The field of psychology is highly regulated by many entities, a thought many of us consider comforting when we find ourselves seeking advice from the professionals of the field. With the strict regulations come many different levels of employment, all dependent upon the level of education the practitioner has achieved.
Psychology degrees come at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Each level of education determines what type of work a person is qualified to do.
At the bachelor's level, psychology degrees don't provide the full spectrum of training a graduate needs to land a job as a practicing psychologist. Instead, work as a psychologist's assistant is common at this level of education.
Instead of going into the field of psychology itself, many people with psychology degrees find the education helps bring success when the graduate is employed in a business management position or in sales or service-oriented occupations.
The only exception to this rule is employment with the federal government, where people who don't have psychology degrees can get jobs as working psychologists when they have a bachelor's degree that includes 24 semester hours or more of psychology classes and one course on statistics.
The next step up the ladder for psychology degrees is the master's degree, which still means working as an assistant to a psychologist in the fields of healthcare and education. This level of education is often all that is required to get a job as a staff psychologist in an industrial or corporate environment, however.
Getting accepted to a graduate program in psychology can be rather tricky though since admission is a very competitive endeavor. Many programs require all applicants to have bachelor's level psychology degrees to even apply.
Once the master's level of education is completed though, psychology degrees at the doctoral level allow the graduate to qualify as a practicing psychologist in almost every setting. Some specialization will be required if the goal is to work in the field of education and business courses along the way will probably become important to psychologists in private practice.
Psychology degrees take a lot of time and hard work but the demand for practitioners in this occupation is growing dramatically and future employment opportunities are expected to be much better than those in most other occupations for many years to come.