Psychology Degrees

Psychology degrees are offered at the best universities. Both undergraduate and postgraduate courses train students for psychology or psychology-related careers. These degrees are also available in online universities, and there are many students who prefer to earn their degree from a psychology school. No matter where you plan on pursuing your degree, below you’ll find important information to help you make an informed decision regarding your psychology education and career path.

EDUCATION

What Can You Do with a Psychology Degree?

A major in psychology can lead to many different careers. In addition to the traditional route of providing therapy, you will be able to follow many career paths that apply knowledge of the mind and theories regarding behavior. With a psychology degree, you can conduct research, work for government facilities or in administration, or provide counseling or psychotherapy in a number of different settings.

What are the Different Types of Degrees in Psychology?

There are several different degree types in the field of psychology. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is is completed through undergraduate education and is required prior to pursuing other degrees in psychology. A Master of Science (MS) focuses on one or two specific areas of psychology for those with the ultimate goal of practicing counseling or clinical psychology. A Master of Arts (MA) also focuses on a narrowed subset of the field but is intended for those interested in research or industrial psychology.

Doctorates are the terminal degrees in the field of psychology. Similar to the master’s degrees, the different doctoral degrees are intended for different career paths within the field. The traditional Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is ideal if you are considering teaching or conducting research. A Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) allows you to practice clinically through counseling or psychotherapy. If your focus is on working in schools or hospitals, a Doctor of Education (EdD) in psychology will provide you with the most relevant skills. If school psychology is your particular interest, an Education Specialist (EdS) degree will allow you to practice in this field.

How Much Does a Bachelor’s in Psychology Make?

The average pay for someone with a bachelor’s in psychology is around $47,000 a year. Salaries vary based on the specific field and geographical area they are employed in and range from about $20,000 to nearly $100,000 annually.

Is a Psychology Degree Worth It?

A psychology degree carries a lot of worth because it is such a versatile degree. There are a number of different fields and career paths that you can enter with a degree in psychology as well as many different advanced degrees that you can pursue.

Is Psychology a BA or BS?

In the field of psychology, either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is awarded upon completion of an undergraduate program. A BA is geared toward those interested in research and teaching, while a BS is the intended degree for those who want to practice clinically.

What Does a BA in Psychology Mean?

A BA, or Bachelor of Arts, in psychology refers to the degree that is awarded at the culmination of an undergraduate program of study in the subject. This degree allows students to go on to pursue further education, research opportunities, or a career in the field of psychology.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?

Nearly all fields of psychology require an advanced degree to practice in the field. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you can pursue an advanced degree, participate in research, or enter into an internship.

What Major is Required to Become a Psychologist?

To become a psychologist, students are required to complete a major in the field of psychology. The coursework typically includes courses in general psychology, experimental psychology, and more specialized areas such as developmental or abnormal psychology.

What is the Highest Degree for Psychology?

A doctoral degree is the highest awarded in the field of psychology. Doctorates in psychology include the degrees of Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), Doctor of Education (EdD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and Education Specialist (EdS). Each degree is intended to lead to different career paths in the field of psychology.

How Long Does It Take to Get a BA in Psychology?

A typical BA psychology program takes four years to complete. Students major in psychology during their undergraduate education and are conferred the BA degree upon the completion of their college program.

New job opportunities continue to open up for those who are serious about excelling in the field of psychology. Being a motivated student who has chosen psychology as a career can also be a plus when looking for a job in the corporate world, as there are many non-clinical job opportunities as well.

PSYCHOLOGY CAREER PATH

Is Psychology a Good Career?

A degree in psychology leads to many successful careers. The field has many specialized areas of practice, including research, school psychology, health administration, and even corporate settings developing, for example, employee training. Careers in psychology allow you to help others directly, engage in research that leads to a greater understanding of human cognition and behavior, and employ problem-solving skills.

How Does One Become a Psychologist?

The path to becoming a psychologist begins with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After completing the undergraduate program, a two-year supervised internship is typically required for most fields of psychology. A master’s degree or doctorate degree is also often required for licensure to practice in most fields of psychology.

How Do I Become a Practicing Psychologist?

In addition to obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you must complete several steps to become a practicing psychologist. Nearly all states require a supervised internship over two years, which will give you hands-on experience necessary for certification and will help you to identify the specific field of psychology that you want to practice. Most fields of psychology will require a master’s or doctorate degree, and all states require certain exam and practicum experience to obtain licensure.

Is It Worth It to Get a Degree in Psychology?

A degree in psychology is worth the investment because it provides many career opportunities. With a degree in psychology, you can pursue dozens of jobs, including researcher, counselor, or teacher.

What Jobs Can You Get with a Psychology Degree?

A psychology degree allows you to pursue many different careers. If you are interested in clinical psychology, you can work as a school psychologist, counsel in private practice, or provide therapy in a hospital setting. With a degree in psychology you can also conduct research, teach in universities, or work in government agencies.

Can I Major in Psychology and Become a Doctor?

A major in the field of psychology can allow you to become a medical doctor. Upon obtaining a bachelor’s degree, you can enter a medical doctor (MD) program to become a Doctor of Psychiatry. An advanced doctoral degree in other areas of psychology will allow you to obtain the title of doctor and to practice in hospitals or other clinical settings, but you will be unable to prescribe medication.

If you look at the data at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an increase in competition for entrance to graduate psychology courses. It is possible that many students are interested in the lucrative careers that having psychology degrees can get them.

COMPENSATION

How Much Money Does a Psychologist Make?

Generally, psychologists make a good living. How much psychologists make will vary depending on the specific field and the geographic area they practice in. Jobs requiring more advanced degrees will also pay more. A psychiatrist, which requires an MD, is the highest paying field of psychology, earning around $216,000 annually.

Median Salary by Years of Experience and Specialty Area

Experience

Entry-level (0-5 yrs.)

Mid-career (5-10 yrs.)

Experienced (10-20 yrs.)

Late-career (20+ yrs.)

Average

Clinical psychologist

$69,000

$78,000

90,000

$94,000

$76,000

Forensic psychologist

$61,000

$73,000

$83,000

$118,000

$64,000

School psychologist

$54,000

$60,000

$66,000

$72,000

$60,000

Industrial psychologist

$61,000

$94,000

$112,000

$131,000

$72,000

Source: PayScale

On average for all degree levels, a psychologist makes about $77,000. It is important to adjust for cost of living in an area when assessing the salary to determine how good the pay is. For example, a psychology position in Los Angeles with a salary of $100,000 comes with a high cost of living. A similar job in Charlotte, North Carolina may pay slightly less, but the lower cost of living makes it an excellent salary.

Careers requiring a degree in psychology can be found in both the public and private sectors, ranging in positions from mental health counselors at nonprofits to private university professors. The expertise gleaned from studying psychology can lead to stimulating, meaningful careers.

JOBS

What Jobs Can You Get with a PhD in Psychology?

A PhD in psychology can offer many different careers. With a doctoral degree, you can provide therapy, conduct research, or teach at the college level. You can also hold upper administrative jobs at the public school or collegiate levels.

What Jobs are Associated with Psychology?

Because psychologists are trained to develop an understanding of behavior and cognition and to shape these in individuals, jobs that involve counseling are typically associated with psychology. These jobs include school psychologist, mental health counselor, and therapist.

Do You Need a BA or BS for Clinical Psychology?

You need either a BA or a BS for a job in the field of clinical psychology. If you are interested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology, a BS will better prepare you for this path. A BS program will incorporate more science-based classes, which are geared toward working in clinical settings. However, either a BA or BS in psychology will allow you to attain further education and licensure to practice as a clinical psychologist.

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