What can you do with a degree in educational psychology?

July 25, 2019

Educational psychology is a long-established discipline that focuses on the science that supports successful methods of teaching and learning.

Non-clinical in nature, it can be applied in a wide range of industries and across a broad spectrum of workplaces, says Laura Sullivan, PhD, faculty chair of Educational Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Child and Adolescent Development, and Play Therapy in Capella University’s School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Sullivan says she was attracted to the field because it has such broad applications. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, she found herself working as a consultant in schools with kids who had difficulty managing their behavior. “Often, it seemed like the problem was about the environment, rather than the specific character of the student,” Sullivan says. “That got me interested in understanding how people learn and how best to teach.”

Working in schools

Many educational psychologists work in public or private schools, at all levels of education, from elementary to college. They assess curriculum structures, measurements for success, and pedagogy and andragogy within the classroom. They might serve as consultants, researchers, or even teachers.

Related job titles to explore*:

  • Adjunct, part-time, or full-time psychology faculty
  • Instructor
  • Curriculum developer

Working in business

Other educational psychologists work in business settings. They design training for new employees, courses for executives, and curricula that help motivate and engage workers. Their efforts shape how people learn new skills, making the process effective and efficient.

Related job titles to explore*:

  • Training and development specialist/manager
  • Program evaluator
  • Educational consultant

Working in government

The government also employs educational psychologists to assist with training in the military, where quick learning and conformity with standards are key. Educational psychologists conduct research and assess training programs to make them engaging and memorable.

Related job titles to explore*:

  • Training and development specialist/manager
  • Research assistant or researcher
  • Test administrator
  • Test developer

An advanced degree—master’s level or higher—is required to work in the field of educational psychology. But beyond education, what is essential if you want to excel in the field of educational psychology? Sullivan says practitioners need to be passionate about helping people succeed. “I get passionate and excited about how people learn,” she says. “I’m always thinking, ‘What’s the best way to teach others to bring about learning?’”

Learn more about an online master’s in psychology, educational psychology from Capella University.

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

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