We live in a stressful, fast paced and sometimes, overwhelming time. Americans, from all walks of life experience, at one time or another, stress, depression, anxiety, phobias, substance abuse or other mental health issues. With greater frequency, by some estimates up to 50% of Americans, people are turning to trained professionals to learn skills and behavioral coping techniques to help handle theses concerns.
Working with people who are struggling with some aspect of their life is the role of psychologists who have specialized education in particular areas of mental health and behavior. Numerous colleges and universities offer accredited, online Master of Science or Master of Arts in Psychology.
The path to becoming a psychologist differs, depending on what career you want to pursue. Students interested in becoming clinical psychologists, those who are licensed and certified to provide individual, family or group counseling, will want to pursue a doctoral program. Those who wish to work in a business environment, children, education, sports or social work, may want to obtain a masters degree with concentration in the area of interest.
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Those with a BS in Psychology degree are able to advance their degree to a masters or doctoral level to become practicing psychologists. Study of psychology will help students have a better grasp of human behavior and prepares them for working with people in a variety of areas. Employment for bachelors prepared graduates may be found in business administration, education, sales representatives, etc.
Masters of Science or Masters of Art in Psychology
Graduate degrees in psychology allow students to choose from several specialties, dependent on interests. Masters prepared psychologists practice psychological theories in several settings, some of which are:
To work in elementary, secondary and collegiate education, it's recommended that students have a Master of Education in Psychology, Master of Educational Psychology or an advanced doctoral degree.
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Those interested in improving employment environments and working in business, manufacturing, private or public hospitals, etc. would want to investigate a degree in MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Substance and Addiction Psychology
Requiring a masters with in-depth study of behavioral psychology, these professionals provide tools and strategies to allow patients to understand and cope with addictive behaviors.
This is a growing field utilizing psychological and behavioral skills in individual or team sports. These psychologists behavioral psychology, team dynamics, research and theory. People who study this specialty may find employment in secondary schools, collegiate, amateur or professional sports.
A relatively new field, psychologists need a minimum of a masters degree in forensic psychology to work in this field which may involve creating psychological profiles, working with law enforcement and serving as expert court witnesses.
PhD in Psychology
Those wishing to enter private practice will need to pursue a doctorate in psychology degree. Most states require licensure and certification for psychologists to practice. Specialties are available in many PhD programs that will allow students to pursue concentrations in areas such as those listed above, as well as others such as marriage and family counseling, military psychology, etc.
If you're interested in finding potential online psychology degrees, Best Medical Degrees has researched 25 Most Affordable Online Masters of Psychology Degree Programs. This ranking is by base tuition cost, length of program, accreditation and program recognition where applicable.