Online Forensic Psychology Bachelor’s Degree
An online forensic psychology degree teaches graduates how to apply the principles of psychology to the legal system. Graduates gain skills to prepare them to work in the field of criminal justice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 23% job growth for substance abuse, behavior disorder, and mental health counselors. An online forensic psychology degree also prepares students for other careers outside the criminal justice system, which we have listed below. We have also included the skills and knowledge graduates gain from an online bachelor's degree in forensic psychology.
What Is Forensic Psychology?
If you combine law, clinical psychology, and criminal investigation, you get the field of forensic psychology. Often confused with forensic science, forensic psychology involves psychologically assessing criminal minds.
To become a forensic psychologist, applicants must have a doctoral degree. People who work in forensic psychology -- counselors, neurologists, and school psychologists -- often provide testimony for legal cases. Forensic psychologists work directly with criminals in jails, prisons, and police stations. They also conduct research in universities and colleges. Earning an online forensic psychology degree at the bachelor's level prepares students to work in entry-level positions in the criminal justice system, social services, law offices, and police departments.
What Can I Do with an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Psychology?
With an online bachelor's degree in forensic psychology, graduates can find jobs in criminal justice, academia, law, and social services. An online forensic psychology degree also serves as a viable pathway to a graduate degree. Many graduates pursue a Ph.D. in psychology and become psychologists after earning their bachelor's degree.
Skills and Knowledge Gained
Graduates with an online forensic psychology degree begin their education with an overview of crime and mental health. Throughout the program, students learn about the criminal justice and correctional systems. Students examine the functions of court systems and criminal justice ethics. They also gain foundational knowledge of criminal behaviors through courses in social psychology, criminal psychology, behavioral modification, and abnormal psychology.
These courses prepare students to work as social workers and rehabilitation workers. Additional coursework in criminal justice theory and ethics gives students the skills to work as police officers, paralegals, and parole and probation officers. These programs teach a broad range of skills, including how to research, think critically, problem solve, examine criminal treatment, analyze crime trends, and conduct scientific investigations.
A bachelor's degree in forensic science typically serves as the first step in a student's journey to becoming a forensic psychologist, a career which requires a doctorate degree. If students choose to forego an advanced degree and join the workforce after earning their bachelor's degree in forensic psychology, they can work in entry-level careers such as probation or parole officer, social worker, or police officer. To prepare for a specific career, students should take electives and minor in a specialized field. For instance, students who want to pursue a career as a substance abuse counselor should take electives in alcohol and drug abuse counseling.
Careers and Salary Potential
Graduates with online forensic science degrees work in a variety of different environments. Without a doctorate degree and appropriate licensure, graduates cannot work as psychologists or in clinical settings. However, there are still many career opportunities for individuals with a bachelor's degree in forensic psychology. Below, are careers open to graduates with a forensic psychology degree. You will find the job descriptions and the potential salaries for each position.
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
Annual Median Salary: $51,410
Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work to rehabilitate individuals currently on parole or probation. Probation officers monitor their client's progress and help them access resources such as jobs and benefits.
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors
Annual Median Salary: $43,300
These counselors help clients battling addiction, mental health issues, and behavioral problems to access treatment. Working with clients, and sometimes family members, counselors devise treatment plans. They work in hospitals, treatment centers, and outpatient centers.
Police Officer or Detective
Annual Median Salary: $62,960
To become a police officer or detective, candidates need a high school diploma and sometimes a bachelor's degree. Officers patrol designated areas and respond to emergencies. They also testify in court and collect crime scene evidence.
Social and Human Service Assistants
Annual Median Salary: $33,120
Social and human service assistants work alongside social workers to help families and individuals get benefits. The position requires at least a high school diploma, but employers often prefer a bachelor's degree.
Health Educators and Community Health Workers
Annual Median Salary: $45,360
Health educators and community health workers, occupations which require a bachelor's degree, work as a liaison between people and healthcare professionals. They create educational materials, teach people about healthcare, and advocate for resources. They also train community health workers.
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