I have been offered a very low tuition from an online school for an Associate of Science Degree in Psychology. I do intend to further my education in this field even if I do not pursue this degree. My question is this: How marketable would I be in the Psychology field with an associate's degree? Thank you.
Educational requirements in the psychology field are relatively high--in fact, licensing requirements for psychologists include a doctoral degree. That said, there are a number of options for associate's degree holders:
- Apply for a Federal Government Job. Federal agencies are among the few employers to hire candidates without an advanced degree. To qualify for an entry-level psychology position, you must have a minimum 24 semester hours in psychology and one course in statistics. Competition is intense for these positions, however, due to the relatively low entry requirements.
- Transfer to a bachelor's program. Your online associate's degree serves as a stepping stone to a bachelor's degree. You will have essentially completed the first two years of a four-year bachelor's degree. Add another two years, and a range of new career opportunities present themselves. With a B.S. in Psychology, you'll be qualified to assist psychologists in community mental health centers, vocational rehabilitation offices, and correctional programs. Or, you can work as a research assistant for a psychologist.
- Find work in a related field. If you are willing to look beyond counseling careers, you'll find plenty of opportunity across the private sector. A psychology degree provides a strong foundation for a range of business careers: human resources, corporate training, marketing, customer service, and management. If you can understand group dynamics and personal psychology, you'll be well-equipped to conduct focus groups for market research; manage a team of employees; deal effectively with customer concerns; and perform many other critical human relations roles.
An associate's degree may not track directly into a particular career, but it will open up a range of new opportunities. If you can put in the two extra years for a bachelor's degree, however, I would suggest doing so. That window of career opportunities will expand even more, and you're likely to find work more closely related to psychology.