5 Specialty Areas With a Master’s in Psychology
- Addiction Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology
- Counseling Psychology
- Educational Psychology
Although psychologists typically need a doctoral degree in psychology, there are still many career possibilities available with a Master’s in Psychology. While the Master’s in Psychology may take from two to four years to complete, it gives students plenty of time to not only learn about psychology but also to focus on a specific area of psychology that may interest them. Upon earning the Master’s in Psychology, an individual may join the field of psychology as an assistant or intern. The graduate may also use this time to obtain as much practical experience as possible in his or her area of specialization. Here are five popular areas of specialty available with a Master’s in Psychology.
1. Addiction Psychology
Addiction psychology is exactly as its name implies. It’s a widely used area of psychology that’s used to help people with substance abuse problems. Addiction psychologists use psychological theories and research to counsel, diagnose and treat people suffering from addictions to drugs and alcohol. They also work with family members of those suffering from addiction and teach them how to best help the patient at home and work. Addiction psychologists work with individuals, couples, groups and even as part of outreach programs. Students also learn about the connection between addiction and mental health.
2. Forensic Psychology
Forensic psychologists play an important role in the legal system by helping law enforcement and the court system. They help provide evidence in court, assess mental stability of suspects and help profile criminals. Forensic psychologists also provide psychological assessment and advice as expert witnesses while also explaining the psychological concepts to law enforcement personnel and the court system. Forensic psychologists assess risk and mental competency. Some forensic psychologists go on to become family counselors or use what they learned to assist in family counseling. Surprising as it may be, the popularity of forensic television programs in recent years has put a huge demand for forensic psychology educational programs.
3. Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Industrial and organizational psychology is the scientific study of human behavior in the workplace and related environments. It may be for this reason that this area of psychology is often referred to as office psychology. Industrial and organizational psychologists look at the why and how of employees, including what makes them happy, what will make them a happy worker, and what will motivate them. They study and assess workplace productivity and employee behavior. This area of psychology is one of the well-paid areas with many earning 6-figure salaries.
4. Counseling Psychology
Counseling psychology, a branch of psychology that focuses on people and their daily lives, is an ideal career choice for an individual with good communication skills and a desire to help others. Counseling psychology focuses on assisting with self-esteem issues, career advice, resolving stress and family counseling. The counselor may work with and provide advice to an individual or an entire group of people in an attempt to help them solve day-to-day problems. Other issues that are touched in counseling psychology include stress management, mental disorders, health improvement, education, and dealing with negative events.
5. Educational Psychology
Educational psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on how people learn and retain knowledge, particularly in a classroom or educational setting. Students focus on several psychology concepts such as intelligence, motivation, cognition, and personality as well as the role they play in learning. Students don’t learn just about the physical aspect of actual learning but also about the social, emotional and cognitive processes of learning. Educational psychology offers several areas of concentration, including classroom environment, teaching methods, and social, learning and behavioral problems that may affect learning. Much of what the student learns in this program is applied to the classroom.
Related Resource: 25 Best Affordable Master’s in Psychology Online Degrees
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that psychologists, in general, are very much in demand and should see an employment growth of 14 percent between 2016 and 2026. Many students state that the Master’s in Psychology is a much flexible program than that doctorate in psychology according to Psychology.org. This could be one of the major reasons why the Master’s in Psychology is such a popular program with aspiring psychology professionals.