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Working in psychology requires active listening and a passion for helping others. Psychology professionals must know scientific principles, human development and behaviour, and neurobiology. In many instances, a psychology career applies theories and research to practice.
A career in psychology often requires some level of higher education. Many entry-level roles require at least a bachelor’s degree. This guide covers the benefits of earning an online psychology degree, highlighting costs and common courses. Keep reading to learn why you should study psychology online.
What can I do with a bachelor’s in psychology?
People who study psychology online often become therapists or counsellors. Other people enter related fields as human resources managers or social workers.
Does a psychology major pay well?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers information on position salaries. According to BLS data, rehabilitation counselors earn a median income of $37,530 annually. Marriage and family therapists earn a median of $51,340 per year.
How long does it take to get a psychology degree?
Associate degrees take about two years to complete, and bachelor’s degrees take four years. Master’s degrees take around two years to finish. A doctorate in psychology can take between 4 - 7 years to complete. These numbers represent the length of time for full-time students.
Why Get a Degree in Psychology?
People who study psychology online may enter a secure job market with many career options. The BLS projects the need for counselors to increase by 23% in 2020-2030, much faster than average. Projections indicate 8% potential job growth for psychologists during the same timeframe. These professionals earn a median pay of $82,180, about double the median salary for all occupations.
Pursuing a psychology major offers flexibility and accessibility. Many schools offer online psychology degrees. The flexible programs allow busy students to meet their career goals. Online programs also tend to cost less than in-person programs. Learners who study psychology online save on commuting costs and living expenses.
How Much Does a Psychology Degree Cost?
The cost of a psychology degree varies. While the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) does not provide costs for online tuition, it does for in-state tuition. Many schools offer a similar tuition rate for in-state learners and those who study psychology online. According to the NCES, students spent an average of $9,350 on undergrad tuition at in-state schools in 2019-2020.
When creating a college budget, learners should factor in living expenses. Students may find it hard to maintain a job when completing a fast-paced program. Fortunately, learners may use federal and state grants and loans for living expenses.
Additional Online Student Fees
Besides tuition, an online psychology degree requires student fees. Virtual students often avoid paying student activity and campus maintenance fees. However, they typically pay a fee for online classroom management software.
A college budget should also include textbook costs. Purchasing used textbooks or choosing digital versions saves money. In addition, some businesses allow learners to rent books.
Students who study psychology online should factor in the cost of campus visits. Some online psychology degrees require participants to visit campus once per year or for certain classes with an applied aspect, like an internship or practicum. After completing a bachelor’s degree, professionals should still budget money for education if they plan to pursue advanced degrees in psychology. However, certain employers may cover some educational fees.
How Much Do Psychology Majors Make?
Online psychology degree-holders’ salaries vary. Position type impacts pay. School counselors earn a $58,120 median annual salary, while psychologists earn higher salaries. Psychologists need a doctorate to practice in most research, clinical, or counseling roles.
Experience also impacts pay. According to October 2021 PayScale data, psychologists with under one year of experience earn an average salary of $68,160. Psychology professionals with over 20 years of experience earn an average of $92,720.
Courses in Psychology
Psychology majors qualify for many scholarships. Professional associations, private foundations, and colleges all offer scholarships to support psychology students. Online learners must typically meet scholarship requirements if they attend an accredited college or university. In addition to the following scholarships, psychology majors can research opportunities based on their career goals or state.
Psychology and Human Development
The class covers human development from a biological, social, cognitive, and emotional perspective. Learners discover typical and atypical development from infancy to adulthood. The class might also cover neuroanatomy, such as the structures and functions of the brain and nervous system. Upon completion, students understand how development influences cognitive and emotional abilities throughout the lifespan.
A theory class covers the discoveries and philosophies that guide modern practice. Learners discuss theories by early researchers like Sigmund Freud. Students learn about therapy practices that developed as a result of these theories. The course also helps learners identify gaps in industry knowledge.
Research in the Psychology Field
The class teaches students how to conduct ethical and accurate research. Learners discover the protocol for developing and testing psychological theories. Class discussions encourage participants to evaluate the quality of past studies. This class also often requires a research project. Students sometimes submit their class findings for publication.
To become a psychologist, learners must earn a doctorate in psychology and licensure within their state or jurisdiction. Once students have completed a doctorate and acquired the required amount of clinical hours, students may apply for a psychology license. Licensure requirements vary by state. Most states require psychology professionals to complete 1-2 years of supervised experience through an internship or residency. Some states require a postdoctoral fellowship.
Once people earn their credentials, they must complete continuing education hours to maintain their license. Professional organizations like the American Psychological Association (APA) offer continuing education classes.
Many psychologists work for a clinic, but some open private practices. According to the BLS, 27% of psychologists are self-employed.
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