What is Psychology?
In today’s society, there is a great demand for psychology professionals. Many experts predict that employment for these professionals will grow 3% in the next 10 years or so. As a result of the steady increase of demand for psychology professionals, many people want to pursue this occupation.
The good news is that Arkansas has several incredible psychology degree programs. Much research suggest that Arkansas also has a large stake in the professional and business industry. As a result, many colleges in Arkansas are able to offer programs that emphasize scientific research. Students can pursue a career in scientific research if they choose a PhD/Doctorate psychology degree.
Psychology professionals are committed to studying and supporting people with mental conditions. These professionals can work in a wide variety of settings including schools, hospitals, rehab centers, private practice, outpatient clients, and government.
As part of their everyday work, many psychology professionals offer optimal client/patient support, diagnose mental conditions, develop treatment plans, provide counseling services, conduct research, complete paperwork, perform assessments, and more.
Most psychology professionals work full-time, but some may only work part-time if they work in private practice. If psychology consultants work as independent consultants, they are able to set their own hours. Psychology professionals often work on weekends and evenings.
Psychology Education in Arkansas
Associate Degree in Psychology (AS)
An associate psychology degree is a great option for students who would like to obtain an entry-level psychology position such as psychiatric technician.
Depending on the college, Arkansas students may actually receive an Associate of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences degree through the school’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Department. This associate degree will provide students with the necessary knowledge to excel as a psychology major at a four-year university.
The top associate psychology degree program in Arkansas are University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College and East Arkansas Community College.
Bachelor's Degree in Psychology (BS)
The bachelor’s psychology degree is specifically designed to prepare students for entry and intermediate-level positions in the psychology field. The careers can range from a social worker and human resources director to mental health therapist and career counselor.
Psychology students will have the opportunity take courses covering a wide variety of topics such as abnormal psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, theories of personality, and child and adolescent development. Many bachelor’s psychology programs in this state offer students the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research, local clinical internships, and community outreach projects.
The top colleges with bachelor’s psychology degree programs in Arkansas are Shorter College, Ecclesia College, Hendrix College, Arkansas State University, Arkansas Tech University, Southern Arkansas University, Central Baptist College, University of Arkansas, Philander Smith College, John Brown University, Ouachita Baptist University, Lyon College, and University of Arkansas-Little Rock.
Master's Degree in Psychology (MS or MC)
The master’s psychology degree is the preferred choice for psychology students who want to enroll in a program that focuses on intensive research and psychological principles. During this program, students will learn all about psychological tests and measurements, field theorists, psychopathology, research design, and more. Students will also participate in research projects with faculty, and they are strongly urged to present their work in presentations and publications.
A master’s psychology degree prepares students for the following positions in the psychology field: teacher, psychology researcher, social worker, and counselor. The program equips students with the necessary knowledge and credentials to pursue counseling licensure through the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling and Marriage & Family Therapy, enabling psychology students to quality for many of the previously mentioned positions. Students who graduate from this program often get employed at the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, non-profit organizations, local social services, and universities.
The best schools with master’s psychology degree programs in Arkansas are the University of Central Arkansas, Arkansas Tech University, and Arkansas State University.
PhD Degree in Psychology (PhD)
A PhD/Doctorate psychology degree is a must-have for psychology students who want to pursue a career as a psychiatrist, psychology professor, or researcher. A PhD/Doctorate program will specifically focus on clinically psychology, offering rigorous academic coursework, research training, and clinical exposure.
The best school with a PhD/Doctorate psychology degree programs in Arkansas is the University of Arkansas and the University of Central Arkansas.
Top College Programs in Arkansas for Psychology
- University of Arkansas
- Hendrix College
- Harding University
- Arkansas State University
- University of Central Arkansas
Become a Psychologist in Arkansas
Step 1: Obtain A Degree
In order to become a psychology professional, you’ll need some type of formal training. Depending on the type of psychology professional that you want to become, you’ll need to obtain an associate psychology degree, bachelor’s psychology degree, master’s psychology degree, or PhD/Doctorate psychology degree.
Step 2: Apply for Licensing
Many professional psychology positions require licensing. Psychology students can obtain professional licensure through the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling and Marriage & Family Therapy and the Arkansas Department of Health Psychology Board.
Step 3: Choose a Psychology Field
Psychology students should have some idea of the field that they want to pursue before choosing a career. Here are the most common fields for psychology professionals.
- Clinical Psychology
Most professionals in this field work at hospitals, rehab facilities, and schools.
