Online Psychology Bachelor's Degree

Overview

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Roughly 97,000 college students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology during the 2009-2010 school year, making it one of the most popular majors for undergraduates, according to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics.

The field attracts more students each year, despite offering the lowest earning potential of any group of majors - counseling psychology majors earn a median salary of $29,000, for example - according to the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University. One reason behind the degree’s popularity is its versatility. An online bachelor’s degree in psychology helps students hone their critical thinking, communication and reasoning skills - valuable tools in nearly every career track.

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Course Work

Potential specializations
Addiction
Applied psychology
Child and adolescent development
Criminal justice
Workplace psychology
Sports psychology

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology online can expect to take courses focused on conducting and evaluating research, such as elementary statistics and research methodology. Psychology students also take a variety of classes designed to teach them how to interpret and analyze behavior patterns. Crisis intervention, abnormal psychology, marriage and family, and intercultural psychology are just a few courses that may fit that bill.

The study of psychology can be quite nuanced, and students hoping to get specialized training can work toward certificates or concentration areas such sports psychology, addiction studies, criminal justice, workplace psychology and child and adolescent studies.

Job Outlook

Median salaries*
Case manager $32,500
Substance abuse counselor $38,000
Social worker $42,500
Probation officer $47,200
Human resources generalist $48,700
Human resources manager $65,600

*per BLS and PayScale.com

Earning an online bachelor’s degree in psychology does not mean graduates can work as psychologists, as that requires a master’s or doctoral degree, as well as professional licensure. But an undergraduate degree in psychology can translate into jobs in a variety of other related fields, including social work, human resources, teaching, and probation and corrections.

The median salary for full-time workers with a bachelor’s in psychology is $42,000, according to Georgetown’s CEW. Students can boost their earning potential by earning a master’s degree or going into a more lucrative sector, such as business or sales.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology working as a human resources manager earn a median salary of roughly $65,600, according to PayScale, an online salary database, and the median salary for a psychologist with a master’s is around $68,600, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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