Doctorate of Psychology: PsyD Online & Campus Programs
If you are fascinated by human behavior and would enjoy helping people understand and cope with life's difficulties, a degree in psychology might be just the thing for you. Psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate degrees, but does not usually, at the bachelor degree level, lead to a high paying career in any counseling or clinical field. Consequently the best schools provide an opportunity for graduate study. If all you have is a bachelor's degree, you may be able to jumpstart your career in human resources with a small business or in a Social Services department, depending on what electives you have taken.
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However, any real counseling position–such as a public school guidance counselor, geriatric counseling, parolee counseling, etc, will require a master's degree at the least. Those who have the highest salaries have a PhD or a PsyD in Psychology.
Psychology is the study of the way people behave, not only of external factors such as family and environment, but also of the way the human brain actually works under a variety of stimuli. Because of the wide variety of possible topics and career goals, you will need to narrow your focus in the final years of study. You might be interested in working with teens or college students looking for a career, with seniors or their families in nursing home or assisted care settings, with people learning to fit into society after a correctional facility sentence, or even with military personnel who often have difficulty functioning in a normal family after years of tightly disciplined lives in a war zone. Or, if you don't want to work as a Doctor of Psychology, but want to take advantage of your degree, you might stay in the schools and teach in the PsyD universities yourself.
Salaries, like the careers, vary widely for a degreed person in psychology, even for one with only a bachelor degree. Those with doctoral degrees make $80,000 and up. Of course, location and experience will have an impact on the salary you can earn as will the type of business.
Many schools offer psychology programs. Use our friendly system to explore numerous choices until you locate a program that can be tailored to your own interests.
What it takes to succeed with a psychology degree
Any doctoral (PhD) degree in psychology is going to be a specialization after you've earned a master's degree in general psychology. You can also earn a bachelor's degree in psychology and begin specializing with your master's degree.
You may have already finished your undergraduate degree in psychology and may be on your way to an advanced degree. Or you may be just beginning. In either case, a career in any psychology related field requires certain skills on your part. First, you need a broad knowledge base. Therefore, don't underestimate the value of any of your courses, including the ones that may not be your favorites such as English or Math. You need critical thinking skills and communication skills so you can communicate your findings effectively. You also need to be skilled at gathering information and at using a variety of methods to conduct research. You need to be sensitive to the diversity of our 21st century world, as well as informed in the history of psychology so you will know what others have discovered before you. Finally, you need a strong value system yourself with a high standard of ethics and a determination to always maintain scientific integrity.
The doctoral degree
According to CNN Money, about 40% of those with undergraduate psychology degrees go on for graduate degrees which range from careers in law and business to teaching or guidance positions in public school or college environments. Because of the extreme range of applications for a psychology degree—even just a bachelor's degree—it isn't possible to predict a salary range. Whether you have a career in law or in a high school guidance office, it is possible to have a salary of $80,000 or above; it also possible to have a salary closer to $20,000 although those with a doctoral degree can usually expect more. Your salary is determined by your specific degree, the geographic location, the need for people in your specification, and your own accomplishments.