Considering which psychology education path to take? There are many selection criteria for choosing a career. You may want a high paying job in an office, or you may go for a career that will allow you to set up your private practice. Whichever route you take, you can expect to get a plethora of employment opportunities, including social work jobs if you have psychology degrees.
When we hear the word psychology, many things come to mind because psychology is such a large field. You could be talking about a professional who deals with athletes or a clinical professor who helps patients in their daily lives. If psychology is something that has always interested you, read on and learn all about this interesting field and what it takes to have a career in psychology.
What is the Field of Psychology?
Psychology is a field that involves the study of a person’s mind and how they behave. a student’s brain functions, mental processes, and their general behavior. Regardless of what type of psychology a person chooses, they’ll be studying a person’s mind and mannerisms in one way or another. There are several different types of psychology according to the American Psychological Association. They all have some similarities yet are very different.
- General psychology
- Counseling psychology
- Clinical psychology
- Business psychology
- Forensic psychology
- School psychology
- Industrial-organizational psychology
- Rehabilitation psychology
Working in the field of psychology requires earning a psychology degree. There are a few different paths toward a career in psychology because there are various types of psychology degrees. For instance, if you’re interested in a career in industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology, you could pursue a master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology, or you could pursue a master’s degree in psychology with a concentration in industrial-organizational psychology.
You’ll also find that psychology degrees can be earned in several degree levels, including associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The level you choose should be based on your career aspirations. Many colleges and universities offer these degree programs online. Here are a few colleges that offer online degrees in psychology.
Here are some of the reasons why the psychology career path is attractive to many.
While the educational requirements for jobs in psychology are many, there are many job opportunities for those who hold more than one degree in psychology. If you are just starting out, and you want to make sure the field of psychology is right for you, then you can start with an Associate’s Degree in Psychology. The educational requirements may vary according to the field you are targeting. Psychologists with their own clinics usually have master’s degree in psychology. Their credentials should be top notch to attract clients that are willing to pay the hourly fee. Some students go after a more specialized degree, like the Marriage and Family Therapy degree, which is also a master’s level degree. You may also look at online MFT programs, if you are looking to work and go to school at the same time.
A bachelor’s degree in psychology will get you a job in the corporate world. Every company hires a lot of people to handle their human resource department, and many of these personnel have psychology degrees. A bachelor’s degree is a good way to start your career, but if you want more windows of opportunity to open, you should take up Master’s or doctoral degrees.
Graduate courses in psychology programs attract so many students every year. It may be that most of these students want to improve their chances of getting the best psychology jobs out there, but without a doubt, all psychology students enjoy the course. It can be exciting to find out more about the human psyche and how it can be affected by different environments and situations. What could be more fun than figuring out how the human mind functions?
Various Career Opportunities
Because psychology is such a large field that branches out with so many options, a psychology graduate can choose from so many career opportunities.
Good Job Growth
Regardless of what type of psychology you choose, there is good job growth according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Psychology professionals are always in demand.
Psychologists earn very good wages especially those with advanced degrees. A May 2021 wage report by the BLS indicates that the average annual wage for psychologists was $81,040. Some earned wages as high as $133,890 or more.
Associate degree programs are two-year programs that include general education and core courses. Some students earn an associate degree as a stepping-stone into a bachelor’s degree program, while others join the workforce immediately after graduation. An associate degree in psychology prepares students to work as psychiatric aides or assistants.
- The University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh offers a 100 percent online Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) in Psychology program that offers students a flexible and accelerated curriculum, which allows students to complete the program in less than two years. Credits can be transferred into the program from prior relevant experiences. Students can enroll any time at the beginning of the seven sessions.
- Ashworth College offers an online Associate of Science in Psychology program with a curriculum suited for students interested in careers in psychology. It includes courses in human development, social impact of technology, the psychology of personality, and human relations. This four-semester program is a very flexible program.
- California Coast University has an online Associate of Science in Psychology program that boasts of affordable tuition and self-paced flexible courses. This program requires 60 semester units and the completion of 20 total courses, including general education, core, and elective courses.