- Sports Psychology
Sports psychology isn’t often discussed, but the field is perfect for professionals who want to promote optimal wellbeing among athletes. Psychology professionals in this field may provide clients with cognitive and behavior skills.
- School Psychology
School psychology is a common field for professionals who want to ensure that students always perform optimally. Professionals in this field address children’s emotional, mental, and behavioral health.
- Marriage and Family Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
The forensic psychology field is the perfect choice for professionals who want to assist the judicial and legal systems with solving cases.
- Rehabilitation Psychology
Psychology professionals in the rehabilitation psychology field strive to assist people who are suffering from an illness or injury.
- Addiction Psychology
The addiction psychology field is comprised of many substance abuse/addictions counselors. These professionals study psychological aspects of addiction.
Step 4: Network with Psychology Professionals
One of the best ways to excel in the psychology field is to network with many psychology professionals. Psychology professionals may also want to consider joining an organization such as the American Psychology Association, Association for Psychology Science, National Association for School Psychologists, or the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Careers for Psychology Graduates
- Psychiatric Technician:
Most psychiatric technicians spend their days providing therapeutic care for people with mental conditions who must spend time in a medical care facility. The day-to-day responsibilities of psychiatric technicians include giving patients medications, changing bed linens, serving meals, and taking vital signs.
- Social Work Assistant:
The primary objective of social work assistants is to offer assistance to people who need help handling life issues such as mental conditions, divorce, disabilities, addiction, unemployment, and homelessness. These professionals work closely with licensed social workers.
- Social Worker:
The best social workers are on a mission to help people improve their overall quality of life by providing community resources to clients, treating mental conditions, responding to emergency situations, and protecting elderly clients from neglect.
- Community Service Manager:
The responsibilities of community service managers might include participating in speaking engagements, writing grant proposals, creating budgets, and developing outreach initiatives.
- Administrative Service Manager:
Administrative service managers ensure that an organization is always running smoothly. They are typically seen monitoring the security of a facility, creating budgets, setting departmental objectives, and managing administrative staff.
- Human Resources Specialist:
Frequently called HR specialists, these workers are expected to hire extremely talented employees, deal with benefits offerings for existing employees, mediate disputes, and more. Many human resources specialists work with hiring managers.
- Guidance Counselor/Career Advisor:
These professionals support students’ education and career pursuits. They typically evaluate students’ educational backgrounds, help students learn interviewing skills, facilitate career workshops, and provide career aptitude assessments.
- Psychology Teacher:
A career as a teacher is a great choice for psychology graduates who want to educate and inspire people. The best teachers strive to create lesson plans based on their students’ intellectual, psychological, and emotional needs.
- Victim Advocate:
The main role of victim advocates is to provide assistance to crime victims. They are often required to support victims during court proceedings, help victims file protective orders, and provide community resources to victims. These professionals must work well with law enforcement and criminal justice professionals.
- Child Counselor/Psychologist:
One of the main responsibilities of child counselors/psychologists is to counsel children with mental conditions. They can often treat children suffering from the following issues: Grief, depression, anxiety, bullying, neglect, divorce, PTSD, and OCD.
- School/Education Psychologist/School Counselor/Guidance Counselor:
These professionals are known by a lot of names, but they are best known for counseling students with mental health and behavioral issues. They provide these students with strategies to help them cope in school settings.
These types of psychiatric doctors specialize in treating people with mental conditions, helping them to cope with personal challenges, and prescribing medication when they need help controlling disorders. Psychologists, on the other hand, cannot prescribe medication. During a typical day, psychiatrists may perform psychiatric evaluations, provide inpatient care, prescribe medications, and offer medication management.
- Family and Marriage Therapist:
As part of their everyday work, family and marriage therapists usually perform formal assessments, counsel couples and families, create treatment plans, and complete paperwork. Many family and marriage therapists own a private practice, but some work for outpatient care centers and the government.
- Psychology Researcher:
Often referred to as experimental psychologists, psychology researchers perform experiments that focus on the mind, feelings, and behavior of humans. Many psychology researchers also work as consultants, professors, and practitioners.
- Residential Counselor:
Residential counselors are supposed to oversee the day-to-day needs of people in rehabilitation centers.
- Clinical Therapist:
Clinical therapists are supposed to support people with mental health conditions, providing them with counseling or psychotherapy treatments.
The primary goal of psychologists is to observe the mind and behavior of people. Psychologists have several responsibilities, which may include performing tests and assessments, providing evidence-based treatments, working closely with physicians, and conducting scientific studies.