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Psychologist Encourages San Francisco Students To 'Have A Passion'

As Bay Area students return to college, many are thinking of pursuing a degree in psychology. And as demand for health care services increases, so will the need for new licensed professionals from school psychologists to educators. To get a better understanding of employment opportunities in the field, Dr. Ted Boyce, a former psychology professor, offered to provide valuable career advice.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Ted Boyce)

What is your background?

"I have a Ph.D. in applied psychology from Virginia Tech and spent the first years of my career as a professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. As a professor, I had two active research labs, one focusing on the use of behavioral science to improve how industry prevents occupational injuries and the other investigating better ways to educate secondary school students. Each of these labs spun-off into for-profit businesses. The former, now called the Center for Behavioral Safety, LLC, is the group through which I am currently working in the Bay Area."

What services do you offer?

"I teach business leaders how to use lessons from 120 years of behavioral science to improve the working lives of their employees. A typical client is a mid to large-sized industrial site interested in improving some aspect of its performance.  Services include: keynote speaking, on-site workshops and seminars, executive coaching and writing for professional periodicals and company newsletters. A comprehensive application of my process would include my leading the design and implementation of a culture change process that actively engages employees in the improvement process itself. I believe that learning is being able to do something after being taught that it could not be done before. So, all of my services are geared toward this end."

What career advice can you share to students interested in a career in psychology?

"A Ph.D. will provide the most opportunities. I suggest looking for an APA-accredited graduate program that has a strong behavior analysis orientation that allows you to concentrate your electives in business administration. During your graduate career, write grants, conduct rigorous interdisciplinary research and develop your writing skills by publishing that work. As importantly, teach both within the university and outside, looking for opportunities to develop your platform speaking skills. Lastly, you must have a passion for helping people."

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on

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