Could a Psychology Degree Be Right for You?

By JP - January 30, 2020

Have you been considering your career options lately? Are you a recent graduate looking for post-grad opportunities? Do you feel a need to shift career paths? A psychology degree could be right for you and your long-term career goals. Between 2004-2013, there was a 32% increase in psychology doctorates awarded in the United States (American Psychological Association). With the interest in careers that require a psychology background on the rise, we’ve taken the time to list the top 4 things you’ll need to know when considering the best psychology degrees available near you:

Navigating the myriad of choices available for degrees can be a daunting task. There are many undergraduate and graduate options to choose from. Getting an associate degree in psychology can be a step in the right direction and can help you get a foot in the door. This path sets the educational foundation for pursuing continued education or to move into a technician role.

Another undergraduate option is a bachelor’s degree in psychology, offered either as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.

At the graduate level, a master’s degree in psychology is an appealing option for learners wanting to specialize. You’ll finish this program with either a Master of Arts (M.A.) or a Master of Science (M.S.) in psychology.

Many graduate students continue to pursue their specializations with either a Ph.D. (doctor of philosophy in psychology) or a Psy.D (doctor of psychology). Both of these degrees tend to be research-oriented and includes applied training.

When researching schools that offer the degree you’re looking for, you’ll want to make sure that the educational institution is highly reputable. The competition for acceptance can be fierce. In 2013, only 13% of applicants to American and Canadian graduate psychology programs were accepted (American Psychological Association).

Don’t let those statistics discourage you though! Instead, use them to inform you: make sure to identify the schools you’re most interested in, which specific programs fit with your goals, and then brush up on your interview skills. Schools are looking for applicants with a strong resume, solid social skills, and a penchant for efficient problem-solving.

Depending on which program you decide to pursue, studies usually range between two (2) and eleven (11) years. Associate degrees are the shortest program overall, averaging 24 months. The average time it takes to obtain a Ph.D. or Psy.D. is 7 years – from graduate school start to completion of the entire degree.

The cost of psychology degree programs varies a ton depending on the length of the program and if you decide to pursue studies on-site or online. Reach out to the admissions office of the schools that interest you the most to ask questions and compare pricing. It’s worth directly inquiring about the kind of financial aid offered to students in undergraduate and graduate programs.

There are plenty of interesting employment opportunities for people who hold a psychology degree. Graduates often go on to pursue promising careers as rehabilitation workers, career counselors, drug and alcohol specialists, teaching, and psychotherapists ( Salaries vary greatly across states and specializations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Experience plays a huge role in snagging that coveted job in psychology. As more and more people learn about mental well-being and look towards professionals for psychological support in managing the everyday stressors of life, a career in psychology will continue to be an attractive option. As the demand for clinical and counseling psychologists increases and support in tech roles and teaching continues to be required, pursuing a psychology degree might be just what you’re looking for.