Behavioral Sciences

Overview: What Is a College Program Behavioral Sciences?

The behavioral sciences address issues surrounding human relationships and actions.  The program can be divided into two distinct groups: the neural-decision sciences, which includes disciplines like psychology, and the social-communication sciences, which includes sociology.  Behavioral sciences degrees can be applied when pursuing careers in counseling, social work, health professions, and even business.

Behavioral Sciences Classes and Learned Skills

Programs in behavioral sciences cover a variety of theories and methods that help to examine and explain why both the individual and society behave as they do.  Some coursework that is typical to behavioral sciences programs includes:

  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Social research methods
  • Statistical methods
  • Research methods

In addition to these courses, many students choose to focus on a specific concentration that will, in part, dictate to them which classes they need to take in order to finish their education.

Available Learning Formats for Behavioral Sciences Programs

Behavioral sciences programs are available in both traditional and distance learning formats, offering students the opportunity to choose which mode of study is best for them.  Many students prefer to learn in a classroom environment, while others need to utilize the flexible schedule often afforded to online students.  Each student should consider which school to attend carefully and find the one that is best for their specific needs.

Levels of Education Available for Behavioral Sciences

Behavioral sciences programs are available at nearly all of the post-secondary education levels. In most cases though, certificate programs in this area of study are best used to enhance the education of someone who already has a degree.  Associate's degrees are also available, but bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees best serve those who hope to work in a career in the behavioral sciences.

Outlook for Careers in Behavioral Sciences

Graduates of behavioral sciences programs are valued in a variety of fields, including healthcare, marketing, and education.  Some jobs available to those with a degree in the behavioral sciences include:

  • Social Services Caseworker
  • Consumer Behavior Specialist
  • Gerontologist
  • Counselor
  • Professor or Teacher
  • Public Health Researcher
  • Psychologist
  • Sociologist
  • Neuromarketer
  • Anthropologist

Though there are many different forms of counseling, the field in general is expected to have favorable opportunities over the next few years.  Counseling positions are anticipated to be more widely available than the graduates needed to fill those positions.  Counselors often need master's degrees and additional certifications before entering the field, so students interested in this career should check with the state that they hope to work to find out what requirements they must meet.  Occupational growth for psychologists in coming years varies by specialty, with the highest anticipated growth being in industrial-organizational psychology.  Psychologists are required to hold either a master's or doctoral degree, as well as a license, in order to practice.  Those with a doctoral degree will have the best job prospects available to them, while those with master's degrees face tough market competition.  Sociologist and political scientist positions are expected to grow considerably faster than the average occupation, with those who hold a master's or PhD having the best opportunities available to them.  More career outlook information can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics' website, BLS.gov.

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