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 as an educational psychologist will 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.
As an educational researchers you will be responsible for designing training programs and developing new instructional programs that will benefit infants, children, individuals, groups, elderly, 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.
Conducting research is a popular career option for professionals in the educational psychology field. Various public and private organizations as well as the military and other government agencies often employ researchers to help with organizational improvement.
Professionals in this role research how certain settings and instructional techniques impact learning. The results are then used to improve the instructional strategies of various educational and training programs in schools, within the government, and in the corporate world. This research is fundamental to the development of new educational initiatives and policies nationwide.
Some educational psychologists choose to become private practitioners. These professionals often contract with government agencies, corporations, court systems, and other public and private organizations as a Consultant.
Private practitioners use their skills to help organizations provide more effective trainings and workshops for their employees. They are also asked to evaluate existing programs or to develop new educational curriculums. Private Practitioners are also known to analyze educational data to determine what program changes should be initiated.
These professionals are often hired by school districts to evaluate teaching strategies, assessment measures, and program quality. The results often give school administrators valuable insight into various areas that are not working for specific groups of learners. The recommendations of Private Practitioners are often implemented by schools to improve the overall quality of their educational programs.