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Online Masters Degree in Psychology

If you wish to help others understand and learn to cope with life's challenges, a career in psychology could be rewarding. Master's degrees in psychology can prepare you to help clients deal with issues related to health, school, work or social injustice.

With an advanced degree, you could educate professionals in health care or the justice system about psychological issues that affect patients or clients. You could work to improve conditions in the workplace, or you could choose to counsel individuals or groups of all ages.

Earning master's degrees in psychology

Without a bachelor's degree in psychology, you may have to take additional coursework for master's programs. Foundation courses cover statistics, research methods, theories of learning, counseling skills, psychopathology and more.

More targeted subjects include social behavior, personality theories, child development, gender roles, personality assessment, cognitive psychology or neuroscience. Other classes could prepare you for specialized fields of psychology like these:

  1. Chemical dependency and compulsive disorders
  2. Cognition and perception
  3. Forensic
  4. Marriage and family therapy
  5. Occupational and industrial
  6. Social and consumer

Graduate schools may require a comprehensive exam or a master's thesis, and an internship or supervised component is often part of the program.

Psychology career options, outlook and salaries

Those with master's degrees in psychology can seek roles such as school guidance counselors, mental health counselors, rehabilitation counselors or industrial organizational psychologists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects above average job growth for some occupations in the field, and annual wages are higher than the average for all U.S. occupations. Here are some related careers with 2010 median salaries and employment growth projections for the decade ending in 2020:

  1. Industrial organizational psychologists: $87,330; 35 percent growth
  2. Mental health counselors and marriage and family counselors: $45,720; 37 percent growth
  3. Psychologists: $68,640; 22 percent growth
  4. School and career counselors: $53,380; 19 percent growth

The BLS notes that practicing psychologists need a master's or doctoral degree as well as a license.

Academic options in psychology

If you are interested in academic research or teaching, a master's degree can help you enter a doctoral degree program. A Ph.D. in psychology typically focuses on research, while the Doctor of Psychology, Psy.D, is primarily for the practitioner.

Online programs for master's degrees in psychology provide flexible options for professionals who have practical experience in the field and who want to upgrade their education while they continue to work.

Featured Online Psychology Degree Programs

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About Capella University

An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers both foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you’re learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.

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