Explore a Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral Science
If you enjoy observing people, and are curious about why people behave or respond the way they do in certain situations, you may want to consider making a career out of learning about people's behavior and helping them solve problems. A good start to a career like this is to earn an online bachelor's degree in behavioral science. In many cases, a bachelor's degree can be earned in about four years, though the amount of time can vary. Factors such as your program's requirements, the rate at which you're able to progress through the program, how many previously earned credits you are able to transfer and use toward this degree, and whether you're a full-time or part-time student will affect how long it takes you to earn your degree.
A behavioral science program will focus on natural science and social science. Students will learn about how behavior is affected by the individual's thought process and the impact of society. No two behavioral science programs will be exactly the same, but here are a few of the more common courses a behavioral science major can expect to take:
- Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences. This course will teach the appropriate techniques used to gather and analyze data. The course will also focus on analyzing statistical information pertaining to social and natural science.
- Disorders of Human Behavior. This course will focus on causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of abnormal behavior in adults. Students will also learn how to define and classify biological and behavioral psychopathology.
- Human Sexuality. This course will focus on how sexuality affects behavior. Students will learn about the effects of individual aspects, such as sexual conduct, sexual maturity, gender identity, sexual dysfunction, and sexual orientation.
While working through a bachelor's degree program in behavioral science, you can expect to conduct research focusing on the topic being covered, such as developmental psychology, personality theory, or cognition, and then write papers about your findings. Many programs incorporate assignments involving observing people as they interact and respond to their environments, analyzing the situations, and developing conclusions or theories as to why the people being observed behaved in certain ways.
Building a Career
Behavioral science majors will learn how to observe people's behavior and use this information to develop theories and conclusions about why people respond to situations the way they do and help people identify and solve behavioral problems. Many careers in behavioral science, such as an anthropologist, sociologist, or counselor, require a graduate degree. A bachelor's degree can be used as a stepping stone toward a master's degree or doctoral degree program in behavioral science. A bachelor's degree can also be used toward careers such as a market researcher or social worker.
If you're considering a career as a market researcher or social worker, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides information about both of these occupations. The BLS is expecting to see a 41% increase in employment for market researchers through the year 2020, and shows that they make an average income of $60,570 a year. The BLS is expecting to see a 25% increase in employment for social workers through 2020, and shows that they make an average of $42,480 a year. Keep in mind that earning a bachelor's degree in behavioral science doesn't guarantee employment. Also, your income will depend on several factors, such as your amount of experience, what city and state you work in, your industry, and your employer.