- Today’s Best Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology
- In Focus: The Online Master’s Degree in Psychology
- How to Fund Your Online Master’s in Psychology
- Accreditation for Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology
- What’s Next? After Your Master’s in Psych
- Continuing Education & Related Degrees
- Resources for Master’s Psychology Students
Today’s Best Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology
Psychologists play key roles in a variety of careers, from mental health counseling to brain research to marketing. A top-notch education is the first step toward attaining a satisfying, well-paying psychology career. We’ve compiled the best in class of online psychology master’s degree programs to help you get started on your search for a high quality psychology education. These three schools stand out in 2020 for affordability, flexibility and accreditation.
In Focus: The Online Master’s Degree in Psychology
Psychology students should be no strangers to careful research and assessment before drawing conclusions. This practice applies to choosing the right online psychology master’s program, too. Getting familiar with program curricula, available specializations, learning outcomes, cost and other important factors before applying to a program is key to finding the right program for you. These questions and answers can help you weigh your options and make an informed decision.
How to Fund Your Online Master’s in Psychology
Before enrolling in an online psychology program, students should make sure they have a solid plan for financing their education. Costs can vary between programs and specializations within the same school, so careful research can help, as can taking advantage of financial aid resources on and off campus.
Accreditation for Online Master’s Degrees in Psychology
Students should make sure the school offering their psychology master’s degree is accredited. Attending an accredited school is important for psychology students who may need to have an accredited education in order to pursue licensure or apply for advanced degrees.
Accreditation is an optional review process that assesses a school’s quality and efficacy based on a board-determined set of standards. Accreditation can be institutional or programmatic. While there is no widely recognized accrediting body for psychology degrees at the master’s level, students can check to see if the school offering the program is regionally accredited at the institutional level. Regional accreditation by CHEA is one of the most widely recognized forms of accreditation in higher education.
What’s Next? After Your Master’s in Psych
Because master’s level work in psychology goes deeper than undergraduate study and allows for specialization, an online master’s in psychology can lead to a huge variety of careers. Those who want to pursue clinical practice will need to take state licensure exams, but plenty of other career paths are also available to those who want to use their psychology knowledge outside of clinical practice and aren’t seeking licensure.
What can you do with an online master’s in psychology?
While a bachelor’s in psychology can provide a good foundation in psychology theory and practice, many more career options open up with a psychology master’s degree. As more people and industries realize the significant role psychology plays in health, education, workplace efficiency and social services, psychology careers will continue to be in demand. Between 2018 and 2028, psychology careers across all specializations are expected to increase 14 percent, which is considerably faster than the national average.
Specific demand will depend on your specialty, research and work experience, location and prospective industry. For instance, industrial and organizational psychology is a growing field, but because of the high number of qualified candidates, competition for jobs will likely be tight. On the other side, an aging population lends good opportunities for psychologists who work with the elderly, and those professionals are expected to be in high demand.
Because job prospects for psychologists are generally good, there are many different career and educational paths students can research and explore.
What can you earn with a psychology master’s?
The earning potential for those with master’s degrees in psychology is wide-ranging and depends on specialty, location and experience. In general, earnings for psychology and related careers are good, and high wages can be had in unexpected places. Clinical, counseling and school psychologists, for instance, can find the highest paying positions at child day cares centers.
The following table can give an idea of the variance in earnings for different areas of psychology.
|Career||Median National Annual Salary (2019)||10th Percentile||90th Percentile|
|Industrial / Organizational Psychologists||$92,880||$51,080||$197,700|
*Salary information from BLS entry: “Psychologists, All Other”
Continuing Education & Related Degrees
Psychology programs attract people with a wide range of academic and professional interests, but it might not be the best fit for everyone. Whether you’re looking to further your career with more in-depth study, pivot into a related field or explore psychology-adjacent academic programs, there are plenty of degrees to consider. The options below may be better suited to your goals and interests.
Continuing Education for Master’s Graduates
Students and professionals looking to advance their education to pursue psychology research and education careers or further their expertise for clinical applications may consider enrolling in a psychology PhD program. This terminal, research-oriented degree lends opportunities to gain in-depth knowledge on specific topics in psychology, such as cognitive psychology or counseling psychology.
A PsyD can be an excellent option for psychology professionals who want to advance their knowledge and skills for professional practice. Like the PhD, the PsyD is a terminal doctoral degree, but rather than a strong focus on research and theory, the PsyD tends to take a hands-on approach and focuses on practical applications.
Related Degrees to Check Out
Students who are interested in working with communities and vulnerable populations may consider earning a master’s degree in social work. These programs tend to incorporate psychological theory and practice but may focus more heavily on advocacy, inciting systemic change, client management and connecting populations to community and government resources to make sure their needs are met and their issues are addressed.
A master’s in counseling can be a great degree for students who want to learn how to help clients work through their problems and make positive behavior changes. Counseling programs often contain elements of psychological study, but they may focus less on why a person feels or behaves in a certain way and more on the actionable solutions and improvements that can alleviate those feelings and behaviors.