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Before attaining an accredited degree in psychology, it's important to have a specialization or concentration in mind. Psychology is a large field and requires a tremendous amount of time to gain expertise, even within a narrow focus.
Here are a few of the more common areas of specialization to consider when pursuing your degree in Psychology:
• Clinical Psychology
• Human Factors Psychology
• Counseling Psychology
• Industrial/Organizational Psychology
• Developmental Psychology
• Educational Psychology
• Physiological Psychology
• Environmental Psychology
• School Psychology
• Experimental Psychology
• Social Psychology
• Forensic Psychology
• Sports Psychology
• Health Psychology
Try to decide upon an area of specialization as early as possible in your course of study so that you are able to take all available pre-requisite courses and supporting classes. However, also spend some time exploring various options to make sure you will enjoy the specialization. Speak to an academic advisor in your department to determine whether a specific course of study will fit your needs. For example, some forms of psychology require a greater emphasis on statistics and analysis which may not be the best course of study for someone who doesn't enjoy taking a lot of statistic courses. If you plan to pursue an advanced degree, be sure to review graduate courses in the concentrations or specializations you may consider. This allows you to be prepared for what's ahead!
A bachelor's degree in psychology used to be the first step toward becoming a therapist or perhaps establishing your own private practice. However, there are a few pioneers challenging tradition by forging ahead in some very cool careers with psychology degree credentials.
Online Moderator: This unusual position didn't even exist a decade ago, so it's no surprise that most people have never heard of it, much less considered it as a potential source of income! Online moderators work in a variety of areas, including health information sites and online focus groups. Strong people skills combined with the ability to effectively communicate via technology is essential.
Online Tutor: This position, which has become popular with the advent of the Internet, requires strong research and communication skills. Online tutors provide assistance to both children and adults in a variety of settings. A background check is often required prior to working with children.
Electronic Discovery Experts: For those who enjoy sleuthing, this may be the perfect combination of psychology and research. Electronic discovery experts are employed in various settings, including law enforcement and recruiting.
Corporate or Personal Trainer, Life Coach and Motivational Speakers: It's all about people so it should come as no surprise that the ability to motivate and inspire others comes naturally to many psychology degree candidates.
Marketing Expert: Psychology provides an exceptional foundation for many areas of marketing, especially for those who have strong technology or other related skills.
Sports psychology is a popular specialization for those seeking an accredited psychology degree and remains a viable career alternative for those who enjoy sports, fitness and health. Sports psychologists work in a variety of settings ranging from hospitals and gyms to private practice. Sports Psychologists are required to have a strong background in psychology in conjunction with physiology and athletic related training. Employment is stable but competitive with state licensure required in most areas.
Unlike other forms of psychology, it's not essential to hold a PhD, however, a doctorate degree is strongly encouraged particularly in the research and academic affiliations. One disadvantage is the somewhat more restricted nature of a degree in sports psychology as compared to other disciplines within the field. If you are contemplating a degree in sports psychology review a complete plan of study through the graduate level so you know what to expect. Use your undergraduate internship to volunteer in prospective agencies where you can see a sports psychologist at work. By exploring the day-to-day realities and future course requirements you will be better positioned to know for sure if this is the right specialization for you!
Criminal Psychology is a popular specialization for those seeking an accredited psychology degree, and remains a viable career alternative for those who enjoy working with a challenging population and environment. Criminal psychologists may work in a variety of settings ranging from correctional facilities to private practice. In some cases, the psychologist may work directly with violent felons with an associated risk of personal injury. Criminal Psychologists may further specialize by concentrating on areas such as Clinical-Forensic Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology or Criminal Investigative Psychology.
The term “forensic” is also commonly encountered when discussing criminal psychology. Employment in this field is projected to remain steady through 2014. A doctorate degree is required to become licensed or open a private practice so it can take up to ten years to complete your education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income is approximately $54,000.
If you are contemplating a criminal psychology degree review a complete plan of study through the graduate level so you know what to expect. Use your undergraduate internship to volunteer in prospective agencies where you can see a criminal psychologist at work. It's a very rewarding career for those with the specialized skill set, education and personal traits to make it work but it's also a very challenging career. By exploring the day-to-day realities and future course requirements you will be better positioned to know for sure if this is the right specialization for you!
Child psychology is a popular specialization for those seeking an accredited psychology degree and remains a viable career alternative for those who enjoy working with children.
In most cases, the psychologist will work directly with children, but in a few instances it may be possible to work in related fields that address the needs of children and families. Child psychologists may be further specialized by concentrating on areas such as behavioral, emotional, developmental or cognitive development across a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, private practice and research institutions. Marketing is another industry that employs child psychologists in the design, research and testing of products and services.
Employment in this industry is projected to remain steady through 2014. A doctorate degree is typically required if you want to become licensed or open a private practice. Be aware that it can take up to 10 years to complete your education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income is approximately $54,000. If you are contemplating a child psychology degree, review a complete plan of study through the graduate level so you know what to expect and use your undergraduate internship to volunteer in prospective agencies where you can see a child psychologist at work. By exploring the day-to-day realities and future course requirements, you will be better positioned to know if this is the right specialization for you!
Pursuing an online psychology degree can be a smart investment both in terms of time and money. Psychology typically requires an advanced degree: minimally a masters' degree but more preferably a doctorate. A doctorate degree requires a minimum of eight to ten years of education beyond high school with all of the associated tuition and fees. It's a major investment of both time and money so anything that allows greater flexibility or the ability to work while going to college is often a practical necessity when contemplating a degree that may take a decade to complete!
Online education has become so widespread that it is now possible to obtain a degree from a top school without the cost of moving away from home. In many cases it's almost impossible to distinguish an online student from a traditional student after the degree has been conferred. Review the rankings of all prospective colleges to determine which degree will give you the most for your money. The results just may surprise you! Finally, an online psychology degree is often the perfect choice for someone who is working in a related field and would like to continue their education or change focus. In this situation you may be eligible for tuition reimbursement so be sure to check with your human resource.
Accreditation is vital when contemplating the pursuit of a psychology degree, particularly due to the nature of the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately half of all psychologists are in private practice. An even larger number of jobs require a PhD for licensure or to hold top positions in the field. The end result is the need to keep your options open in case you decide to pursue a terminal or PhD. The first step is to clearly define your goal. If you don't have a degree and plan to continue your education then verify the college is accredited. This will allow you to further your education in the future. The sequence of degrees is typically as follows:
As you can see, it can take a lot of education beyond high school in order to obtain a PhD. In order to assure the college you are contemplating will allow you to continue your education at a later date, make sure you are applying for an accredited psychology degree program.