A professional working toward a masters in educational psychology is trained to work with children as well as adult learners. A Masters in Educational Psychology provides psychologists with the ability to observe and evaluate social, learning, emotional, and behavioral problems of children and adolescents under the age of 19.
Educational Psychology Training
A Masters (M.Ed) program usually runs over 2 years and consists of three facets. The first is masters in educational psychology course work which is one year, during which students participate in 4 modules. These are Psychological Assessment and Clinical Procedures, Counseling Practice and Theory, Adjustment/Maladjustment, and Educational Psychology in the Community. Hands-on training is given as well as theoretical instruction.
The second facet is research which involves submitting an in-depth dissertation. The third facet is an internship for one year which can be done at various higher-learning institutions. Coursework for the masters in educational psychology program covers a variety of subjects. These include human learning, cognition and development, research methodology, motivation in a sociocultural context, and evaluating the needs of public and private schools.
Education Psychology Careers
Most psychologists in this field are employed by education authorities. Other areas of employment are social service departments, consultancies, pediatric assessment units, voluntary organizations, universities, independent schools, and child psychiatric units. Psychologists must have a comprehensive knowledge about child development and a deep understanding about individual education programming. They need excellent interactive skills and the ability to think critically.
Educational psychologists have many responsibilities. They have to assess and analyze children’s behavior and make accurate evaluations. The work involves counseling, researching, and using oral and written communication skills.
After successfully completing a masters in educational psychology degree, graduates in the US have to pass a state examination before being granted a license. They can then start practicing as education psychologists. They scrutinize teaching methodologies and tools that facilitate learning.
Research on classroom dynamics and teaching styles is conducted. Psychologists in this field also study sub-groups in schools such as children with learning difficulties, as well as gifted students. They are dedicated to the welfare and well-being of children. Educational psychologists must keep abreast with new research findings and constantly strive to improve the standard of teaching.
It must be pointed out that an educational psychologist is not the same as a school psychologist. The latter focuses on the needs of individual children. Their job is to perform diagnostic and performance evaluations, implement treatment plans, and observe effectiveness and progress. Education psychologists are more involved with the general learning process and apply their expertise in a teaching environment to improve the learning experience for children.
Those who do not want to work in an academic environment can seek employment as consultants for companies. Psychologists who specialize in education will have better prospects than those in other fields of psychology.
Estimated Income and Projected Job Outlook
In the US, there are no exact income statistics for this profession. However, estimates indicate that new graduates can expect to earn an annual salary of $35,000 to $50,000 depending on workload, location, and the type of employer. A highly experienced psychologist can earn $85,000 a year.
According to the Bureau of Labor, the demand for all psychologists will grow faster than the average of other occupations up to 2014. With a Masters in Educational Psychology, there are employment opportunities in universities, schools, and other learning institutions.