Psychology is a broad field with countless concentrations. This gives students many options when earning a psychology degree, but it may seem like there is little to gain if they do not plan on seeking a doctoral degree and specializing in a small field.
Forming a clear understanding of what you want to do in your work can help you narrow down your options and determine whether a psychology degree is worth it for you. Here are a few questions worth considering before deciding on a psychology degree program.
Which Areas of Psychology Am I Passionate About?
As is true with any field or career, if you are excited about the work you do and what you study, you will always be more motivated to give it your all. Enjoying psychology in general will go a long way toward having a successful career, but there are likely some areas of the field that will interest you more than others.
There are countless different concentrations in psychology, including:
- Child and Adolescent Psychology: This field focuses on the psychology of developing children and adolescents in a research-oriented capacity. It also emphasizes practical counseling skills that help growing individuals navigate their lives and flourish. Professionals in this field are educated in family dynamics and the development of human behavior in the early stages of life.
- Geropsychology: This field centers around the study and navigation of elderly life. Handling the unique blend of psychological, physical and social issues that emerge among older adults is an important aspect of this field. In the academic and practical side of this field, professionals work to help people maximize their happiness and fulfillment in the later stages of life.
- Addiction Counseling: Addiction counselors work to assist recovering addicts and those with ongoing substance abuse disorders. This may involve components of family counseling, as well as approaches to improve patient well-being. As with all fields in psychology and counseling, an advanced degree and licensure is required before one can practice.
How Long Do I Want to Be in School?
Earning a bachelor's degree in psychology typically takes around four years. There are many entry level jobs open to psychology graduates who have an associate or bachelor’s degree. In addition, the professional skills that a psychology degree student learns during their program can be translated into a multitude of careers in other fields.
If you intend to become a practicing psychologist, you will need to earn an advanced degree – at least at the master’s level. Pursuing an advanced psychology degree can add several additional years to your education, offering you the time to build the knowledge required to practice.
What Are My Career Goals?
Before deciding to pursue a psychology degree, consider what your dream job might be. If you want to study psychology to get into business or human resources, then a bachelor's degree in psychology may be the right steppingstone. If you plan to work directly with clients or specialized populations, you will need a graduate degree to work as a clinical psychologist. In addition, most states require that practicing psychologists hold a specialized license. You may benefit from an undergraduate psychology degree, even if you seek to pursue a career outside of psychology.
What Is the Projected Career Outlook for Psychology Jobs?
It is always good to check out the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics to see the outlook for your career of interest. For psychologists and mental health professionals, the outlook is favorable at an expected 14% growth rate through 2028.1 Earning a psychology degree now and continuing on to graduate work can set you up for a steady career in a growing job market.
Grand Canyon University has a wide variety of online and on-ground BS in Psychology degrees. You can specialize in areas like chemical dependency counseling, forensic psychology and sports psychology. All these areas of specialty help you zero in on a specific career track and show you how to make the most of your psychology degree. To learn more about the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, visit our website or click on the Request Info button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.