You need to know two key things about pursuing a distance learning psychology degree: the psychology professions remain in high demand and earning graduate-level degrees in the field can boost your career potential and earnings. Simply said, the further you advance your credentials in psychology, the greater the range of professional options along with your opportunity to earn salaries commensurate with your abilities.
Online Degrees in Psychology and Counseling
For those just entering the psychology field, to those keen on changing careers, or for practicing counseling professionals seeking to upgrade their careers, distance learning psychology degree programs can build and extend your credentials. An online associate degree in counseling or psychology can prepare first-time students for upper division work in the field. A bachelor's degree may qualify you for work in addictions and substance abuse counseling work, assisting positions in counseling and crisis centers, or in preparation for attending graduate school.
But it's the master's degree and PhD in counseling or psychology that recruiters demand for entry into fields including:
- teaching, research, clinical, and counseling psychologists
- school psychologists
- mental health and marriage and family therapists
- vocational and rehabilitation counselors
Benefits of Distance Learning Psychology Degree Programs
When you attend colleges and schools offering distance learning psychology degrees, you can build or boost your career without compromising your home or employment commitments. There are no relocation or dormitory costs, and you access your course materials 24/7 at your convenience. More than 75% of colleges and universities offer online degree programs or hybrids that combine distance learning with campus-based laboratory work.
And ongoing education leading toward a college degree pays off. A report from the College Board reveals that median annual earnings of bachelor degree holders in 2008 were $21,900 higher than salaries of high school graduates without a degree. In addition, the study found that college grads had greater satisfaction with their jobs than those without a degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), unemployment rates and median weekly earnings--in every case--proved more beneficial based on your educational attainment. 2009 unemployment rates and weekly earnings were:
- High school diploma, 9.7 percent unemployment; weekly earnings: $626
- Associate degree, 6.8 percent unemployment, weekly earnings: $761
- Bachelor degree, 5.2 percent unemployment, weekly earnings: $1,025
- Master's degree, 3.9 percent unemployment, weekly earnings: $1,257
- Doctoral degree, 2.5 percent unemployment; weekly earnings: $1,532
Psychology and Counseling Jobs Outlook
The BLS provides job growth predictions for the 2008-2018 decade for the following selected psychology professions:
- Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, 21 percent
- Mental health counselors, 24 percent
- Marriage and family therapists, 14 percent
- Psychologists, 12 percent
If you plan on enrolling in a distance learning psychology degree program, these numbers should be heartening. Not only does an online counseling or psychology degree program fit comfortably into your existing family and employment life, it will prepare you to assume valuable roles in helping others. At the same time, you can benefit from more secure employment opportunities with a higher earnings potential.
Woodrow Aames has written articles and profiles for Yahoo, Microsoft Network, Microsoft Encarta, and other websites and print magazines around the world. He holds an MFA degree and has taught English abroad.
A College Degree Pays Off -- And Then Some: Report • http://www.huffingtonpost.com • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/21/college-degrees-pay-off-r_n_732823.html
Counselors • http://www.bls.gov • http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos067.htm
Psychologists • http://www.bls.gov • http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos056.htm
Education Pays • Dec 31, 1969 • http://www.bls.gov • http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm
Why Do Students Like Online Learning? • http://www.worldwidelearn.com • http://www.worldwidelearn.com/education-articles/benefits-of-online-learning.htm