While psychology degree online programs offer many educational and career pathways, the programs fall under two basic categories-doctoral and non-doctoral degrees.
Graduates of doctoral programs will have more career options and higher salaries than non-doctoral graduates. Psychology is a study of the human mind and how it works.
Because the mind is extremely complex, psychology is a very broad topic, ranging from the study of mental illnesses to understanding how people make decisions about money, products and even dating.
Some psychology degree programs focus on the clinical aspects of psychology - the kind that diagnose and treat patients.
Other psychology programs are designed for organizational psychology professionals make businesses more aware of how social interactions and organizational structures impact people's performance. Still other psychology programs focus on social work to enable graduates the opportunity to assist families and children.
Graduates of school psychology programs work in colleges, universities and schools, assisting students in meeting their academic goals while achieving balance in their lives. Other programs focus on psychology research and many other specialized roles.
Psychology specializations include clinical, developmental, occupational and social. In addition, some students can focus on areas related to business, such as consumer psychology, or understanding how people access and use websites and online technology. Doctoral students can focus on many areas depending upon the type of research they are interested in pursuing. This can include topics such as the psychology of how infants learn language, or how minds evolved to work the way they do.
Many people are fascinated by how the mind functions. This may be why so many students choose this major during undergraduate school. Even though may students earn a psychology associate's or bachelor's degree, very few go on to graduate school. Whether or not a student earns a doctoral degree in psychology will determine many things, such as the ultimate career, salary and independence.
Students graduating with an associate's, bachelors or master's degree in psychology will have lower salaries and fewer job options that are directly related to their degree. They may find work as a child, family or school social worker-with appropriate certification-or working in a business organization as a market researcher or human resource representative. Finding a satisfying job with an undergraduate degree in psychology is possible, but may require more research and exploration.
Online programs are no longer just for working adults or people with personal obligations. Distance learning programs have many advantages that suit even traditional learners.
School psychologist was one of the top 50 careers in 2011, according to U.S. News & World Report. With strong growth expected over the next decade and a decent salary, this is one of the better careers for graduates with a psychology major. In addition to licensure, most states require about three years of graduate study, although not necessarily a PhD. Other graduate-level psychology careers-such as clinical and industrial psychologists-will have similar outlooks.
For graduates with a bachelor’s or associate's degree in psychology, the outlook will depend upon the career chosen. For example, market researchers should also have strong growth, but the best opportunities and salary will be for individuals with a graduate degree. Other positions, such as school and family social worker, will offer steady growth for graduates with a bachelor’s degree and appropriate licensure.
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