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Psychology Career Options: Bachelor’s vs. Master’s vs. PhD

Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology:

Like many bachelor’s degree holders, you can begin your career in entry-level psychology positions. Entry-level positions don’t pay very highly, but promotions come with experience, which typically includes an increase in pay and responsibilities. Job duties may include coordinating care for patients, doing case work with adult or child clients, facilitating and complementing the work of more advanced counselors, or working as a social worker under the supervision of a psychologist or other psychology professional. Some places you can work in include:

  • A group home
  • Public health facility
  • Mental health hospital
  • Counseling center
  • A variety of other industries

Master’s Degree in Psychology:

Typically, a master’s degree is a step up from a bachelor’s degree, and therefore provides an avenue into more advanced psychology work. Through a master’s degree you should be able to choose a specialty area of study that will correspond with the work you want to engage in. Within master’s degree programs you need to complete an internship that will provide you with real-life understanding of different psychology fields and allow you to gain practical field experience. With a master’s degree you can work as a counselor in:

  • A counseling center
  • A hospital
  • A government agency
  • Forensic psychology labs

You can also work in non-psychology/healthcare fields, such as business, human relations, law, or advertising. Receiving a master’s degree within these fields prepares a professional to excel in an environment where skill in understanding people is essential.

Doctorate Degree in Psychology

PhDs offer the widest range of career opportunities in the psychology field. The research done for a PhD is advanced, thorough, and detailed, and completing a thesis will immerse you into the research world before you’ve even completed your degree. You’ll gain both practical experience and theoretical knowledge. With a PhD you’ll have the “psychologist” title rather than “counselor.” You’re also able to work in any type of counseling facility and even own your own private practice. When getting your PhD you must specialize in an area that interests you. The National Institute of Mental Health lists a variety of health topics that a doctorate professional could practice in. Sometimes PhD holders also have careers in teaching psychology, as a teacher and researcher, as a teacher and practicing counselor, or any combination of these.

Complete Guide to Psychology PhD Programs

University of the Rockies
Exec Coaching (PsyD)
Org Leadership (PsyD)
Business Psych (PsyD)
Eval/Research/Measurement (PsyD)
Non-Profit Mgmt (PsyD)
Educational Leadership (PsyD)
In keeping with the changes in education modalities, the University of the Rockies offers both on-campus and online graduate degree programs. They offer dynamic and flexible online coursework that allows you to earn a graduate degree without disrupting your life. Your University of the Rockies PhD program combines the centuries of tradition behind the Doctor of Philosophy degree with the most current, innovative, critical thinking in the field.
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Walden University
Psychology (PhD)
Social Psych (PsyD)
Counseling Psych (PsyD)
Clinical Psych (PsyD)
Forensic Psych (PsyD)
Educational Psych (PsyD)
Walden University is committed to providing you with the tools and resources you need to succeed as a student at their online university. The PhD in Psychology program follows a scholar-practitioner model that encourages you to integrate scholarly research with your practical expertise. This doctorate in psychology program is taught by respected researchers and practitioners, and it will prepare you to make a difference in a variety of professional settings.
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Grand Canyon University
Cognition & Instruction (PsyD)
I/O Psych (PsyD)
Grand Canyon University's classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying the close connection with your classmates and instructors via online discussions. The PhD programs allow students to complete their coursework online, with no residencies required. Grand Canyon University's PhD in General Psychology program offers two tracks: Cognitive/Instruction and Industrial/Organizational.
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Northcentral University
Psychology (PhD)
I/O Psych (PhD)
I/O Psych (DBA)
I/O Psych (PsyD)
Health Psych (PsyD)
Gender Diversity Studies (PsyD)
Northcentral University allows you to work full time while you take classes, study on your schedule without neglecting personal obligations, share in a global experience while you study from wherever you access the internet, and learn from first-rate professors. The PhD in General Psychology prepares students to apply principles of psychology and conduct research related to their area of interest in a variety of settings.
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