Do you like observing and understanding human behavior? Do you think you can help people understand themselves better? Then a career in behavioral psychology is just right for you!
Behavioral Psychology or Behaviorism is one of the important approaches of Psychology. Learning and understanding behaviorism is important for you, especially if you are considering a career in counseling.
Behavioral psychology is based on the principle that all behaviors are learned through conditioning and such other environmental variables like rewards, punishment and reinforcement. Behavioral Analysis is a very interesting study discipline, and has proved itself as the effective tool for helping children with autism or developmental delays. As a Behavioral Analyst you can help such children learn and keep different skills which they can find useful within their life. The behavioral psychology principles have also found their way in the workplace, educational institutions, and in childcare.
There a number of behavioral psychology programs available for pursuing your career in psychology. The basic requirement, to begin with, is a graduate level degree in psychology. After this degree, you can assist other psychologists and work with other senior people at community medical centers, vocational rehabilitation programs, behavior modification programs. You can also find exciting working opportunities in the field of market research.
After that, you may choose to specialize in one of the several different specialization options available in Behavioral Psychology. Depending on the specialization chosen (clinical psychology, counseling), you may or may not have to attend Medical College to qualify for your Masters Degree. Most institutions will require you to have a Masters Degree to work for them. Masters Degrees usually take up to 2 years to complete.
A PhD qualifies you to work as a licensed Clinical Psychologist or a counselor. You can then even start your own practice or start teaching at a University. You can also work for the government. A PhD requires about 5 to 7 years of post graduate work.
The different career opportunities available in the field of Behavioral Psychology (after completing the necessary qualification exams) include working as a Clinical Psychologist, a School Counsellor, Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, Developmental Psychologist, Social Psychologist and even as a Research / Experimental Psychologist.
Several organizations provide accreditation for psychologists and psychology programs. Chief among them is the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA certifies PhD programs for clinical, school, and counseling psychologists and help you find internships. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) certify the doctoral programs which qualify you to become School Counsellors.
Qualifying as a Behavioral Psychologist may take some time, but you can also find several career opportunities along the way, which will only add to your qualifications and experience, helping you to help people in a much better fashion.