What are the Requirements to Become an Educational Psychologist?
To become an educational psychologist you will need a earn doctoral degree. To begin the journey towards any career in professional psychology is to complete a bachelor’s degree. Any degree that allows for entry into a choice grad school may work, but a B.A. in psychology with some coursework in education is ideal.
During a doctoral program you might study following subjects and topics:
- Research Methods in Educational Psychology
- Social Development in Education
- Language and Communicative Development
- School Psychology
- Community Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
- Language and Literacy
- Research Methods
- Human Development
- Research Projects in Educational Psychology
Talk to professors or professionals: Ask professors which schools are producing the best graduates. Professors can also offer advice based on personal experience about their alma-mater, especially if the school has an educational psychology doctoral program. Professionals who are already in the workplace can also be great assets – ask them which schools have the best reputation amongst the educational psychology community.
Talk to admissions counselors: After you have interviewed professors and professionals, you should have an idea of which graduate schools you might apply to. Don’t be afraid to call admissions personnel or to visit. They can give you information that you might not find on their website, perhaps a few ways to make your application stand out amongst so many others.
What Does Educational Psychology Focus On?
Educational psychology focuses on the social, emotional, and cognitive factors that influence learning. This field enhances education by exploring the cultural dynamics within the home, school, and community that impacts student performance.
In its early stages, professionals in this field focused primarily on addressing the educational challenges of young children in the school setting. However as more adults return to school, a significant amount of attention is now being given to adult learners.
Educational psychologists work with children and teenagers who are dealing with learning or emotional problems, youth who are experiencing social issues, and individuals who have more complex disabilities and disorders. Helping teachers and administrators create methods to overcome learning obstacles is a goal for many professionals in this field. Educational pychologists also help with developing instructional methods for adult learners both in the classroom setting and in the workplace.
The demand for professionals in the field of educational and school psychology is expected to increase. As educators continue to focus on meeting the educational needs of children who have developmental disorders, behavioral challenges, or have been impacted by bullying and other social issues, the need for educational psychologists will continue to grow.
Career Path and Options
School psychologists are often employed by public school districts as well as some private schools and learning centers. In this role, professionals focus on making the educational process easier for students.
School psychologists work directly with students to help them overcome any challenges related to disabilities, emotional issues, social adjustment, or other behavioral problems that impede learning. They use observations, assessments, tests, and interviews to evaluate the effectiveness of the educational process for students.
Based upon the results, school psychologists then utilize available resources or develop new tools and strategies to help students improve performance. These tools might include enhanced worksheets, individualized lesson plans, creative videos, and audio instructional tools.
School psychologists also help students indirectly by working with teachers, parents, and school administrators. Developing individualized educational programs for students who are struggling to learn are often a priority.
In many school districts, they also help administrators with the development of programs for Gifted learners. The goal is to support teachers and parents in implementing individualized instructional strategies for students.
Some individuals specialize in working with specific groups of students such as children with Learning Disabilities, Gifted learners, or Adult learners.
University or College Faculty
You will find many educational psychologists employed as Teachers and Faculty at various educational institutions. From small colleges to larger universities, Faculty are found teaching courses, conducting research, developing research methods, and working with colleagues on various projects.
You might also find some faculty members with an educational psychology background running study groups to help students who are struggling academically. Many faculty members also use their skills to develop curriculum and improve instructional and enrichment programs.
Why Formal Education is Necessary?
We all want careers with security, growth, financial reward and intrinsic satisfaction. But in order to get that, we need to have the right academic qualifications and accomplishments. Education opens doors, provides opportunities and sets you apart from the competition.
It broadens your mind, expands your thinking and adds to your intellect. What is most important is that education gives you the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to enter any field of your choosing.
Head hunters, potential employers and recruiters may usually give preference to those candidates who have adequate educational qualifications because they have the necessary qualifications and credentials for the job.
Academic training and certification can potentially attest to one’s ability to perform well on the job. Perhaps the surest way to land a secure job or climb the ladder of success is through earning adequate academic qualifications.
What is the Career Potential?
As of May 2020, the average annual salary for an educational psychologist is $72,882 (payscale.com). The job outlook for school psychologists looks favorable in the coming years as educational institutes are quite interested in improving the learning experience for students.
An enhanced and effective learning environment is favorable for the institute as well as the student body.