10 Majors You Can Choose in the Field of Behavioral Science
Behavioral scientists study and analyze human behavior and its effects on the mental and physical health of individuals and the entire population. They collect data, analyze the information and publish it in peer-reviewed journals. For example, they might have studied the effects of social distancing and other safety protocols during the COVID pandemic and analyzed why some people complied with the safety measures and some didn’t—to suggest more efficient and effective solutions.
A bachelor’s in behavioral science can land you some jobs. However, a more advanced degree like a master’s or a Ph.D. can lead to more career opportunities for you. Moreover, participating in associations and organizations within the industry can help you to understand the industry as a whole.
Apart from education and experience, a competent behavioral scientist should have excellent communication, analytical, and research skills. Students have several unique majors to choose from during their degree. Based on their major, they can work any job: from a psychologist in a healthcare setting to a criminologist in a law enforcement institution. However, it can be confusing to decide on a major. In this article, we will analyze the various majors a behavioral scientist can opt for academic and professional growth.
Behavioral science deals with the study of human behavior. Therefore, it is crucial to understand brain development. If you plan to work with special needs students in early childhood development or social and human services, cognitive studies are the right major for you. Students majoring in cognitive studies can study courses focused on brain function like human development, neuroscience, thought, and reasoning. According to the Bureau of labor statistics, cognitive studies majors will be in demand to work as social and human service assistants in the coming years due to the aging population.
Psychology is a unique combination of theory, research, analysis, and application. It is considered the science of the mind and helps understand the fundamentals of human behavior. You should have strong leadership skills, should be emotionally intelligent, and be a critical thinker to choose psychology as a major in your behavior science degree. Psychology majors can work in public administration, human resources, criminal justice, and social services. It is also a fast-growing career pathway.
Public health majors learn various qualitative and quantitative research methods to study human responses to diseases in a population. They identify particular behaviors that can lead to disease outbreaks and devise specific behavior-focused solutions to effectively deal with them. Individuals interested in studying disease and its spread in a population should opt for a public health major. They may also have to implement promotional and health education policies. A public health major equips you with general public health knowledge like disease prevention strategies.
If you are passionate about studying history, choose cultural anthropology as your college major. It allows you to study human behavior and its evolution throughout history. Some courses focused on language, religion, gender, and conflict, help understand behavioral variation in different cultures. Knowing the cultural history of different ethnicities can help you understand their behavior in the present day. This major polishes your research skill and can land you jobs in the public and private sectors.
Choosing a sociology major can help you study how cultures are formed and societal structures and hierarchies are established. If such topics spike your interest, sociology is the appropriate major for you. This helps understand how human behavior can differ based on social class, ethnicity, and gender. You are trained to develop research and critical skills to help find solutions to behavioral problems resulting from societal differences. Courses in this major often overlap with psychology and social science majors.
This major overlaps with other behavioral science majors like sociology, history, and psychology. Social science majors study courses like gender anthropology, advanced communications in society, and global socioeconomic perspectives. Social sciences enable you to understand behavioral changes due to popular societal trends. Your research and analytical skills are developed to broaden your career opportunities. A behavioral science degree with a major in social science can lead you to work in public relations, communications, social services, and media industries, where you can predict consumer behavior.
Mental health is a major that helps understand the impacts of behavior on mental health. Behavior has a strong connection with the mind. Helping patients understand and manage behavioral issues can improve their mental health. Majoring in mental health qualifies you to provide counseling and grief support. You may also become eligible to work as a clinical behavioral health counselor, who are professionals making client assessments regarding mental disorders and treatment plans.
Criminology majors study the non-legal aspects of the crime and pinpoint the primary cause of criminal activity in a community. They can predict crimes by analyzing particular patterns like race, demographics, and geography in society. They also initiate crime prevention campaigns that help reduce criminal activity by eliminating factors that can encourage criminal behavior. Understanding the behavior of high-profile criminals can help analyze and identify suspicious activity in a community.
Corporate management majors can work as corporate coaches that train company managers to act as agents of change within an organization. They study the behavior of a corporate employee and design strategies to optimize their work output. They also reward them through bonuses and other perks to retain them within the company. They stay updated about external trends to capture market share from the competitor companies.
Behavioral scientists with a research analysis major assist governments and organizations to predict consumer behavior trends that can impact the availability and prices of food, gas, housing, and more. Understanding these trends can help governments to be prepared for dealing with any type of shortage. Moreover, understanding consumer behavior can help businesses use more efficient market techniques.
The Wrap Up
Behavioral science is a growing field that is becoming popular day by day. Understanding human behavior, like how people make decisions to lead to specific actions can benefit several organizations. Behavioral science degree offers several unique and exciting majors to its students.
Based on your interest, you can either work in the healthcare industry by majoring in public health, or you can work in law enforcement agencies by majoring in criminology. Different majors require different skill-sets from you. However, the fundamentals of behavioral science are the same everywhere. This article has enlightened you about the various majors in a behavioral science degree and the kind of work you can do after graduating with them. Hopefully, this information will guide you to make an informed decision.