Online psychology degrees are available through a variety of different programs, from stand-alone online programs to hybrid and fully online tracks within traditional degree formats.
The nature of your specific program will depend on what you want to study and the resources available at your school. Regardless of the format, however, you’ll need to be prepared for rigorous coursework and a challenging final project or thesis as part of your degree.
Looking for information about online psychology degrees? Keep reading to discover more about the pros, cons and potential challenges of studying this field from home, along with details about available programs and how to get started!
What You Will Learn in an Online Psychology Degree
When choosing the right online psychology degree, it’s important to understand what the program covers. No two online degree programs are the same, and the specific topics you’ll study will depend on the program you select.
Generally speaking, though, you can expect to examine topics across six main areas in most online psychology degree programs: Behavior, biological and cognitive processes, social and cultural processes, individual differences, research methods and statistics, and therapy.
You may also be required to pass a general education course as part of your degree, depending on the program you choose. When choosing a program, you should also consider your career goals and the average salary for a person with your degree.
For example, if you want to be a professor, you’ll likely need a Ph.D. If you’re interested in working as a therapist or in another clinical or medical role, though, a master’s program is likely enough.
Pros of Studying Psychology Online
There are some potential pros to studying psychology online, including:
– Accessibility: Online psychology degrees are available to students of all ages, regardless of when or where you entered the workforce. You also have more flexibility with your schedule and can complete your studies at a pace that works for you.
– Convenience: If you want to earn a degree while maintaining your current job or responsibilities at home, online courses are a great option. Furthermore, online courses tend to be less expensive than their on-campus counterparts.
– Reduced stigma: You may have chosen to pursue an online degree because you felt less stigmatized than if you had pursued a degree in person. This may be especially true if you have a disability or are looking to change careers.
– Technology: The field of psychology is continuing to evolve, and many fields in the psychology field now use technology regularly. If you pursue an online psychology degree, you’ll learn how to use the same types of technology that you’ll need to succeed in your career.
The Cons of Studying Psychology Online
All of the above benefits of pursuing an online psychology degree come with a few potential cons, including:
– Isolation: Because online psychology degrees are completed primarily through online coursework, you may feel more isolated than if you had studied in person.
Some programs attempt to combat this by encouraging online students to form study groups or offering on-campus events.
– Lack of feedback: Because most psychology assignments are completed through written assignments, you may not receive the feedback you need to progress in your studies. In some cases, this may mean that you need to hire a professional editor to proofread your work.
– Technology issues: Technology can break down at any time, and this can be particularly true for online students who are likely to rely heavily on computers for research and communication.
solation: As mentioned above, you may feel more isolated than if you had studied in person.
Potential Challenges for Online Students
As you can see above, there are many potential benefits to studying psychology online. Still, there are also some potential challenges to keep in mind if you’re considering an online degree. Some of the most common challenges faced by online psychology students include:
– Lack of support: Face-to-face communication is essential in the world of psychology, and this can be particularly challenging if you’re completing your degree online. Some programs attempt to offer support services to online students, but this varies.
– Technology issues: As discussed above, online students are more likely to experience technical issues. While some of these are unavoidable, they can still be frustrating and interrupt your studies.
– Mood disorders: Even with an online degree, you may work with people who have mood disorders. If so, you’ll have to learn ways to protect yourself from being affected by their moods.
– Emotions: You’ll also need to protect yourself from your own emotions, particularly negative emotions. You may even need to learn how to deal with a lack of emotions in some situations.
How to Find the Right Program for You
If you’re considering an online psychology degree, it’s important to find the right program. This can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to find the right program for you:
– Research programs: Start by researching programs to find the ones that meet your educational and career goals.
– Select at least three: After narrowing down your list, select at least three programs to apply to. While every program has different requirements and admissions standards, you can use these three applications as a way to compare programs.
– Consider cost: Online programs are often less expensive than on-campus programs. However, some online programs charge as much as an on-campus program.
– Make an appointment with an advisor: Once you’ve applied to a program, set up an appointment with an advisor to discuss your options and how you can best prepare for success.
Final Advice: Is an Online Degree in Psychology Right for You?
As you can see, there are several benefits and challenges associated with studying psychology online. Before making a decision, though, you should consider a few final questions:
Are you motivated to succeed? If you’re motivated, an online degree is a great way to learn and make progress towards a new career!
Are you self-disciplined? Online study can be challenging, but with the right support and self-discipline, it’s possible to succeed!
Are you organized? You’ll likely be responsible for managing your schedule, and it’s important to stay organized. With these considerations in mind, an online degree in psychology can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With hard work and the right approach, you can succeed!