Do you see yourself becoming a successful psychologist someday? Which area of psychology would you like to focus on? A masters degree in psychology will start you on this exciting journey so choosing the right program most suited for you is a good place to start.
Committing Yourself To Psychology
Psychology is a very complex field. It will take you into deep, dark places that have to be explored thoroughly to understand how the mind works, and ultimately, how a human being thinks, behaves and acts. Aside from intelligence passion will fuel your curiosity for unearthing the unknown as you undertake this kind of training.
There are several careers a psychologist can pursue and various opportunities to choose from. Your personality will help determine if academic (or experimental) or applied psychology is more tailored for you. Academic means focusing on research or teaching. The more common is applied psychology where you actually deal with people and use your knowledge and skills to help them get past obstacles they are facing.
So before even deciding on a masters degree in psychology, be very clear about one thing: you are committed to becoming a psychologist, whatever area or specialty that may be. Once that decision is made, then you proceed to finding where you can best shine.
Step 1: LEARN THE DIFFERENT AREAS OF PSYCHOLOGY
Will you thrive more in the area of teaching or research? Or will you do better sitting down with individuals needing your expertise and attention? There are several masters degree in psychology programs to choose from, each with a specific area you can concentrate on. The more you learn about each one, the easier you can decide.
Browse through the internet and search for masters programs in psychology. You’ll likely come across clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, health psychology, forensic psychology, industrial-organization psychology among others. Take time to study each field. You may get information overload during this process, but at least you will have a good idea what you are getting into. To have a better appreciation, relate it to the possible jobs where these studies can be applied. Discover what can you do with a masters in psychology once you graduate and begin putting your education to good use.
Step 2: VOLUNTEER TO GAIN EXPERIENCE
Even before you set out to enroll for a masters in psychology, it will be a tremendous advantage when you apply for admission to say you have experience in this field. This is assuming you have some background in psychology or even previous credits in undergraduate psychology courses.
Volunteer experience will likely be under experimental, and not applied, psychology. Still, it helps build your foundation, allows you to explore the field and its many possibilities if your pursue this career, and shows admission officials you are serious about this field of science.
Step 3: COMPLETE THE REQUIREMENTS
In general, psychology graduate schools will have more or less the same requirements for admission. And all will be stringent because it is a competitive field. An deep interest is no guarantee for acceptance into the program of your choice.
So even before you set out on picking the school to enroll in, at least prepare for the masters degree in psychology requirements that will be asked of you during application.
1. The higher the GPA, the better your chances. A GPA of 3 may be acceptable, but others require 3.5.
2. You need strong letters of recommendation. To do that, get to know the faculty beforehand. Volunteer your time. As members of the faculty get to know you, this will eventually help form an impression that will surely find its way into these recommendation letters. Helping out in research projects will go a long way to establish your interest and sincerity in pursuing psychology studies.
Step 4: FIND THE RIGHT SCHOOL AND PROGRAM
Chances are, your choice of masters degree in psychology program will already help narrow down where to get the education. You may also want to consider the option for a masters degree in psychology online programs, which works just as well as campus education. Online psychology degrees are no different even when you learn at your own convenience. In fact, you have the choice to accelerate your studies under this method of learning.
Remember that in large universities, the most common programs will be offered, but only a few educational institutions include all the masters degree programs. It must therefore be very clear in your mind what area you will focus on, if any, and find the best school that can give you the training you need. The number one criteria whether you’re looking at a masters degree in psychology in Texas or California is accreditation. This way you are assured of standard quality training, and should you want to apply for financial aid, the accredited programs give you a better chance.
Your education, experience and dedication to practicing your profession will not only determine your salary but will help cement your reputation in the future. Your sitting down to carefully consider which masters degree in psychology to pursue has a lot of bearing.
Below find more interesting articles about the different programs, schools, rankings and salaries.