The bachelor’s degree program is a four-year program that usually requires about 120-180 credits, depending on the program and what you intend to do with the degree after you graduate. A bachelor’s degree in psychology prepares students for careers in human resources, employment counseling, writing, advising, research, teaching and customer service to name a few. Many colleges let students transfer undergraduate credits into a graduate program, making the bachelor’s degree quite valuable.
A common question for those looking for a bachelor’s degree is if they should get a bachelor’s in science or a bachelor of arts. Check our our Psychology BA vs. BS article to compare and contrast the two.
- Columbia Southern University offers a completely online interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science in Psychology that offers a curriculum consisting of theory-based courses and practical experiences designed to prepare students to work in medical, clinical, organizational, and industrial settings. No entrance exams are required.
- Maryville University offers a 100 percent online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program that prepares graduates to work as psychiatric technicians, human resource specialists, social science research assistant, and survey researcher to name just a few. Students can choose from three start dates and are not required to pay application fees or take entrance exams. Students can complete this program in less than two years with transfer credits.
- Arizona State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program that consists of 120 credits and completion of 39 classes with each class taking 7.5 weeks. This program can be completed in two to three years. Graduates can find many career opportunities in psychology as well as research-related jobs that usually required advanced degrees.
Master degree programs in psychology usually take from two to three years to complete, but online students may finish earlier. Students may be required to complete a thesis. Many psychologist positions require at least a master’s degree. Completing a master’s degree in psychology prepares students find upper-level jobs in the field of psychology. They may find work in research design, industrial-organizational psychology, child psychology, and many more.
- Mount Mercy University offers a Master of Science in Psychology program. The five- and 10-week course blocks allow students to maintain a flexible schedule. Students can choose from multiple start dates. This program is also offered on campus.
- University of Phoenix offers an online Master of Science in Psychology program that requires completing 36 credits and can be completed in 17 months. Students learn about communication, psychology, scientific mindedness, and ethical and social responsibility. Online support is available 20 hours per day.
- Northcentral University offers an online Master of Arts in Psychology program that offers two areas of specialization. There are no residency requirements so students can complete their studies at their own pace. NCU also offers several other master degree psychology programs for other areas of psychology as well as flexible start dates.
Advanced Psychology Degrees
Advanced psychology degrees are doctoral degrees or postgraduate certificates. Clinical psychologist is one that must have a doctoral degree. Doctoral degrees are generally for those who want to teach psychology at the college level or want careers in research. These programs usually take a couple years to complete.
- Northcentral University offers an online doctoral degree in psychology program that offers nine areas of concentration so students can choose the area that interests them the most. Students learn from doctoral degree faculty. Students can complete this program in two years. The class schedule and start dates are flexible.
- The University of Arizona Global Campus offers a 100 percent online Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program that offers five to six-week classes, no entrance exams or application fees, and flexibility. Students get credits for previous relevant life or work experiences. They can also transfer up to 90 credits from a previous school.
- Saybrook University offers an online PhD in psychology that allows students to customize their curriculum to match their career goals. Four areas of concentration are offered with this program. This program typically takes four to five years to complete. Students are required to attend a residential orientation and conference.
Careers in the Psychology Field
- Social worker – Social workers help patients deal with issues in their lives. They may work with children in trouble or adults facing problems in their life and relationships. Social workers must have at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Career Counselor – Career counselors work with individual looking for different careers to improve their lives. Career counselors need a master’s degree.
- Human resources manager – These HR management professionals oversee the entire HR department of a business or company. They may have a bachelor’s degree but usually have a master’s degree.
- Psychology assistant – A psychology assistant works alongside of a licensed psychologist and assists them with their work. This position can be obtained with an associate degree and training.
- Teacher – Teachers work in schools teaching students. They may have a bachelor’s degree in psychology but need a master’s degree to teach specific subjects and grades.
- Industrial-organizational psychologist – An I/O psychologist studies and talks with employees and observes the workplace, in general, to learn what makes them happy and productive on the job. This position requires a master’s degree.
- Child psychologist – A child psychologist works specifically with children and adolescents and has specific training around issues facing these populations.
- Clinical psychologist – A clinical psychologist works with patients in a clinical setting and typically have doctoral degrees in psychology.
- Research specialist – Research specialists spend most of their time performing research on psychology and psychology-related issues. They generally have a master’s degree.