Master of Science in Psychology: A Professional in Transition Between a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Psychology

By James Collister on February 8th, 2009

Man with PsychologistJason Berris, a mental health counselor with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, chose to jump head-first into the job market following graduation. He describes his work at Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center as anything but dull. “Patients come in with multiple diagnoses, including alcoholism, drug addiction, and schizophrenia,” says Jason, “It makes abnormal psychology class come to life.”

Although he is now gaining invaluable experience in the field of mental health, Jason confesses that the job search was no simple task. Initially he planned on landing a position in the human resources field, but after months of applying to advertisements and getting few responses, he realized the competition he would have to face. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the human resources profession will grow faster than average, but the plethora of experienced professionals and qualified college graduates will cause competition for available positions to be at a premium.

Thanks to the tuition reimbursement program at his current position, Jason plans to begin pursuing a graduate degree in psychology next fall. He has aspirations of becoming a professor, which will eventually require him to earn a PhD in Psychology as well. He hopes that his current role as a mental health counselor will boost the quality of his applications for psychology graduate schools. “I can’t imagine working on a graduate degree in psychology with no real-world experience,” says Jason, “Now I know what it’s like to be a counselor and I see first hand the effects of conditions like schizophrenia.”

When asked what his advice is for other graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Jason emphatically responds, “Go back to school.” Of course, he also acknowledges his recommendation applies only to those who have a passion for psychology and are not afraid to see the ugly side of people. A long-term career as a psychologist nearly always requires an advanced degree. However, for those who chose to major in psychology for the professional skills it provides and not with the intention of becoming a psychologist, applying to psychology graduate schools would be a waste of time.

Graduation from any number of psychology graduate schools can qualify students to work in a variety of specialties, including school psychology, educational psychology, sport psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and general psychology. Many students are choosing to attend psychology graduate schools such as Capella University, which has a number of programs that can be completed online. Prospective students are encouraged to visit for a complete list of available programs and additional resources.

Category: Medical and Nursing

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