The field of psychology is extremely broad with a number of sub categories of which educational psychology is a part of. Educational psychology itself is quite an expansive field which revolves around understanding and analyzing how human beings learn and respond in educational settings. One can say that the end purpose of educational psychology is to make academic learning, understanding and comprehension effective and successful.
A number of variables must be looked at as an educational psychologist. These include factors such as teaching setup, teaching methodology, student’s environment, learning equipment, communication barriers, and so on. Educational psychology also deals with creating and enhancing learning initiatives for children with disabilities. If you are interested in adding value to the educational system so that students and teachers benefit from their efforts, then you should definitely become an educational psychologist.
Why Formal Education is Necessary?
We all want careers with security, growth, financial reward and intrinsic satisfaction. But in order to get that, we need to have the right academic qualifications and accomplishments. Education opens doors, provides opportunities and sets you apart from the competition. It broadens your mind, expands your thinking and adds to your intellect. What is most important is that education gives you the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to enter any field of your choosing.
Head hunters, potential employers and recruiters may usually give preference to those candidates who have adequate educational qualifications because they have the necessary qualifications and credentials for the job. Academic training and certification can potentially attest to one’s ability to perform well on the job. Perhaps the surest way to land a secure job or climb the ladder of success is through earning adequate academic qualifications.
What are the Degree Options and Requirements?
The best way to start your career in educational psychology is by getting a degree. There are a number of degree options available for interested students which include associates degrees, bachelors, diplomas, masters and doctorates. Each carries its weight in the academic and career track which can be used to your advantage.
The most common route students take is beginning with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. At this point you must already have successfully completed your high school with a major in the sciences, preferably. A bachelor’s degree offers students a thorough understanding of general psychology and other academic fields which help form a foundation for you. It is necessary for students to undergo a degree in general psychology as it creates a comprehensive foundation for students which will help them in later studies. Some courses that students come across in this degree program may include introduction to psychology, physiology, communication skills, sociology, statistics, and so on.
During master’s programs for psychology, students will get the chance to focus completely on educational psychology. Courses and training that are more focused on educational psychology are taught at this level which may include cognition, research methodology, human learning and so on. To get into a master’s program you will need to have an undergraduate degree in psychology from a reputable and recognized educational institute. Students may be required to possess practical experience in the form of internships or supervised work.
A doctorate level qualification offers students the opportunity to discover and focus on a niche within educational psychology. This depends on the direction they want to take. At this level you will be focusing on research and may be required to complete a dissertation or thesis paper.
To become an educational psychologist you may need to be board certification and may need a license before you can practice. Each state and employer may have its own requirements. For certification needs you should consult with the American Board of Professional Psychology and the National Association of School Psychologists.
What is the Career Potential?
As of May 2020, the average annual salary for an educational psychologist is $72,882 (payscale.com). The job outlook for school psychologists looks favorable in the coming years as educational institutes are quite interested in improving the learning experience for students. An enhanced and effective learning environment is favorable for the institute as well as the student body.