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Psychology Degree: Online Psychology Degrees, Psychology Schools, Colleges, Psychology Programs, Courses

The field of psychology studies the human mind and human behavior. Psychology careers can branch out into research, or providing health services in hospitals, schools, private settings, businesses, or training in nonprofit organizations. A psychology career may also lead to research, designing systems, or supporting various national and international issues. Since much of the training requires collecting data, research, and observation, an online psychology degree program is a valuable way to complete an education in this field.

Job Description and Responsibilities with a Psychology Career

A psychology career covers a broad range of opportunities and settings that may include direct practice, as well as solving problems through research. Clinical psychologists are often directly involved with people to treat mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders. Cognitive psychologists are essentially researchers who study human perception and memory. Counseling psychologists help people find resources to cope with difficult life circumstances. General responsibilities for psychologists may include:

  • Providing guidance and advice for specific life circumstance
  • Providing guidance and advice in a coaching setting
  • Recognizing a person's strengths and helping them obtain psychological well-being
  • Studying how various behaviors and emotions influence human thought
  • Conducting research using computers and other tools
  • Understanding societal and historical influences on social structure

An online psychology degree program can help students specialize in a particular industry or field and further their education after completing psychology school. Alternatively, pursuing a psychology degree online can be the exclusive way of completing training that is usually available through a majority of psychology colleges.

Common specializations for a psychology career include:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Rehabilitation Psychology
  • Sports Psychology

Each of the psychology programs designed to specialize in these areas are available through variety of online psychology degree formats.

Skills Needed to Be Successful in a Psychology Career

Psychology schools and training programs provide foundational skills to become successful in a psychology career. Since psychologists are often involved with people, interpersonal communication skills are incredibly important. In particular, psychologists need to develop skills such as:

  • High levels of enthusiasm
  • A high level of patience
  • The ability to work with diverse groups and populations
  • Effective stress management techniques
  • Understanding social and racial influences
  • Conducting work outside of the office
  • Being flexible and available for patients
  • Being able to complete detailed work
  • Developing the ability to lead and inspire others
  • Being emotionally stable and mature, especially under stressful situations

Career Options with a Psychology Degree

A psychology degree offers a variety of opportunities in the fields of research and social services. Psychology colleges can prepare students for the variety of skills and educational backgrounds, and online psychology degree programs offer flexibility for any students which stood in working during their education. After completing a psychology degree program, a student may explore a career as a:

  • Clinical psychologist, where they work in counseling centers and independent groups
  • Counseling psychologists, where they may be involved with interviewing and testing patients
  • Industrial organizational psychologists, where they apply research methods to the workplace to improve productivity and counseling job applicants
  • Social psychologists, where they examine and make sense of people's interactions with their social environment
  • Environmental psychologists, where they may study cognitive and social developments for particular groups
  • Experimental psychologists who work in private research centers and universities to conduct research

Psychology Degree Requirements and Options with an Online Psychology Degree

Psychology colleges offer a variety of psychology degree programs for students interested in pursuing a long-term career in the field. The curriculum is taught by skilled professionals who have experienced both in the field and conducting research. Developing critical thinking skills is an important part of completing both an online psychology degree program, and one that is formally taught at psychology school. Advanced course programs in an online psychology degree formats are helpful in obtaining additional professional advancement. The availability of psychology programs varies by college or university, and this is one reason why an online psychology degree is an attractive alternative. The most common specializations and courses of study in pursuit of an online psychology degree include psychology courses such as:

  • Lifespan Development
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Inferential Statistics
  • Research Methods
  • Learning Theories
  • Biological Basis of Behavior
  • Foundations of Psychology
  • Ethics and Multicultural Issues and Psychology

Psychologists who complete a master's and doctoral education have the most promising opportunities, including opening up their own private practice. Online psychology degrees to offer advanced education in these areas. A doctoral degree is required for employment as an independent licensed clinical or counseling psychologist in every state. The specialist degree is required in most states to work as either a school psychologist, and most require at least a Masters degree along with a one-year internship after completing graduate studies.

Competition for admission to a graduate psychology degree program is fierce, and pursuing an online psychology degree offers an attractive opportunity. A bachelor degree in psychology qualifies a person to assist psychologists, and many choose to work in research roles or as a technician. Most employers, however, do not consider a bachelors degree for adequate for a long term position. Completing a psychology degree online and proceeding with advanced education is proving to be a valuable course of study.

Online Psychology Degree Program Accreditation

The American Psychological Association (APA) currently accredits doctoral training programs in fields such as clinical psychology, counseling, and school psychology. The International Association of School Psychologists, in addition to the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, is involved with advanced psychology degree programs in various psychology colleges and schools. Online psychology degrees may also be accredited by the institution or college they are administered by.

Psychology Career Potential and Employment Prospects with a Psychology Degree

After completing either an online psychology degree program, or training at a formal psychology school, many students choose to obtain work experience by working as an assistant or researcher within their specialization. Psychology programs that lead to doctoral degrees are the most attractive for potential employers, and doctoral degree in the fields enable students to open up their own private practice. Many psychologists hold faculty positions at universities and colleges, as well as pursuing teaching at the preschool, kindergarten, or postsecondary level.

School psychologists in particular, will enjoy attractive job opportunities as the demand for school psychologists and student counseling is constantly rising. With the rise in health care costs and preventative treatments, the number of employee assistance programs is also spurring the need for clinical and counseling psychologists and specialists. Any psychology degree programs that specialize in these areas are attractive opportunities for students of the long-term. Demand is particularly strong for people holding doctorate degrees from leading universities.

Median annual salaries for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists were $54,950 in May 2004. Median annual earnings of industrial organizational psychologists were $71,400 in 2004. Related occupations include:

  • Counselors

  • Social Workers

  • Physicians

  • Special Education Teachers

  • Sociologists


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