With a huge demand for behavior analysts in the field of psychology, now is a great time to consider getting a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis (ABA). If you’ve always had an interest in human behavior and psychology, an ABA degree could be a great fit for you. ABA specialists work with people on the autism spectrum as well as those suffering from behavior challenges like substance use disorder. In earning an applied behavioral analysis degree, you’ll be able to make a big difference in the lives of the clients you serve. For tips on how to get an applied behavioral analysis degree, read on.
Finding the Right Program
If you’re thinking about earning an applied behavior analysis degree, the first thing you’ll want to do is find the right program for you. Start by pulling out a notebook and making a list of your preferences. Things to think about include online or in-person learning, degree requirements, tuition, financial aid options, overall career goals and specialties, and your potential school’s location.
After a Google search for schools that meet your criteria, you’ll want to call each school and talk to the head of their behavioral sciences department. You’ll be able to ask specific questions about coursework, internships, clinical hours, and other program requirements. As you interview staff at these schools, be sure to write their answers down so you can later weigh the pros and cons of various programs. Spending this extra time researching the right program for you will pay off in the long run.
Once you have an idea of the top schools you’re interested in, consider hiring a specialist in admission guidance services such as a college consultant who can help you to increase your odds of being accepted. Doing so will not only make the application process less stressful, but will mean you’re fully prepared for things like the college interview, entrance essays, and more.
Making Your Degree Work for You
After you’ve been accepted into the right school for you, it’s a good idea to shift your focus to reaching your full potential both during your degree program and in your future career. As you navigate courses, internships, and clinical hours, it’s a good idea to meet with a mentor in the psychology department to keep track not only of your core courses and practicum experiences but also to begin planning out your future career options. While ABA degrees are in high demand in the job market, there’s a big difference in the types of work you might use your degree for.
As you complete your program, being aware of your personal interests and having tangible goals is important to your future success. Instead of doing the standard requirements in your master’s level program, consider talking to your academic advisor about taking on independent studies in areas of specific interest to you. For example, getting course credit for running a group for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder could be a great way to find out if working with people with ASD is right for you.
At the end of the day, your decision to get an applied behavioral analysis degree is likely one you’ll be glad you made. Your hard work will pay off not only for you but the people you help through your social work, too. Whether you attend a part-time program online or do your core curriculum in a college classroom, getting started on your ABA program now could be the best thing you do for your future. Best of luck to you as you explore career and learning options in the behavioral sciences.