When applying for an online degree program, there are many advantages. One might look at the type of online psychology degree certifications offered by that program. Though some students assume that all programs offer a variety of certificates, many online schools only offer one or two certificates and some schools offer only degrees. A certificate is a simple piece of paper that shows you completed more work and study into a specific field, and that certificate can help you when applying for certain jobs. You need to look at the pros and cons of certificate programs and decide if you would rather finish one of those programs or a degree program.
Marriage and Family Therapist
Some online psychology degree certifications enable you to work in certain fields. One of the certificates that you can earn online is a Marriage and Family Therapist certificate. A marriage and family counselor is someone who specializes in treating and helping those with specific problems. Counselors often provide marriage therapy for those suffering relationship problems and those going through a divorce or separation. They also handle issues that arise and affect a whole family, including infidelity or sexual abuse.
Online programs can also help you seek work as a professional counselors. During your graduate years, you’ll spend two years studying in an online classroom and working with a professor on a thesis project. You’ll spend an additional two years working in the field and showing that you can handle working with private clients. Unlike marriage and family therapists, professional counselors work with individual patients. They might work with those dealing with psychological conditions, those seeking treatment for drug or alcohol abuse or those who need help battling depression.
Clinical Social Worker
There are a few online schools that offer a combination psychology and social work degree. Social workers work for city and state organizations and deal with dozens of clients every week. They investigate claims of abuse and neglect, interview parents and children and decide what is in the best interest of the children. They’ll also do follow up calls to the home, which helps them see if the parents made any changes recommended. Social workers must have a graduate degree and a license, and some online programs provide workers with a social work certificate.
State and Specialty Certification
According to the American Psychological Association, a certificate is not mandatory to work in the psychology field. Many workers only finish a certificate program after working for years as a counselor or a therapist. The American Board of Professional Psychology and other organizations offer certificates in different fields and topics, but you’ll need to pass a test before receiving that certificate. Many states require that psychologists have a certificate before working as a school psychologist. Applicants apply for the certificate, take and pass a background and criminal check and then take a test. Online psychology degree certifications can show that you have the training necessary to take a state or specialty certification test.
Finishing a psychology degree is the best way to gain experience, but you also need to show that you have experience in a specific area. If you want to work in specific areas, online psychology degree certifications and specialty or state certificates can help you gain entry into that field.