Educational Psychologist Career Information, Jobs, Degrees & Training Programs

Education is one of the keys to a successful career and high standard of living. Most parents do everything within their power to ensure their children receive a high-quality education, and school administrators work tirelessly to make sure students have access to effective teachers and educational tools. It's the duty of educational psychologists to conduct research intended to improve education.

Educational psychologists specialize in how humans learn, by evaluating such factors as learning environments, teaching methods, and sociology. To better understand how people learn, educational psychologists evaluate students from various sub-populations, including those with high IQs and learning disabilities. People often confuse school with educational psychologists, but the former typically assist students struggling with learning and behavioral problems, while the latter usually conduct research.

Educational psychologists are employed in the private sector, at government agencies, private clinics, and colleges and universities. Their primary responsibilities include research, data collection, developing new tests, and observing teachers. It's essential for educational psychologists to understand statistics and possess excellent analytical skills.

Education and Training

You can begin a career in educational psychology after earning a master's degree in educational psychology (MEd). MEd programs typically cover cognition, human development and learning, sociology, teaching evaluation, and research methodology. Graduates will be well-prepared to conduct research and develop new teaching methods derived from research conclusions.

School psychologists are required to complete an education specialist (EdS) program. It usually takes 1-3 years to finish one after obtaining a master's degree.

It takes between 4-6 years to earn a doctorate degree in education (EdD). These programs are more in-depth, so the added training and experience of an EdD may increase your job opportunities. Students earning a EdD will conduct research, complete advanced study in human and cognitive development, and be taught how to assist students struggling with emotional, behavioral, and learning problems.

Universities offering EdD programs often administer classes designed to prepare students for EdS certification.

Required Skill Sets

Effective educational psychologists usually possess the following skills:

  • Analytical
  • Counseling
  • Research
  • Written and verbal communication
  • Interactive
  • Behavioral assessment
  • Teaching
  • Test development

Good educational psychologists are concerned about student welfare, performance, and emotional well-being. They also stay up to date with current research and have the ability to inspire others.

Employment Outlook

Educational psychologists primarily work at elementary and secondary schools, or they conduct research at colleges and universities. Many educational psychologists consult with organizations that develop textbooks, standardized tests, online classes, and other educational materials.

Having a master’s or doctorate degree may be required for some Education psychologist positions. Having these accolades may also help create job opportunities that may not be available with a bachelor’s degree.

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