There are many different careers that you can pursue with an educational psychology degree. With this degree, you can become a counselor, psychologist, researcher and/or college professor. It usually takes at least four years to obtain a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology, but it can take longer if you decide to pursue a master’s degree or doctorate in the field.
Training may include coursework and internships and you may be required to seek certification and/or licensure before entering the workforce. Earning a degree in educational psychology is not only rewarding, but it also offers a wide variety of different career choices. If you are wondering what you can do with an educational psychology degree – you have come to the right place.
What Type of Degree Do Educational Psychologists Need?
Your educational psychology training program will consist of coursework in research, education, learning styles and processes, instructional formats, human development, psychological theories, learning disabilities, developmental delays, sociology, family dynamics and issues that can affect the learning process, the importance of the learning environment, teaching methods and styles, etc. The program will provide you with the knowledge and tools that you need to become a practitioner, educator and/or researcher.
The main goal of a master’s degree program is to help you determine which jobs you will be eligible for once you graduate with a degree in educational psychology. If you enroll in a program that focuses primarily on education, then you will more than likely seek employment in an academic setting (school, colleges and/or universities). On-the-other-hand, if you enroll in a program that focuses primarily on psychology, you will more than likely find employment in a social services agency or research center. Research your state’s licensure and certification requirements, if you want to work with children and/or provide counseling services.
It is important to note that some states may not officially classify you as an educational psychologist until you have earned a master’s degree, doctorate, certification and/or licensure in the field. Moreover, it is not uncommon for employers to prefer Ph.D. level educational psychologists. With a doctorate in educational psychology you can specialize in certain areas such as: pediatric/child counseling, school counseling, school psychology, learning styles, academic administration, educational research, etc.
What Do Educational Psychologists Do?
Your primary function will consist of various techniques, methods and strategies on educational, historical, psychological and theoretical principles. Your goal will be to provide the most effective learning environment for students (pre-school, elementary, middle school, high school and college). Although you may work in other settings, you will more than likely work in a school environment. Your workday will consist of providing educational and psychological support to both the teachers and students as they navigate through the learning process.
What are the Careers in Educational Psychology?
You can use your doctorate (Ph.D.) in educational psychology to practice as an educational psychologist. An educational psychologist mainly works with families, children, groups, agencies and/or organizations, unlike a school psychologist who primarily works with just children in an academic setting. Your primary tasks consist of developing and implementing educational programs and helping teachers create classroom curriculum that enhances the learning process.
You may also be required to train teachers and students how to use educational technology within the classroom. Your main function will be to help teachers incorporate different learning styles and formats into their classroom learning environment. This may include improving teaching and communication skills and enhancing the learning process for children with learning disabilities, developmental delays and/or behavioral problems.
You can also use your educational psychology degree in the area of educational research. An educational researcher examines learning processes throughout all stages of life. You are responsible for designing training programs and developing new instructional programs that will benefit infants, children, individuals, groups, elderly, students, social service agencies, government agencies, private corporations, families, etc. A master’s degree in educational psychology is normally required to be an educational researcher, but some employers may require a doctorate for employment.
School Psychologist (Elementary, Middle and High School)
Another career field you can enter with a doctorate in educational psychology is school psychology. The primary goal of a school psychologist is to improve the learning process for all students, regarding of development and skill level. You will also be responsible for helping students process conflicting, confusing and/or disturbing feelings so that they do not affect their learning experience.
You will provide counseling services to children with behavioral, social, emotional, mental problems and those with developmental delays and learning disabilities. You will also be part of a team that consists of parents, teachers and school administrators. Together you will develop educational programs for gifted students and those with physical, emotional and social delays. It is important to note that most states require a educational doctorate (Ed.S.) to practice as a school psychologist. In rare cases, a master’s degree is accepted in place of a doctorate.
You can use your bachelor degree and/or master’s degree to become a college counselor. A college counselor provides counseling services to a wide variety of students in an academic setting (college campus). The students may consist of non-traditional students, traditional students, students of different cultures, races, religions, sexual orientations and ethnic groups, married students and those with children, etc. You may offer group, family and/or individual counseling sessions.
Your main goal will be to help college students, and possibly their families, cope with life’s stressors (both at school and at home). Some of your tasks will include teaching students how to cope with the college environment (being away from home for the first time, interacting with different types of people and handing an increase in coursework and academic tasks), emotional distress, mental illnesses, social issues and/or health problems. You may also be required to supervise graduate students in psychological programs.
Many people use their educational psychology doctoral degree to teach college courses. College professors work in a college setting as instructors and/or researchers. Your primary function will be to teach psychological courses to undergraduate and graduate college students. In some cases, part of your time will be spent teaching students and part of it will be spent developing and supervising research studies in a college research laboratory.
When you are not teaching or conducting research, you may consult with other psychologists or provide counseling services to children, individuals, groups and/or families. In some cases, you may develop educational programs that improve the learning experience in the classroom.