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Earning an AA in Psychology: What Should You Expect?

Psychologists work in a fascinating career field. They deal with issues of the mind and how thinking – or thinking in certain ways – can affect a person’s behavior, for good or ill.

Working in psychology can take graduates with an associate degree in different directions. Those in psychology work with a variety of people, from low-income residents of underserved communities to business leaders and sports stars.

A two-year degree provides a foundation in the field, and some students may go on to earn a BA in Psychology. Others may continue to earn a graduate degree.

Potential Careers with an AA in Psychology

Those who earn an AA in Psychology are prepared for variety of career options. Some may be employed as social and human service assistants. They work with social workers to help people find the community and medical services to improve their lives. Others may work as psychiatric technicians, providing care to patients who are mentally ill or have developmental disabilities.

Additional opportunities include working as home health aides or personal care aides, two occupations with strong growth (the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected 41% growth through 2026). Home health aides provide help with day-to-day activities for people who cannot do them on their own. Personal care aides do similar work, although they are typically limited to non-medical services.

What Can You Learn in a Psychology Program?

Earning an AA in Psychology provides a broad overview of psychology concepts. Some of the courses students can expect to take include the following:

  • Introduction to Psychology – Students gain the fundamentals of psychology by discussing topics related to human behavior, development across the lifespan, emotion, cognition, intelligence, abnormal behavior, social interaction, methods of therapy and stress.
  • Social Psychology – How do people interact in groups or in social situations? Students examine how a person’s behavior can influence others and can lead to aggression, conformity, altruism, prejudice and discrimination.
  • Abnormal Psychology – Students learn about the causes, symptoms and potential treatments of psychological disorders. They also note the correlation between delinquency and mental illness, and the rights of the mentally ill.
  • Research Methods – Students examine some of latest research strategies used by psychologists, as well as standards for ethical research. As part of the class, students will put together a research plan.
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