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Psychology Colleges and Degree Programs in Wyoming

Wyoming is one of the most beautiful, and sparsely populated, states in the nation. But its vast plains and endless sky are still home to an economy that is vital to the rest of the nation. Wyoming's $7.5 billion mining, quarrying, and oil & gas industries leads its economy and ranks #11 nationwide. The state's other top industries rank farther down nationally, with most coming in at #50. Nevertheless, even the state's tenth largest industry, wholesale trade, generates $1.5 billion dollars, which is no small sum..

A psychology professional is a person who makes their living by way of analyzing the human condition. They apply their learning and conclusions in a variety of ways. Some work for corporations, while others work for the Wyoming corrections department. More commonly, we think of psychology professionals working as therapists, which may often be the initial impetus for many to pursue psychology in school, but this is far from the only path.

In fact, psychology professionals can start working with as little as an associate psychology degree that they apply in fields such as addictions counseling (though Wyoming addictions therapists require a master’s degree), marketing, sales, or human resources. Psychology professionals can find work in offices where they work with people on a one-on-one basis or from a more professional distance. Marketing professionals, for instance, may take consumer data and draw conclusions from that. Psychology students also apply their knowledge of human behavior in management positions.

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Online Psychology Education in Wyoming

Since the eighth largest industry in Wyoming includes healthcare and education, it's clear that psychology has a strong role to play. Mental health comprises a large part of psychological careers, generally, and so does college instruction. Psychology professionals are also found in other capacities, with the degree finding relevance in social work, human resources, various forms of non-psychotherapeutic counseling, and even law enforcement and corrections.

Thus, Wyoming is wise to invest in its colleges and universities that support training in psychology. Graduates of psychology degree programs go on to help the state in many ways. They become addictions counselors, human resources professionals, marketing experts, data scientists, and psychoanalysts, to name a few options. Psychology is also a good background for management, sales, and nearly any field that involves working with people. After all, the more we understand each other, the more efficient our work becomes.

Given Wyoming's small population, psychology degree programs often need to recruit faculty from outside the state. This isn't anything new as most departments seek the very best academics regardless of geography. This is a terrific strategy for those courses that are focused strictly on theory or research methods, but clinical and other counseling psychology courses may benefit from a local flavor. Thus, Oklahoma's psychology programs look for seasoned professionals from the state economy to step in as adjunct or even full-time, tenured professors.

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When professors can relate course materials to their life, professional experiences, students often engage more closely with the material. Counseling psychology professionals in particular may lend their lessons more local relevance when it comes to issues related to licensure. They can help students better understand the state's particular guidelines and nuances. Furthermore, when faculty have ties in the local community, they can help students find internships or other outlets for experiential learning.

Online Associate Psychology Degree (AS)

A two-year associate psychology degree can be a great path to an entry-level position. The curriculum trains students in critical thinking, but also in quantitative analysis. Students might enhance their studies with elective courses in statistics or economics, which makes it easier to apply their knowledge and skills in the business community. Some may even take their psychology degrees and find jobs in social work.

An associate psychology degree is also a great way to get one's core college courses out of the way en route to a bachelor’s psychology degree. Practically every community college requires these courses be completed by their graduates. And, since community colleges charge far less per credit hour than their four-year counterparts, students can save a lot on their four year degrees by starting out with such low costs. Further, some students take a year or two between their associate and bachelor’s to work in the field.

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Online Bachelor’s Psychology Degree (BS or BA)

A bachelor’s degree is generally preferred and often seen as a minimum requirement for professional jobs. During the course of a four-year degree, students have more academic opportunities in terms of courses on special topics, internships, and enriching electives, if not minor concentrations or double majors. Some related and enriching fields or courses might include statistics, sociology courses, social work, or anthropology.

A bachelor’s degree is also recommended for those who wish to take their careers to the highest possible level. Many psychology careers require a master’s degree and there's no way to earn that without first graduating from a bachelor’s psychology degree program. A master’s degree or doctorate psychology degree is good for many careers including those in counseling and psychology. Forensic psychologists and organizational psychologists also need a PhD to attain the status they need for a robust practice and fruitful career.

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Online Master’s Psychology Degree (MS or MA)

A master’s degree is increasingly important for many fields, but it's almost always been a key feature of most psychology careers. A master’s is required for mental health counselors and a PhD paves the way for work in academia, as well as forensic psychology and organizational psychology. Another option for an organizational psychology professional is an MBA with a concentration in organizational psychology.

With an MBA, an organizational psychologist gains more insights into the businesses they work for while also opening up more career opportunities. For example, they could earn an MBA with a concentration in marketing and combine their knowledge of psychology with the analytical side of marketing, creating a dynamic career path. Since both fields rely on statistical analysis, a research psychologist who can apply their research methods to marketing will be in high demand for corporations and consulting firms alike.

