The Field of Psychology: What degrees are available?

Psychology is the science of the human mind and behavior—the study of the what and why of humanity. If you find the inner workings of the human mind fascinating, you might find that the field of psychology is right for you.

There are many programs available for study for those interested in psychology. Almost every college offers a Bachelors degree in the subject, and hundreds of colleges offer graduate degrees. Associates degrees are also available. So what degree program should you consider? Here is some information about each degree to help you make your decision.

Associates Degree in Psychology

An Associates degree teaches students the skills they need to understand basic psychology principles and methodologies. Any student who graduates with a Psychology Associates Degree will have an introductory knowledge of diseases of the mind and mental illnesses. This degree program usually lasts two years.

Because an Associates Degree in Psychology is really considered a "starter" or beginning degree, the employment options available for degree holders are fairly limited. You can apply for a federal government job, as federal agencies are among the few employers that hire psychology majors without an advanced degree (you do need a minimum of 24 credit hours to get a position).

Most individuals with an Associates Degree in Psychology go on to earn additional degrees. You’ll find that a psychology background provides a great foundation for a most business careers, particularly human resources and advertising and public relations.

Bachelors Degree in Psychology

A Bachelors degree in psychology is a four-year degree that studies the field more intently than an Associates degree, and creates a knowledge base of theory and research in the psychological sciences. Graduates with a psychology Bachelors degree also have the ability to apply the principles of psychology for the improvement of human, animal, and environmental well-being. The psychology major also introduces students to the basis of collaborative and professional relationships within psychology, and identifies the foundations and delivery systems of the mental health profession.

A Bachelors degree in psychology will not allow you to become a practicing clinician; it will, however, provide the perfect foundation for almost any career you want to pursue. This training is perfect for positions with law enforcement agencies, counseling and mediation services, and companies that require productivity expertise. This degree could be a ticket to whatever industry most suits your talents and personality.

Masters Degree in Psychology

Interestingly, the Masters degree in Psychology is actually mildly controversial. More and more in the United States, those interested in earning advanced degrees in Psychology are planning to become practicing psychologists (meaning they actually see and treat patients), so they often skip the Masters degree entirely on go directly into a doctoral program.

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