PSYCHOLOGY AND SOCIAL WORK | DEGREES
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Psychology is one of the most sought after courses in this present day. This is because of the numerous opportunities that it affords those who delve into it. Not only does it provide a wide educational background that can be useful in diverse professions, but it also opens the doors to fascinating professions in understanding human behavior. Some of these professions include research and writing, statistical analysis, critical thinking and logical reasoning skills. This comprehensive guide will help you discover more about what you can do with a psychology degree and the potential careers available for you to explore.
EXPLORE PSYCHOLOGY DEGREES BY SPECIALTY
Interested in getting a psychology degree, but curious as to what the field looks like? The following data charts provide an overview of the academic and professional industry for psychology graduates. The numbers can provide a heads-up on what prospective students and psychology professionals can expect.
Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental illness and behavioural problems through the application of psychological theories.
Counseling psychology is a specialty that pays particular attention to providing guidance and assistance for people who are faced with emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organizational challenges.
School psychology is a field that applies psychological principles to meet students’ behavioral, health, and learning needs in a concerted effort with educators and parents.
Financial Aid & Scholarships for Psychology
Tuition fees could be a major hurdle to getting a degree in psychology. Fortunately, monetary assistance options are available for students who intend to take up this career-path.
Psychology Student Resources
We have provided the following resources which guide students on how to make the most of the opportunities available for them when they chose a degree in psychology.
Psychology is quite an extensive discipline with a wide variety of careers. The following are examples of career opportunities that can psychology graduated can explore.
TOP PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAMS: 2017-18
It is a tedious task to figure out which among the various psychology degree program is the best. Aside from the fact that each student has his or her own distinctive notion of what makes a particular program right for them; there is also need to compare programs. However, a lot of students deem several major factors to be important when attempting to make decisions on which school to choose. Such factors include tuition, student-to-faculty ratio and graduation rate. We have considered these components and more in our grading for the 2017/2018 session.
FIND PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAMS NEAR YOU
Geographical location and proximity are important factors to consider when choosing between psychology programs. For students to save cost, they could look for a college closer to their residence.Those who aspire to be employed in a particular location after graduation could also look for schools located in that area. Sorting psychology programs based on location, tuition, school type and other factors are made easier through this search tool.
Psychology Degrees by the Numbers
Do you wish to get a psychology degree but are still unsure of what the field is about? A summary of the academic and specialized industry for psychology graduates is presented in the following data charts. These numbers provide insight as to what aspiring students and psychology experts can expect.
Psychology Degrees Earned by Level (2013-14)
Compared to other levels, a number of students seem to seek admission into psychology degree at the bachelor’s level. This turn out drops significantly as students climb the academic hierarchy to second and third degrees. Essentially, the more advanced a student becomes in his/her study in psychology, the more valuable and suitable the student will be.
Psychology Graduates by Gender (2013-14)
Women in psychology outnumber their male counterparts in the profession regardless of the academic degree obtained. Consequently, psychology students will have more female colleagues and classmates. In reality, statistics have shown that women practically dominate the profession, with only 25 percent of all Ph.D. program students being male.
The Growing Popularity of Psychology Degrees (1970-2014)
The number of students that enroll for a degree in psychology keeps increasing with every passing year. This is because psychology is now being recognized as a field that qualifies as a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discipline. The data below illustrates the continuous yearly growth in the number of students obtaining a psychology degree on a yearly basis.
Psychology Degree Options: What’s the Difference?
There are many different academic levels where psychology can be studied. Depending on the student’s ultimate goal and dedication to the course of study, there can be many advantages to pursuing the highest level.
Achieving a doctorate provides the most diversity of any psychology degree. This may however, take the most time, money, and human efforts. In contrast, getting an associate degree will most likely be the fastest and easiest level to obtain. This, however, will limit chances to advance professionally. The bachelor’s and master’s levels remain the most common psychology degrees earned and both degrees provide a wide array of career opportunities.
An Associate’s degree in psychology consists of about 60 to 65 credits and can be obtained in about two years. The advantage is the length of study as well as the ease of transferring credits.
Associate of Art (A.A.) in Psychology
The A.A. degree in psychology requires students to take classes in non-psychology related courses i.e. humanities or social science fields.
Associate of Science (A.S.) in Psychology
The A.S. psychology degree is similar to the associate of art, the only difference being that the non-psychology classes are to be filled with science and math-oriented courses.
The A.A.S. provides the most practical training curriculum. The degree prides its strength in the fact that students will have more “real world” skills. However, the disadvantage is it will be extremely difficult to convert the A.A.S. into a bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology
The B.A. will provide a firm background in psychology. However, there will be a higher number of non-science/mathematics or non-psychology courses required within the program.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology
Compared to a bachelor of arts degree, the B.S. will have an improved emphasis in psychology, math, and science courses. This degree is best for students planning to progress on to a graduate program.
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology
Aside from the additional coursework in humanities or social science topics, the M.A. in Psychology will cover the same core classes that a master of science will cover.
Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology
The M.S. psychology degree is comparable to a master of art psychology degree, apart from the fact that there will be additional prominence on science and research concepts within the program.
Education Specialists (Ed.S.) in School Psychology
The fact that the curriculum of an education specialist degree in school psychology will narrow the focus to preparing graduates for a career in school psychology make it more specialized than the other master’s degrees.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology
The doctorate program is unique because it places importance on mathematical, scientific, and theoretical concepts. Therefore, graduates are more suitable for careers in academic circles and research.
Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)
The Psy.D. focuses more on applied psychology topics and less on academics and theory. This degree is suitable for graduates who want to treat patients.
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Psychology
The Ed.D.degree is to some extent a fusion of the doctor of philosophy and doctor of psychology degrees. It places importance on both theoretical and applied principles of psychology.
Psychology Careers at a Glance
A psychologists is someone who studies how the mind works and its connection to human behavior. Due to the complexity of the human mind, there are a variety of career choices and specializations for graduates of psychology. Two broad specialties for psychologist include research-oriented and applied work. There is a strong need for sustained psychological study since so much of the human brain and behavior has yet to be understood. Given the pervasiveness of mental disorders and psychological issues among people all over the world, there is also an unrelenting demand for applying psychological principles in helping one another.
Where do psychologists work?
Due to the wide field of specialties available in the psychology field, there is also a plethora of work locations for psychologists. They can work in the private and public sector, as well as treatment and research centers. Some of the more common work places for psychologists are as follows:
Elementary & Secondary Schools – The school setting is the single prevalent work environment for psychologists. This is due to the important position that occupies education in modern society and the difficulty in understanding the growth and development of the human mind.
Colleges & Universities – Psychologists are also relevant in higher institutions of learning. A large segment of proper psychology related training takes place in colleges and universities. Thus, many psychologists work as professors to fill this vacuum for educational tutors. A great deal of psychological research also takes place at universities.
Government – Psychologists also occupy a wide range of positions in the government sector. Since the government provides key financial support for psychological research, psychologists are often found working for government bureaus and departments. Government’s regulation of the private industry also necessitates the need for industrial-organizational psychologists in government positions.
Hospitals, Clinics & Other Healthcare Facilities – One major responsibility for psychologists is the treatment of mental health issues. The large numbers of mental health care treatments that will be provided by a healthcare facility make it possible for many psychologists to work in hospitals, clinics and treatment centers.
Businesses & Nonprofits – Effective management of workers is an important element in the operation of any business organization. This is the reason why business organizations and entrepreneurs require the services of a psychologist in helping them understand the needs of their workers and foster an effective employer-employee relationship.
Private Practice – The first thing that comes to mind when psychology is mentioned is a private organization where a psychologist render psychological services to his/her customers in the form of either a clinical counselor or a school psychologist.There are however, very few psychologist who set up private organizations as many prefer to seek employment in other settings.
How to Choose a Psychology Degree Program
There is need for prospective psychology students to properly plan which degree program they want to pursue because of the many career paths available for psychologists. The subsequent professional and academic potentials are determined by the type of program, the academic level, and the area of focus the student delves into.
Thoroughly research the psychology field. The first step is to completely understand the various fields available for psychologists. Reading and discussing with experts in the field can give one an idea of what to expect.
Identify the goal for getting a psychology degree. Figuring out which psychology degree program is best will demand that the students first identify what their ultimate goal is. They need to make decisions as to whether they are interested in research, patient treatment, or teaching. This is in developing a specific academic plan.
Decide which program has the necessary area of concentration. The end goal determines one’s area of specialization in a particular area. For instance, a research-driven goal calls for concentration in an experimental psychology program.
Confirm the program is accredited. Prospective students need to confirm that their program of choice is accredited. Accreditation is the procedure through which an autonomous institution confirms that the education provided by a given academic program or school is in line with the core curriculum and meets certain minimum requirements.
Determine how well the program will prepare one for a career. If applicable psychologists usually obtain license to practice with the general public. Students should choose a program that will prepare them for a career as well as assist in facilitating the license for them.
See which program offers the most financial assistance. To ease the financial burden that comes with post-secondary education, it is necessary to search for schools that offer the best scholarship scheme and grant the best student loans with profitable terms.
Decide which program has the best professional growth opportunities. Prospective students should identify what kind of specialized development opportunities are available; whether internship opportunities or partnerships with research institutions. Networks can be launched through these opportunities to make professional advancement much easier.
Expert Advice for Psychology Students
Your psychology degree led you down an interesting path…
I have been practicing as a psychology professor for over twenty years and I have a private practice in Wellesley, MA. I help students develop note-taking and study skills, test-taking scheme and provide various other academic support services. I edit papers for teachers and professors and help them organize their professional and private lives. As a coach, I use positive strategies to help those who have challenges and make them feel they can their tackle and overcome such challenges.
How can students choose the right psychology program?
Make sure you consult people in the psychology field to fully understand the multiple options available for you. There are numerous degrees in psychology which allows you to practice in different ways. One thing that helped me was the fact that I spoke with a lot of people in the field who spent their time to answer my questions and tutored me about what they do, what they liked, as well as what they seemed not to enjoy about their professional choices.
Was there anything you wish you had known before you went into psychology?
My adviser suggested I follow his footstep by working towards developmental and educational psychology, however I felt I would perform better in counseling psychology. Though I yielded to my adviser’s suggestion, I later realized after graduation that it would have been helpful if I had the counseling degree as well. Although it has not affected my practice in the long run.
Any other tips?
Methodically consider your options. Know all the potentials. Consult anyone who might be of help. Talk to your lecturer;and other professors who do not have a keen interest in your career decision, but are in the same field.