clinical psychology, counselling and social work. However, psychological skills are also essential in education, marketing, and human resources.

With an arsenal of critical thinking, communication, problem-solving and EQ skills, you will be well-placed to offer expertise in any field. In addition, understanding yourself and others is an asset in all personal and professional relationships.

Regarding the future of work, adaptability is vital to navigating a complex world. In addition, the psychological field constantly changes due to new research and evolving social needs. So, having a psychology background will give you foundational tools to navigate complex and dynamic situations. 

To ensure your company or business remains competitive, you can build the necessary agility in your team with the self, social and research insights you have gained from exploring human behaviour. 

As you can see, the applications of psychological training are multi-faceted. This dynamism also lends itself to consistent upskilling, or lifelong learning, which is another factor crucial to preparing ourselves for the future of work.

Equip yourself with psychological skills with SACAP Global

We’ve covered why and how building basic psychology skills can help to advance your career. But how do you start learning how to develop these skills? Since not everyone can sign up for a full-time degree, we offer online micro-credentials and short courses at SACAP Global to make learning more accessible.

Our remote learning offerings cover a variety of in-demand skills. Some of our core micro-credentials include understanding human behaviour and advanced interpersonal communication. These micro-credentials focus on building fundamental psychological know-how through expertly curated course content.

You can also sign up for our latest course offerings to expand your knowledge further. These include more focused topics such as how to apply your skills to difficult conversations, deal with crises and trauma, and stay motivated. These offerings take fundamental principles and apply them to practical scenarios, which you can use in your daily life or chosen work environment. 

For more detailed information, feel free to contact us directly.

Previous post

Next post