Employment Outlook & Career Guidance for Media Psychologists
Media psychology is an incredibly fast-growing field; the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that this and similar fields of psychology are projected to grow 6% through the year 2031. This is a slightly faster rate than the 5% growth rate the BLS expects for most industries in the same period. Media-related psychology can be implemented across a vast array of industries and careers, but in general, it is the use of psychology to understand the way people utilize, create and receive various forms of media. With the technological growth the world has experienced in just the past few decades, new avenues are open today that psychologists never before imagined.
What Types of Positions Can Media Psychologists Hold?
Because there are so many applications for media psychology, these professionals can be employed in a slew of different positions. Research facilities, public relations departments, advertising agencies and schools are just a few of the places offering positions to media psychologists. The positions available to these professionals are varied and numerous; including but not limited to:
- Research Positions
- Advertising and Media Firm Consultant
- Corporate Consultant
- Consultant to the Entertainment Industry
- Teaching Positions
The exact job a media psychologist is able to obtain may depend upon his or her specialized areas of study. Dr. Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Center, identifies the following applications of media psychology:
“There is a growing awareness of the importance of psychology in all aspects of media and technology. Media psychologists are making contributions in many fields, such as:
- Integration of technology in education in elementary and high school curriculum.
- The development of effective online educational platforms.
- Technology used to support health care monitoring and lifestyle change.
- Development of social media strategy for organizations and brands.
- Creation of persuasive messaging for public service announcements.
- Developing online platforms for social entrepreneurship and NGOs.
- User experience in software development and application interface.
- Community creation and audience engagement.
- Entertainment properties that expand across media.
- Translation of psychological research for journalists and the public.”
Ways for Media Psychologists to Increase Desirability as a Job Candidate
Because media psychologists can be employed within various industries, the exact desires of their potential employers can differ dramatically from one to the next. Identifying the industry one wishes to occupy is one of the best ways to best determine how to increase desirability as a job candidate.
“Since there is no one job called “media psychologist,” each application will have its own demands. At the core is mastery of psychological theory and understanding of how different technologies work. Media is no longer about “mass media” but really represents mediated communication – how people send, receive, perceive and experience information and interaction using different technologies and the impact choices of delivery has on content.”
– Dr. Rutledge
Other attributes that might appeal to potential employers of media psychologists include:
- Seeking specialized training; for instance, those interested in the application of media psychology in advertising may want to earn a degree in media or advertising to boost their career prospects.
- Becoming an active member of psychological associations such as the American Psychology Association.
- Having published academic-related material or contributed to academic-related literature.
- Displaying people skills such as great verbal and written communication and excellent teamwork abilities.
- Displaying great analytical and organizational skills.
Ways for a Media Psychologist to Increase His or Her Salary
The steps needed to increase a media psychologist’s salary will be dependent upon the industry they are employed in. In a marketing and advertising career, employers typically look for their psychologists to stay ahead of new trends, especially those that have to do with social media. Taking the time to complete additional training centered on social media interaction and various platforms can increase the value of a media psychologist in their employer’s eyes. Additional training can also do the trick across various other industries.
Read more about media psychology degrees online.
Networking Opportunities and Organizations
There are a variety of great ways to stay connected within the psychology industry. Media psychologists should take advantage of seminars, workshops, conferences and professional organizations that allow them to network with other professionals. Dr. Rutledge recommends a few different organizations for these professionals:
“LinkedIn provides access to a variety of different career paths and fields. APA Division 46 is an opportunity to get to know leaders in the field who are psychologists that are working with some aspect of media technologies, such as teaching, developing media technologies, doing research and applying clinical skills through technology.”
Continuing Education Sources
Continuing education is not mandatory for media psychologists because they don’t typically treat patients. However, these sources can be valuable for staying up to date in the industry and for increasing the psychologists’ knowledge and value to their employer. The APA offers up various courses that are approved in most states as official continued education credits. This is the best source for continuing education for any psychologist, including media psychologists.
2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends and salary figures for psychologists are based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed June 2023.