Obtaining a Master’s Degree in Psychology

a young woman studies to obtain a masters degree in psychology

Many professionals in psychology have spent countless hours learning new technology skills and obtaining specific certifications.

These specialized degrees allow students to demonstrate their preparedness to take on higher level tasks and responsibilities in their employment. Most Master’s degrees are also terminal degrees for employment.

Coursework for Master’s Degrees in Psychology

Since all of the core requirements were accomplished in the student’s undergraduate degree program, master’s degree requirements are significantly less time intensive than a bachelor’s degree. Most master’s degrees require 30-36 credit hours of work, with some requiring remediation coursework to fill gaps in specialized knowledge. All of this coursework is in specified fields within psychology specializations and often can lead to the Ph.D. degree if a student chooses to do so.

The specific required coursework varies according to the specialized degree offering. For example, a master’s in clinical psychology will likely require extensive study of psychotherapy, counseling, and practice-based experience. Similarly, a master’s in experimental psychology might require coursework in lab skills, applied statistics, and an overview of a variety of psychology specializations from which to make theories. This is what makes the master’s degree a viable alternative to industry specific certifications.

Employment Outlook After Attainment

A master’s in psychology has a number of benefits with regards to employment. To begin with, the master’s degree proves that an individual studied extensively in a specific specialization. Obviously, these students would be ready to take any certification tests but there would also be proof of the depth of knowledge held by the student. Also, the master’s degree is a great tool for branching out. A general bachelor’s degree opens the doors to a number of positions. If a student would like to change paths, a master’s degree can help.

Also, the master’s degree allows a student in psychology to work towards teaching the subject at a university. While many professionals are content to work in the field, some people prefer the academic life. A master’s degree is the first step towards that goal.

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