Explore a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology
If you like to talk to people and try to figure out what's going on in their heads and what led to their thoughts or actions, you may want to consider turning this into a career and using what you learn about people to help them prevent, cope with, and overcome mental, behavioral, and emotional issues and disorders. Earning an online bachelor's degree in psychology can be the first step toward your career. On average, an online psychology bachelor's degree can be earned in four years. However, the amount of time it takes you to complete a degree program will depend on several factors, such as the requirements of your particular program, whether you are a full-time or part-time student, the number of transferable credits you have and can apply toward your degree, and your ability to pass each class and progress through the program.
The curriculum for a bachelor's degree in psychology will focus on human behavior and mental processes, covering disorders and their determining factors while developing critical thinking, conflict management, and evaluation skills. Each program will have a unique curriculum, but here are a few of the courses you can expect to see in just about every program:
- Developmental Psychology. This course will teach you about the psychological effects that aging and developing can have on an individual. You will learn about theories, methods, and problems pertaining to people's psychological development.
- Psychology of Thought. This course will teach you about the human thought process and how it relates to comprehension, memory, and problem solving. You will learn about how people process information and develop ways to handle challenges, and how to analyze an individual's thought process.
- Social Psychology. This course will focus on how social interactions affect a person's psychology. You will learn about the impact that these interactions have on behavior, self-identity, attitude, and perception.
As you work toward earning your online bachelor's degree in psychology, you can expect to spend a significant amount of time studying theories, techniques, and methods pertaining to multiple aspects of psychology, such as behavior, personality, psychological abnormalities, and cultural influences. You may also have assignments which provide details about an individual and require you to evaluate them, determine their psychological state, and develop ways to help and treat them.
Building a Career
Once you earn your bachelor's degree in psychology, you should have an understanding of human behavior and mental process and the factors that influence each of them. You should also know how to evaluate individuals and recognize, diagnose, and treat problems, disorders, and habits. This knowledge can be used toward many careers, such as a social worker or correctional treatment specialist. Even though your degree may qualify you for these positions, it doesn't guarantee employment.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that social workers are expected to have a 25% increase in employment through the year 2020 and earn an average of $42,480 a year. The BLS shows that correctional treatment specialists are expected to have an 18% increase in employment through the year 2020 and earn an average of $47,200 a year. Keep in mind that your income will depend on factors such as the industry you work in, your employer, your location, and your level of experience.
Practicing psychologists are required to have a master's or doctoral degree and obtain a license or certification from their state to practice. Most individuals with a bachelor's degree in psychology will use it toward a graduate degree and specialize in a particular area of psychology. The BLS is expecting psychologists to have a 22% increase in employment through 2020 and earn an average of $68,640 a year. Your income will depend on the factors listed above as well as your specialization and the size of your client base.