How to Get a Degree in Cognitive Psychology

Overview

Cognitive psychology falls under the wide umbrella of psychology. It is a sub category of psychology that studies and analyzes all mental processes which include memory, problem solving, attention, perception and the thought process. Cognitive psychology is quite popular in the sense that it has integrated with many other branches of psychology such as educational psychology, abnormal psychology, social psychology and so on.

As a field of study, cognitive psychology is quite vast and has many applications in the real world. Cognitive psychologists largely spend their time in applied psychology bringing solutions, explanations and reasoning for real world psychological queries. If you wish to enter the field of cognitive psychology, you must begin by earning a degree.

Importance of Higher Education

In this competitive day and age, having a solid degree to back you is almost necessary for survival and growth. Educational qualifications and merit can open doors and provide great opportunities for advancements. If you are interested in making a career in cognitive psychology then the first step is for you to get adequately educated and academically trained.

With the training and academic exposure you receive, you will be building a solid foundation on which your future success rests. With the right academic qualifications, potential employers or head hunters will be in a position to gauge your market worth and value. Cognitive psychology programs are designed to give students a combination of academic and practical knowledge which will greatly aid in their academic development.

Degree Options and Requirements

The academic field of cognitive psychology offers degree options at the bachelor’s, masters and doctoral levels. All levels come packed with learning, theories, cases and opportunities for the student to expand. Each degree may help the student make progress in terms of gaining experience and climbing the ladder of success. Corporate growth comes from learning and experience.

To start a bachelor’s program in psychology, a student will need to have a high school diploma with some exposure to the field of science such as chemistry, biology or psychology. At the bachelor’s level, a student will learn the basics of psychology and it is at this point that students will be able to choose their psychology niche. Some courses that students may come across during the bachelor’s level are introduction to psychology, cognitive psychology, research methods, statistics, ethics, physiology, chemistry and so on.

To enter a master’s program in cognitive psychology, a student will need to have a bachelor’s degree. Some master’s programs also require that candidates have some market experience in terms of internships or assistant level jobs. In a master’s program in cognitive psychology, a student will be able to learn the advanced principles of psychology that are related to their field. Courses are this level may include neurology, behavioral patterns, pathology, psychopathology, communication skills, and so on.

To rise further in the ranks and to better yourself in terms of qualifications, you can opt for a doctorate in cognitive psychology. A doctorate usually brings advanced and complex concepts to students which allow them to fully focus on a particular area of specialization. To enter a doctorate program you will need to have a master’s in cognitive psychology along with adequate work experience which varies depending on the program.

Cognitive psychologists can opt to become board certified. For certification requirements and trends it is advised to consult with the resources at the Association of State and Provincial and Psychology Boards, the American Psychological Association, and the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Career Potential

It makes sense to pursue a particular degree and area of specialization that that has career potential – this is because you need to be rewarded both intrinsically and monetarily. As a matter of fact, it is these reward factors and motivators that keep a person interested in their career.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), the employment growth of psychologists will be around 22% during the period of 2010 to 2020. The average salary of a cognitive psychologist is $60,000 (simplyhired.com). For more salary related information you may visit the statistical archives at the American Psychological Association (apa.org/workforce/publications/09-salaries/).

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