psychology therapyPsychology is the scientific study of human behavior and thought processes. However, like any other science, psychology is sub-divided into different specialties. If you’re considering a career in psychology, understanding the different goals of these specialties can help you decide how to steer your studies and which career paths most interest you.

  • Clinical PsychologyThis is the most familiar form of psychology. Clinical psychologists provide support to individuals who are working through mental health problems. They may provide talk therapy, group therapy, medication, and other interventions in order to improve their patients’ sense of well-being.
  • Forensic Psychology – Forensic psychology applies psychological principles to the criminal justice system. Professionals in this field may provide a multitude of services, from criminal profiling for investigators and lawyers to rehabilitation and mental health treatment for offenders.
  • Educational Psychology – Educational psychologists work with schools, colleges, and universities to help create a learning environment that supports students with disabilities or who are experiencing social or emotional problems. They often consult with special education teachers to assess students for learning disorders and help create individual educational plans that lay out modifications for instruction.
  • Organizational Psychology – Known as work psychology, occupational psychology, business psychology, and industrial psychology, organizational psychology is the study of how humans behave in the workplace, and how to take advantage of psychological principles to create a more effective and productive working culture. Organizational psychologists can help businesses improve training, team functions, and navigate change.
  • Counseling Psychology – Counseling psychology helps people navigate difficult problems and gain control of their emotions. There’s some overlap with clinical psychology in this field, but with counseling psychology, the focus is less on treatment of mental disorders and more on coping with life or re-establishing one’s direction. Counseling psychologists may offer relationship therapy, grief therapy, vocational therapy, and other related services.
  • Sports Psychology – In sports psychology, psychologists work with athletes to help them improve their performance or recover from setbacks. They may also work with coaches to help them learn more effective strategies for leading teams and guiding athletes through the application of psychological principles.

Continuing education is the norm for today’s teaching professionals. Whether you want to earn your master’s in education or are required to earn your master’s in education, you have a choice of many, many schools. How can you spot a quality program while doing your research? This article offers four points to consider when investigating education master’s degree programs.
online masters in education

Accreditation

Choose a regionally accredited college or university for your master’s degree program in education. This is especially critical if you want to earn your degree online. Unaccredited colleges or universities may not be considered valid by your employers, and if you want to transfer, you may not be able to receive credit for courses you’ve taken at other accredited schools.

State or National Approval

In addition to accreditation, your education degree program should have approval from your state’s board of education. This is usually critical to your ability to obtain certification after completing your degree.

Faculty

The instructors who teach your master of education courses should be seasoned professionals who:

  • Have classroom experience serving students like yours
  • Hold advanced degrees
  • Are tenured or in tenure-track positions

You will be working very closely with your instructors, so you want them to be able to provide you with the best service possible.

Mentorships and Field Experiences

Your master’s in education ought to provide plenty of observation and coached teaching experiences. This will either be in-person or via video critique of a lesson you record.

If your master’s degree program is in a new career area for you, such as counseling or administration, you should also have the opportunity to shadow an experienced professional and then complete an internship where you provide services in a real school.

nursing school clinicalsClinical rotations are where the rubber meets the road in nursing school. In your , you’ll gain first-hand experience interacting with patients and working as part of a medical team. Many nursing students approach their clinicals with anxiety—after months in classes and in simulation labs, your work can now make a real impact on someone’s life.

Here are a few tips for surviving clinicals:

  • Accept that you’ll be stressed. Nursing is a difficult and demanding job, so expect clinicals to be difficult and demanding, too. Go into the experience understanding that stress is a normal and universal part of becoming a nurse, and you’ll be less likely to panic when it occurs.
  • Practice self-care. Don’t set yourself up to fail. You’re much more likely to make a costly mistake if you are tired or experiencing a blood sugar crash. Get plenty of sleep, eat your fruits and vegetables, and make sure you find time to laugh and exercise. Most importantly: wash your hands. Your clinicals won’t go so well if you’re fighting off an infection the entire time.
  • Remember that nobody expects you to know everything. There’s a reason you’re a student. Most nursing programs will start you off slowly, with lots of observations and taking vital signs, and then gradually expose you to new skills. If your instructor asks you to take care of something and you’re not sure what she or he means, ask for clarification. If you didn’t understand a technique demonstration the first time, ask to see it again.
  • Remember that your instructor is responsible for you. Your instructor’s reputation, employment, and even license to practice are on the line if you make an error. Always check with him or her before doing anything to or for a patient—no matter how senior the person who asked you to do it might be.
  • Practice and prepare. Use your college’s lab facilities to get extra practice in with different treatment techniques. Review the relevant knowledge you need to know in the days before your clinical rotation so terms and principles are fresh in your mind when you arrive.
  • Ask if something looks wrong. Mistakes do happen in the medical world. If you see something done to a patient on your shift that looks like it isn’t right, ask your instructor or another nurse to check it. You may be inexperienced, but you are another set of eyes acting on behalf of patients.

technology careersInterested in a technology career, but not sure which path to take? Use evidence to help guide you—specifically, evidence from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Each year, the BLS analyses demand for thousands of different occupations and makes predictions about how these occupations will grow over the next ten years. Over the decade 2012-2022, the BLS predicts that overall demand for workers of all kinds will rise 11% nationally. Here are a few fast-growing IT career paths that are set to beat the average.

Data Analysts – Classed as “Computer and Information Research Scientists” by the BLS, data analysts have been important to the sciences for more than a generation. In our wired world, however, they’re playing important roles in business, banking, and marketing as they mine huge tranches of corporate data for insights that can improve products, refine processes, or manage risk.

Growth for data analysts is expected to top 15% over the next ten years.[i] If you want to pursue data analysis roles, you’ll need at least a master’s degree in analytics or computer science.

Computer and Information Systems Managers – This classification covers job titles from “CIO” to “information technology manager”. Information systems managers direct the teams that design, deploy, and maintain the systems that today’s organizations rely on. They usually manage teams of developers and administrators.

Growth for this class of IT professional should also reach 15% over the 2012-2022 period.[ii] If you want to pursue this type of career, you’ll need a degree—most likely a graduate degree—that spans both business/organizational knowledge and specific IT engineering skills.

Software Developers – Software developers design, code, and test the operating systems and applications that make modern life possible. They may work for software companies, consultancies, or in-house at large corporations, developing specific programs that control customer relationship management records, industrial processes, and other critical functions. Software developers with specific game design skills may also work for video game companies or computer animation companies.

The BLS predicts that software developer job openings should grow by 22% between 2012-2022—an additional 222,600 jobs across the country.[iii] You can pursue this occupation with a bachelor’s degree in information technology or computer science.

Computer Systems Analysts – Computer systems analysts use their knowledge of information technology and their understanding of company procedure to develop IT systems that meet the needs of users. They are responsible for assessing their client’s needs, developing a system, testing it, and maintaining it as necessary.

There should be demand for an additional 127,700 jobs in this category over the next ten years—a growth rate of 25%.[iv] Entry-level roles in this field require a bachelor’s degree. A graduate degree in information systems management or information systems engineering can help you pursue advanced roles.

Information Security AnalystsIt seems like there’s another high-profile data security breach in the news every morning. Information security analysts are definitely in-demand to prevent leaks, theft, and hacking of computer systems. This IT career path has the fastest projected growth rate of all technology-related occupations, at 37%– an additional 27,400 jobs through 2022.[v]

[i] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm
[ii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm
[iii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm
[iv] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm#tab-6
[v] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm