The field of psychology is very diverse, thus allowing you to choose from a variety of online psychology majors. In fact, online psychology majors can range from general psychology, clinical psychology and counseling psychology to marriage and family therapy, industrial/organization psychology and developmental psychology. If you are interested in studying online psychology, it is important you know which field (area) you want to major in. If you are thinking about studying undergraduate or graduate online psychology, but do not know which field to major in – you have come to the right place. This article will provide you with insight concerning the different types of online psychology majors.
The different types of online psychology majors:
• General Psychology
An online general psychology major focuses on human thoughts, emotions and behaviors. When you major in online general psychology, you can seek employment in a variety of industries, depending on your education level (i.e. bachelor’s and/or master’s degree and/or a doctorate). As a general psychologist, you may treat a variety of issues and individuals. In other words, you will not focus on one particular group of issues or people (i.e. children, teens, adults, elderly, Christian, etc.). To become a general psychologist, you will need an online doctorate (i.e. Psy.D. or Ph.D.) in the field.
• Clinical Psychology
An online clinical psychology major focuses on diagnosing, treating, managing and preventing psychological disorders and mental illnesses (i.e. schizophrenia, PTSD, clinical depression, manic depression/bipolar disorder, anxiety, phobias, etc.). This is one of the most popular fields of psychology. To become a clinical psychologist, you will need to acquire an online doctorate (i.e. Psy.D. or Ph.D.) in this field.
• Counseling Psychology
An online counseling psychology major focuses on helping individuals work through a variety of issues such as: adjustment issues (i.e. divorce, remarriage, blended family, a new sibling, moving to a new location and/or starting a new school), emotional distress, stress, psychological disorders/mental illnesses, substance abuse, domestic violence, developing life skills, making healthy choices, family dysfunction, relationship dysfunction, etc. If you major in this field of psychology, your goal will be to become a counselor. To become a counselor you will need an online graduate degree (M.A. or M.M.F.T.) and/or a doctorate (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in this field.
• Marriage & Family Therapy
An online marriage and family therapy major focuses on helping the entire family work on issues within the family structure. In other words, a marriage and family therapist examines the family as a whole instead of looking at an individual as the catalyst of the problems within the family. As a marriage and family therapist, your primary duty will be to help individuals, couples, families and/or groups work through issues. You will also be responsible for helping families manage psychological disorders and mental illnesses. To become a marriage and family therapist, you will need to obtain an online graduate degree (i.e. M.M.F.T.) in the field.
• Industrial/Organizational Psychology
An online industrial/organizational psychology major focuses on helping organizations (i.e. companies and businesses) increase employee quality and productivity within the workplace. This field of psychology also takes an interest in the emotional and physical health and well-being of the employees, in an effort to improve employee morale and encourage workers to perform their job functions to the best of their abilities. As an industrial/organizational psychologist, you will use your psychological expertise to help companies increase revenue and employee retention rates. To become an industrial/organizational psychologist, you will need to earn an online doctorate (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in the field.
• Developmental Psychology
An online developmental psychology major focuses on the different developmental stages of life. It also studies biological and environmental factors that influence human thoughts and behaviors. These factors play a significant role in who you are and who you will become in the future. As a developmental psychologist, you will examine lifespan development (i.e. infancy to elderly). To become a developmental psychologist, you will need to earn an online doctorate (i.e. Psy.D. or Ph.D.) in this field.
American Psychological Association. (2014). Careers in psychology. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/careers/resources/guides/careers.aspx
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2014). Mental health counselors and marriage and family Therapists. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and- marriage-and-family-therapists.htm#tab-1
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013). Psychologists. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Life-Physical-and-Social- Science/Psychologists.htm