Do you have dreams about earning a degree in psychology? When this is your goal, there are going to be a few different degree options that you can choose from between the undergraduate and the graduate levels. Before you decide which degree you would like to get, you need to know the levels and decide which one will help you get the job that you want.
Depending on your profession, you may choose a bachelor’s degree. But then there are some career paths in psychology that will require you to have a graduate degree. Some of the different types of psychology degrees that you can earn include:
Associates Degree in Psychology
This is an undergraduate degree that you are able to get done in just two years. You may find this in a community college and then transfer over to a state university to work on your bachelor’s degree to save money. However, there will not be a lot of jobs that you can get with this degree; most entry-level positions want a bachelor’s degree or higher.
However, there is a way to get your foot in the door with this degree. You could work as a psychiatric technician in a state mental hospital. Some states will allow you to work on some social work jobs, like an assistant to an addictions counselor or a casework aide. But it is often best to go up to the next level and get a bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
The next option that you can choose is a bachelor’s degree in psychology. This one will often take four years to complete and you can choose whether to get a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in the field. In most cases, you will need more liberal arts for your general education with a B.A. and more science for the B.S.
You will find that there are a lot of great jobs for you to choose when you go for your bachelor’s degree. Most of the entry-level careers will allow you to start if you have a bachelor’s degree, though you will find that you will have more opportunities if you go for a Master’s degree instead.
There are a few different careers that you are able to choose with this degree including rehabilitation specialists, career counselors, psychiatric technicians, and case managers. You can then take this experience and work on the next level of your degree.
Master’s Degree in Psychology
You can also work with a master’s degree in psychology. This helps you get into the graduate level of the degree and it can take two to three more years after getting the bachelor’s degree. You can choose to get a Master of Arts or a Master of Science in psychology. You will find that this degree will open up a lot more jobs than the other two levels.
There are several types of master's degrees you can do. Some of them will be designed to help you get to work in this field and others are meant to prepare you to go for a Ph.D. in psychology instead.
You will be able to find a variety of areas to practice when you get a master’s degree, including business fields, government agencies, and mental health services. You could be a human resources manager, school counselor, rehabilitation counselor, family therapist, and marriage therapist to name a few of the options.
When you are working on your Master’s degree, you will be able to pick from a few different types to ensure you get to work in the niche that you would like. One of the options is a Master’s in clinical psychology. This one opens a lot of doors to you and can allow you to work in a job that will be very meaningful for your needs.
Ph.D. in Psychology
Next on the list is a Ph.D. in psychology. This is a doctoral-level degree that can take a good four to six years of graduate study to complete. It will focus more on research, but it does have some applied and theoretical training. There are a lot of great specialties that you can choose from on this one. The choice will depend on what you would like to do when you are done.
For example, if you would like to open up your own private practice or work in psychotherapy, you could choose to go for a Ph.D. in something like counseling or clinical psychology. If you would like to work in an applied area, research, or teaching, then you could go with a Ph.D. in a specialty like industrial-organization, experimental, or social and developmental.
Doctor of Psychology
Another choice that you can make when it comes to a doctoral degree is the Psy.D. degree. This was an alternative created to the Ph.D. and will focus more on the professional practice of psychology. Those who get this degree will need to pass the licensing exams and then can work to diagnose and treat mental disorders, provide psychotherapy, and conduct psychological tests.
In most cases, this degree is going to take between four to seven years to complete. The students who work on it will get an extensive amount of training in topics like diagnosing a mental illness, conducting clinical interventions, and performing psychological assessments.
You will also need to do a supervised practicum and internship in some kind of clinical setting. This can help you get more hands-on experience and has to last for a year or more before you can become a professional and do it yourself.
Choosing the Right Degree in Psychology
When you want to go into the field of psychology, it is important to have the right degree to help you out. Choosing the type of career that you would like to go with will make a big difference and can ensure that you can find the degree that will help you get there. Take a look at some of the degree options above to help you make the best degree.