Statistics Show Promising Future for Psychology Majors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University psychology students should not have too hard a time finding employment after graduation, statistics show.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of psychologists is expected to grow by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020.

Andre K. Davis II, a senior psychology major, reviews his research project in the Neuroanatomy Lab in the Department of Psychology at TSU. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“Psychology majors develop critical thinking skills, data analysis skills, and a very broad range of skills that a number of professions look for,” said Dr. Kiesa Kelly, professor and chair of the TSU Department of Psychology.

A recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics shows psychology is the fourth most pursued bachelor’s degree among college students.

The report said only business, health professions, and social sciences and history out rank psychology as areas with the most influx of students on the undergraduate level.

At Tennessee State University, for instance, about 300 students are majoring in psychology, the fourth single highest area of concentration for majors at the university. Nearly 50 students graduate from the program each year.

Experts say increased interest in the mental health of children and federal education legislation has influenced students’ interest in psychology.

Particularly at TSU, Kelly said “quality” is a major reason for the mass attraction.

“We have redesigned our program so that it makes our students more competitive both for graduate school and the job market,” she said. “We have excellent faculty with strong research credentials who could be faculty at major research institutions, but because of their commitment to mentoring students, they have chosen to come here.”

Andre K. Davis II is a senior psychology major in TSU’s program.

“I love the program here,” said Davis, a Memphis native. “I give the psyche program a 10 out of 10. When I came here I really didn’t know what I was going to do. But the professors here really truly do everything to help their students. Any opportunity they see, they try to get it for you.”

Kelly said the department seeks out opportunities to ensure students have all the necessary help to make them competitive for graduate work or the job market.

“We really have been working on trying to increase our admission of students into doctoral programs by increasing research opportunities for them,” she said.

Last year, for instance, Kelly said the department received a five-year, $850,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to create the TSU Nerve Program, which helps psychology majors and majors from other disciplines get into doctoral programs in neuroscience.

“Neuroscience is an area within our undergraduate program that we have been building,” Kelly said. “This is one of the directions of psychology as a major and we have been moving in that direction to remain on the cutting edge. As I speak, four of our students are at Princeton for the summer getting their paid neuroscience research experience.” has curated a scholarship and financial aid resource for students pursuing a degree in psychology. To get more information, visit:

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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at