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Online PhD Psychology Degree (PhD)

A doctorate is not needed in many parts of the economy, but it is richly rewarded in psychology. For those who choose the counseling route, a PhD will allow them to use the title psychologist, while also charging more per hour. Their degree will also elevate their status in the psychology community and be of great help if they wish to publish a book or an article. Some even teach seminars to help meet their state CEU credits for licensure maintenance.

A PhD is also necessary for those interested in forensic psychology and is a de facto requirement for a career in organizational psychology. Further, an academic career is virtually impossible without a PhD. A doctorate also opens up the possibility of a tenure track position. Research psychologists particularly need a PhD if they wish to earn grants and a position as a research faculty member, who may also be tenured.

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How to Become a Psychologist in Wyoming

Psychology is the study of human behavior. Thus, we are all students of psychology to some degree. However, some of us are more intrigued with our fellow humans than others. This fascination may begin in childhood, or it may manifest later on as we strive to navigate complex interactions as adolescents and young adults. Yet, the question remains as to how one becomes a psychology professional in Wyoming.

One way to get started with a career in psychology is to start exploring various free or affordable resources online. High school students can search YouTube to find a myriad of lectures or general information videos. Students with extra time over a break may also consider an online course. There are many college-level courses available that students can take for free. They may also pay extra to earn a certificate, if they choose. These options are terrific because they can perhaps satisfy a curiosity that needs no more nourishment. On the other hand, students may become enthralled with the subject and choose to major in this subject in college, even with the knowledge that they will have a lot more education ahead of them.

For those who remain fascinated with psychology and psychological phenomena, it's vital to find the best college or university psychology degree program. Every student should evaluate these programs based on their curriculum, but also on their accreditation. The minimum standard should be a program, or school, with CHEA-approved regional accreditation.

As they work toward a bachelor’s psychology degree, students should start considering a master’s degree. This will be all but necessary for long-term success in psychology. In fact, all licensed counselors in Wyoming will require a master’s psychology degree. Thus, it is recommended that those in the field earn a master’s psychology degree as soon as possible.

Along the way, students should consider what specific area of psychology they wish to pursue. Generally, the two areas to consider are academic/research and counseling. Other options include forensic psychology, organizational psychology, licensed clinical social work, and other applications such as marketing, management, or other business fields including human resources.

Applicants will complete their 1,500 hour pre-doctoral internship and then will need 1,500 hours of post-doctoral work experience prior to licensure. Applicants will also need to apply with the Wyoming State Board to take the EPPP exam and will need to pass to qualify for licensure.

Potential Psychology Careers for Graduates

  • Psychiatric Technician
    This is a great way to break into the field of mental health. Psychiatric technicians work alongside psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses to help them feed, medicate, and otherwise attend to the needs of mental health patients. The job may include the need to de-escalate situations with disturbed people, but it also includes watching patients recover from seemingly hopeless states. Some states, such as California, require licensure. Please consult your state board of health for specific requirements.
  • Social Work Assistant:
    This position is often administrative and involves helping to keep a busy social worker scheduled. Social work assistants may also help their social worker by interviewing new clients. Assistants can become a vital part of casework because they are often the first contacted when situations arise. This position often requires little more than a high school diploma, but an associate psychology degree will only improve one's chance of employment.
  • Social Worker:
    This job title can be applied to a wide range of job descriptions. Social workers often carry a caseload full of specific sorts of clients. That may be children in foster care, mentally ill adults, teenage mothers, or developmentally disabled individuals. Social workers with a MSW can become Licensed Clinical Social Workers who may operate as independent counselors if they choose.
  • Human Resources Specialist:
    This position can be found in both private corporations and government agencies. HR specialists help employees with their benefits packages and other compensation. They may also conduct training or information sessions that cover state or federal employment regulations. For firms that operate under an SEC license, HR specialists may consult with employees on matters related to insider trading.

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  • Psychology Teacher:
    Most often, psychology teachers are found at the college level. Thus, the minimum education required for employment is a master’s degree. However, there are psychology teachers who teach at the high school level. High school teachers must meet all the criteria for a Wyoming teaching credential, or a credential in whichever state they reside.
  • Victim Advocate:
    While defendants are guaranteed representation, victims can be forgotten by the judicial system. Victim advocates fill that need and help to ensure that their needs are addressed in the courts. This need may be most pressing for children who have been victims of abuse or other criminal acts. To succeed in this position, advocates need a compassionate demeanor as well as a comprehensive understanding of criminal law.
  • Psychology Researcher:
    Psychology is an ever-growing field that demands ongoing research to help improve our understanding of the human mind and human behavior. Researchers must hold a PhD in research psychology and are most often affiliated with a university. To maintain their position, psychological researchers must continually receive grants and have their work published.
  • Marriage and Family Counselor:
    This profession specializes in helping couples and their families learn to communicate better and achieve more harmonious relationships. Some counselors earn specialized degrees in this field while other clinical psychology students take on this specialty later in their career, perhaps earning a certificate as part of their CEU requirements.

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