Online Behavioral Science Degrees
Yes, behavioral science majors study behavior. But to stop there would be taking an overly simplistic view of the field. The field includes far more than that: just think of well-known behavioral scientist B.F. Skinner, who introduced to the world the concepts of positive and negative reinforcement. You don't have to be the next B.F. Skinner to have an impact in the behavioral science world, but an education and proper training could make you well-versed in your own right.
Even with advancements in the field, scientists are still trying to understand why humans act the way they do, and how this comes through in their behaviors. According to Science Magazine, the field of behavioral science examines human decision-making, interactions, and communications among individuals and within groups. Part psychology and part social science, behavioral science is an intriguing area and can offer a wide range of opportunities for those who want to enter the field.
Behavioral science may be a stand-alone major, but it embraces a number of different disciplines, including anthropology, psychology and social science. According to The College Board, a not-for-profit membership organization committed to excellence in education, behavioral science degree programs provide students with instruction in the theories, practices and research that drives the field. Students could take courses in the following areas as part of their training:
- Developmental psychology
- Group dynamics
- Human development, behavioral
- Race and ethnicity
- Sociology of criminal justice
- Social problems
Behavioral science degrees range from two-year associate degrees to doctoral degrees, although most students will complete training somewhere in between. Those who wish to enter careers in criminal justice or in market research could find that a bachelor's degree suffices while those wanting to enter areas such as academia, counseling or research should consider a master's degree or doctoral level training.
Degrees in fields such as behavioral science, psychology and counseling often require some face-to-face work in the form of labs, practicums or counseling exercises. Online degrees in behavioral science and other helping professions are taking advantage of growing technology such as web conferencing, simulated lab experiments and virtual role playing exercises to help teach people skills in the online environment. Some programs may still require some in-person work, so students should be sure to confirm degree requirements before enrolling.
A keen understanding of human behavior is a valuable thing for employers of all types. When it comes to career opportunities, behavioral science graduates could find a number of fields from which to choose. While some go on to become counselors or social workers, others look to fields as diverse as criminal justice, business and marketing, or even software development. Here are just a few of the careers for which behavioral science graduates could qualify:
- Behavioral or social scientist. This research-intensive career puts behavioral science graduates' skills to use designing and overseeing studies and publishing findings.
- Counselor. Behavioral science majors who go on to earn master's degrees or beyond often become counselors providing guidance to clients in private, corporate or academic environments.
- Criminal scientist. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, law enforcement groups rely on those with behavioral science training to provide insight on the inner workings of criminal minds.
- Market researcher. Behavioral science and business mesh in the field of market research, which puts a graduate's understanding of human behavioral to use for marketing and selling products.
- Professor. Some behavioral science graduates return to school to teach their craft to future graduates. Many professors also work with or publish research studies.
- Social worker. Social workers work with those battling physical or mental disabilities, illness or difficult socioeconomic conditions and help them to find the services necessary to enjoy a certain quality of life.
No matter how you choose to put your behavioral science degree to work, you could find a wide variety of options and intriguing areas of study that are of interest to you. An education can provide you with ideas about launching a career and give you the insight and momentum to decide what specific field is right for you.
- Popular career paths: researcher, counselor, professor, social worker
- Common courses: psychology, sociology, group dynamics, race and ethnicity, cognitive science
- Famous behavioral scientists: B.F. Skinner, Ivan Pavlov
Online Degree Programs in Behavioral Science
Capella courses focus on real-world application, so you’ll gain skills and knowledge you can apply right away.
Why ASU? At ASU, learning online is effective, flexible and smart. Every program delivered online is developed by the same excellent faculty who teach on our campuses, and is designed to engage students and professors in meaningful ways. The result? Our students are an integral part of a New American University.
- DBH Behavioral Health
- BS in Family and Human Development
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.
Start your new journey with an education from Ashford University. GO
Earn a respected bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. online at Walden University.