How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Psychology
If you are a good listener and enjoy life coaching or giving people advice, you may just be a psychologist in the making. Psychologists study and analyze people; how they think, how they relate to others, how they deal with stress, and what causes them to act the way they do. It can be a very interesting and rewarding field of study, especially if you are already into all that stuff.
You may be wondering: How do psychologists get where they are? The first step to a blossoming career in psychology is to get an associate’s degree in it! This credential will put you on the right path to becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist. However, with this degree, you can also dabble in other fields like sales, advertising, sports, rehabilitation, management, education, or even law. It really depends on what you want to do as a career in the long run, but you do not have to decide right away while you are working toward your degree.
The great thing about the associate’s program is that the coursework is all introductory and designed to give students a glimpse of the different subjects within the field. From there, students get a better idea of whether or not they are really interested in it, and if so, they are able to narrow down to specific courses that they might want to expand on should they decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Generally speaking, the more educational credentials you have, the better your options at landing a job after graduation are. Regardless of what position you end up in or where you work after graduation, knowing the ins and outs of how the human mind really works and how we relate to each other is a very marketable skill.
Pursuing an associate’s degree in psychology online is a great choice for students who have busy schedules and need the flexibility for school. Maybe you are a busy parent, or you already work a part-time or even full-time job. If you are a motivated and independent learner, distance learning can work very well for you. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited so that the credits you earn can be easily transferred to a four-year college should you decide to continue your education. By virtually attending classes online, you will have access to all course materials and participate in class discussions just like you would normally in a traditional classroom setting. The main difference is that you would be doing all of this on your own time and interacting with your professors and peers via email or a designated classroom platform.
Common Associate’s in Psychology Curriculum
Thinking about getting an associate’s degree in psychology but not sure what to expect? You can expect to learn about the following topics:
- Behavioral Psychology
- Abnormal Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Cognitive Psychology
- Child Psychology
- Public Speaking
- English and Writing
Of course, there are many more classes to select from (and the selection will vary depending on the school you end up getting your degree from), but this is just a quick overview of what you will learn.
The associate’s degree usually takes two years of full-time study to complete. After getting an overview of each of the above topics at the associate level, you have the option of moving on to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college (an additional two years to complete). There, you can specialize in the field that interests you most, whether it be child psychology, forensic psychology, clinical psychology, relationship psychology, and much more. The options are endless!
In addition to psychology-related courses, students will also have general education requirements and electives to complete, which will vary from college to college. These classes are usually not directly psychology related. They are designed to give students the opportunity to explore other fields while getting a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will come in handy when it comes to understanding real-life situations and succeeding in whatever career you choose to be in. For example, students may have an introductory course in math, science, history, language, and fine arts, to name a few.
Associate’s in Psychology Careers
It is important to realize that there is not much you can do with just a psychology associate’s degree. Almost all students who get this degree will move on to get their bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology for better job prospects. But, this degree can definitely help you decide if this is something worth pursuing as a career for you. If you do not plan on furthering your studies, you may be able to get an entry-level sales or management job. Some other jobs possible at the associate level include:
- Psychiatric nursing assistant
- Youth counselor
- Case technician
- Home care aide
- Human service assistant
- Addiction rehabilitation assistant
However, if you do end up earning a higher degree after your associate’s, you can find yourself filling higher level positions including but not limited to the following:
- Social worker
- Teacher of psychology
- Media & advertising
- Human resources
Annual salaries to the positions mentioned above will vary depending on where you work and who you work for, but generally speaking, the more educational credentials you have, the better job opportunities you will have.
Learning how to study and interpret the ins and outs of how people think and their behaviors can go a long way in bringing you success in all sorts of lucrative, high-demand fields. With that said, an associate’s degree in psychology opens up many doors for further study and a wide array of career options to choose from later on. It can be really rewarding for the right person!