April 10, 2016
As a teenager, Kristin Sanchez knew she wanted to become a therapist. Life took over, and a job that supported her family became a top priority. But being a medical assistant still wasn't how she wanted to help people. Sanchez took the initiative to go back to school, at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), so she could earn her online undergraduate degree in psychology, focusing on mental health.
"I feel blessed that I am given a second chance at the future I've always wanted, while still being able to be home raising my children," said Sanchez, a member of the class of 2018. As much as her job allowed her to see the medical side of treating people, she said, "To heal fully, we need to address the psychological side as well."
Sanchez is just one of many students who've turned to SNHU in order to pursue their dream of helping others while maintaining their work/life balance with an accessible online degree program. It's one of the reasons SNHU's psychology programs are among its most popular degrees.
With 1 in 5 adults experiencing mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the need for professionals to help treat them remains quite steady. It's clear that those who enter the field are drawn to treating those who need it.
As so many students are choosing an online undergraduate degree in psychology, it's easy to see the increasing desire for meaningful, impactful work, especially among those who are just entering the workforce. Deloitte's 2015 Millennial Survey revealed that 75 percent of millennial-aged employees believe that their company values bottom-line economics over a desire to do good within the community. This growing generational desire to give back is becoming just as important - if not more so - than a paycheck for many young professionals.
With this evolving motivation, an online undergraduate degree in psychology can effectively blend the best of both worlds - an accessible degree program that students of all ages and experiences can complete that leaves graduates with the skills, experience and knowledge to join the field ready to make a difference.
While psychology has long been a popular field of study on campuses, the marriage of psychological concepts and online learning has opened so many doors for people interested in helping others. Psychology is a fascinating field, further enhanced by its vast array of applications - perhaps what makes it such an appealing choice in the first place.
Aside from basic concepts, psychology students can tailor their educational experience based on what they want to do after school. And it's not all clinical applications, either. While clinical psychology is certainly a viable and sensible option for graduates, there is increasing demand for child and developmental psychology, forensic psychology and even industrial-organizational psychology. While psychology students can choose to pursue an advanced degree in clinical psychology, attaining licensure within their state of practice and working with patients in a one-on-one or group setting, there are plenty of other options available for those who don't desire that career.
Online undergraduate degrees in psychology blend learning with community involvement and 24/7 access to course materials to provide students with the foundation they need to then take their knowledge to the next level. Whether that takes the form of a placement in a child and family services environment or working with the elderly in a clinical setting is entirely up to the direction of the learner.
With SNHU's online undergraduate degrees in psychology, students can learn the skills that will enable them to pursue their goals of working in a helping profession.
A medical setback didn't stop Gail Darrigo, a psychology student and a member of the class of 2015. In fact, it may have inspired her. "I am very driven to accomplish my goal of earning my bachelor's degree in psychology," she said. "I'm hoping that this new area of the medical field will fulfill my passion of working with people that need help."
"I was always telling people I wanted to do something in psychology, so I finally took the first step," psychology student Holly Braswell '18 said. She knew she loved to help people: "I just believe that hearing someone out, and genuinely caring, will help them."
Another member of the class of 2018, Kellie Sues, plans on becoming a psychologist, but sees her current coursework helping her in her current job. "Through my journey of finding what degree I am passionate about, I have also found my niche at work," she said. "I have moved into a management role where I am able to play an active role in hiring, guiding, training, evaluating and motivating staff through the work I do. I will continue to use the education I receive at SNHU to help me build my current career, as well as develop my long-term goals."
Learn more about SNHU's online undergraduate degrees in psychology to begin your journey toward a meaningful education and career.
Currently finishing up her associate degree in information technologies, Meghan Hamlin was chosen as part of the almost-30 women from SNHU who attended the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration.
SNHU and MLS club FC Dallas teamed up to host a surprise graduation party and diploma delivery for Tesho Akindele, the first MLS player to earn a degree online from SNHU, as part of a partnership between the League and the University.