Why Should I Obtain a Master’s Degree in Psychology?

As anyone who has ever achieved any academic credential can testify, to pursue a master’s degree in psychology is a considerable commitment of time, energy and money. Fortunately, as many will attest, a master’s degree in psychology can be a big step up in the attainment of many goals in your career and personal life. For example, earning a master’s degree in psychology could lead to considerable career advancement in terms of status, money, as well as in the preparation for future graduate study. It is also important to realize that to earn a master’s degree in psychology is a tremendous boost to self-esteem. Regardless of your motivation, you should start by understanding what your goals are and how each academic program will help you to achieve your goals.

Important Considerations

Your ultimate goal or goals should be the primary determiner of many of the decisions you make in the pursuit of your education. For example, whether you pursue such a degree, what institution you decide to earn it from (although the online option is minimizing the impact of this issue), and job demand in the field.

Graduates with master’s degrees in psychology work in such fields as government, mental health services, academia, business, and many others. Prior to entering into any academic program you should ensure that the training you receive provides the appropriate training and any potential licensure or certification that you may need to work in your chosen field.

Reasons Not to Earn a Master’s Degree in Psychology

For as many good reasons as there are to earn a master’s degree in psychology, it is important to understand that there are some excellent reasons not to earn such a degree as well. It is important for you to be clear as to your reasons for earning such a degree. Are you earning your master’s degree in psychology because it is your goal and not someone else’s for you? Are you truly interested in the subject? Once you enter the field, are you comfortable working with people who have different types of mental health or relationship problems? Do you thrive in the type of environment you are thinking of entering? These and many more are good reasons to enter–or stay away from–a given field.

The Most Common Master’s Degrees in Psychology

Before beginning a master’s degree program, you should select a field of psychology in which you would most like to practice. The most common programs are:

Master’s in Clinical Psychology

This is a terminal degree, which means that in most states those with this credential are allowed to provide psychotherapy and psychological assessments under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist.Master’s in Experimental Psychology

Those with this degree normally enter research-based settings such as colleges and universities. The is either a terminal degree or can serve as a basis for higher level graduate work.Master’s in Applied Psychology

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, those with a master’s degree in applied psychology enjoy the benefit of the strongest job market potential as any other field. These prospects improve even more when the degree emphasizes such an area as industrial or organizational psychology or forensic psychology.Regardless of your career goals and interests, the prospects for those with a master’s degree in psychology have never been brighter.