Have you already completed your undergraduate degree in a psychology related field of study? Are you not satisfied with the lower level employment positions that are available to you with just your undergraduate degree? After working for a while in this career field are you considering returning to school to increase your degree level and your professional options too? Have you hesitated only because you aren’t sure if there will be enough additional career options to make it worthwhile? Continue reading below to discover what you need to know about a master’s degree in psychology so that you can make the best, informed decision possible.
As you study psychology at more extensive level you will be learning about the behaviors of humans and the mental processes that control what they do or think. It is common for colleges or universities to allow students who are pursuing a master’s degree to choose an area of specialization. For instance, you could specialize in sports psychology, educational psychology, health psychology, organizational psychology, or industrial psychology. Generally speaking, no matter which area of specialization you choose you will be required to complete course work in the areas of: social psychology, research methods, family systems, human sexuality, and group psychology.
You should expect it to take approximately two years for you to complete this master’s degree program. Once you have completed the required course work for this degree program you will also likely need to conduct a capstone project and an externship. While not all colleges and universities require these components in order to graduate, it does provide students with the chance to apply what they have learned in a real world setting. Of course, each of these components will require you to be under direct supervision of a mentoring individual.
Most individuals who decide to pursue their master’s degree in psychology already have current life obligations that they will have to maintain. For instance, you may need to continue taking care of your family or you may have to keep your job while you work on your degree program. In these situations, it is common for students to pursue their degree program through an online learning format. This makes it possible for students to have a flexible class schedule and to obtain a master’s degree from the comfort of their own home. However, if this instructional style does not fit how you learn best, then you will likely want to choose a college or university that offers a campus-based degree program for this course of study.
Once you have obtained your master’s degree in psychology you will be skilled and prepared to enter the work force as a human resources manager, a counselor, a psychological assistant, an employee trainer, a community college instructor, an industrial organizational psychologist, a social worker, or a market researcher. Of course, even more employment options are available should you decide to pursue a higher degree level.
Should you become employed as a social worker you will likely work in a specific area, such as school social work, public health social work, mental health social work, or child and family social work. In your capacity as a social worker you will be working to help patients deal with and resolve issues that they deal with on a daily basis. If you gain employment as a counselor you could be working as a substance abuse counselor, a family and marriage counselor, a high school counselor, or a career counselor. Although your job responsibilities will vary some depending upon which type of counselor position you obtain, you will typically be interacting with patients who are trying to work through a specific type of issue.