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What Can I Do with a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology?

Educational psychology explores topics such as the ways that humans learn. Read on to learn about positions you could qualify for upon earning a master's degree in this field, and explore their typical job duties.

Overview of the Educational Psychology Field

Professionals in the educational psychology field study how learning happens and work to find ways to facilitate the education process. The information that educational psychologists discover is not limited to application in schools; educational psychologists may sometimes dedicate themselves to creating instructional methods for adults in the workplace, for example. If this interests you, you could study the ways motivation and goals affect learning. You might also create methods that help teachers overcome learning obstacles or improve assessment systems, depending on your interests.

Educational Psychology Careers

While most psychology careers require a doctorate, a master's degree may be sufficient for many educational psychologist positions. The focus of a master's degree program in this subject area will help determine the types of jobs for which you will be eligible. If you enter a program that deals largely with education, you will probably be prepared to work for a school system. If you choose a program with a focus on psychology or theoretical applications, you might be better suited for a career in research. Keep in mind that to be a practicing psychologist in any setting, such as a school, you are generally required to hold a license to practice in your state.

Important Facts About Educational Psychology Jobs

Median Salary (2018) $76,990 (for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists)
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 15% (for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists)
Key Skills Active listening, reading, verbal and written communication, interpersonal skills
Similar Occupations Anthropologist, mental health counselor, social worker, special education teacher

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

School Psychologist

As a school psychologist, your goal is to make the learning process easier for students. This often entails finding solutions for barriers to students' learning, such as social or emotional problems, behavioral issues, as well as learning disorders. You might also work with parents, administrators, and teachers to develop education plans for disabled or gifted students. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some states require you to obtain an Education Specialist degree (Ed.S.) to become a school psychologist, while others will accept a master's degree in educational psychology.

Researcher

Researchers make up a substantial portion of educational psychology professionals. Beyond simply studying how schoolchildren learn, these researchers study the learning process as it occurs at all stages of life. They might develop new methods of instruction or create training programs for government agencies and corporations. You may qualify for such research positions by earning a master's degree in educational psychology, although in some cases you'll be required to hold a Ph.D. in the field.

Beyond a Master's Degree

If you'd like to enlarge your career prospects, you might consider earning a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology. Employers often look for job candidates with this degree because the educational psychology field is highly specialized. Possible jobs for Ph.D. holders include research positions for public and private organizations, administrative positions in the public school system, or teaching positions in universities and colleges.