Education and Requirements
One definition of child psychology is the branch of developmental psychology involved with the mental processes and behaviors of children during various stages of development and learning.
If you are looking to obtain a masters degree in child psychology, you would be interested in learning about and working with the intellectual, cognitive, social, neural and moral development during the different growth stages of children.
Necessary Attributes for Child Psychology
Those interested in the field of child psychology must posses many important attributes, above and beyond the formal education required to enter this field. First and foremost being patient and having the ability to relate to children and teenagers who are struggling with many emotional and psychological issues. Behavioral problems are common with children who are being seen or treated by a child psychologist, and therefore emotional stability within the psychologist is imperative when working with these children.
Although there are jobs in the field of child psychology where a bachelor’s degree is sufficient, most jobs require a masters degree in child psychology or higher. A doctoral degree, which requires up to seven years of graduate study is often required for clinical or counseling psychologists in many states.
How to Get Your Master’s Degree
Obtaining a masters degree in child psychology can be done in either a traditional university setting or in an online environment. Both have the same undergraduate requirements.
In most states there are rigid certification and licensing requirements which must be met before being able to operate or work in a private practice. There is usually an exam which must be passed in order to open or work in a practice in each state.
The cost of obtaining a masters degree in child psychology varies depending on the school you choose to attend. While many programs are offered both full or part-time, it is important to determine ahead of time how long you want to be in school, getting a masters degree.
Child psychology is a complex field. There are many areas in which you can use a doctoral degree in child psychology. A masters degree, however, is going to allow only limited work in this field. If you are considering working with children as a child psychologist, you should plan on being in school for many years, so that you are more able to find the kind of work you want to do when you have completed your education. Career opportunities in this field are expected to see increased growth in the next nine to ten years as the demands for services from hospitals, schools, and social services offices increase. However, many of these job opportunities will be faced with stiff competition and most will be open only to those with doctoral degrees.
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