Is a Degree in Behavioral Science right for You?

Behavioral science, or behaviorism, has always been fascinating to me. It’s not as abstract as psychology or sociology (although it does encompass both of those fields), but instead deals with how people interact with society. It studies behavior, and uses that to determine how that behavior developed, and how it will continue to evolve.

Many colleges now offer degrees in behaviorism, photo by Matthieu Riegler

Sound boring? It isn’t. Behaviorism is used in school to help problem children. It is also used in Quantico by the FBI, to analyze crimes and criminals to determine why it happened and how to catch the culprit. Behaviorism can help you when going out on dates, by reading the mannerisms and body language of your date and interpreting things about them. Behaviorism can help you run a business, by identifying and modifying the way employees act at work.

As a tool for life, behavioral science is infinitely helpful. It is also one of the thousands of different on-line degrees students can learn and earn via distance education.

Belleview University is one of the few schools that offer a program for a Bachelors of Science in the field of Behavioral Science. The foundation of this degree includes the major concepts and theories of psychology, sociology, and counseling, with an emphasis on “helping you deepen a reflective understanding of self, diverse clients, and service providing agencies.”

The school’s site claims that graduates of the Behavioral Science program have gone on to well paying jobs such as Addictions Counselor, Child & Family Specialist, Youth Chemical Dependency Specialist, Security Officer, and Case Counselor. Also, achieving the degree prepares the student to go on for a Masters in this field, Human Services, or Clinical Counseling.

But Belleview isn’t the only game in town, and if you need something more advanced Capella University also offers a Masters degree program in Social and Behavioral Sciences.

The school asserts “Designed around national public health curriculum standards, this Social and Behavioral Sciences program provides an overview of public health issues and administrative systems, as well as focused course work on such topics as social and behavioral theories and research methodologies; program planning and evaluation; assessment and surveillance; health disparities; international public health; and public health information for diverse populations. A collaborative project involving local public health organizations is integrated into the curriculum, providing you the opportunity to gain practical knowledge of relevant organizations, programs and policies.”

The applications for an education in behavioral science are numerous, with an amazing potential for growth. The applied disciplines of behavioral science include (but are not limited to): organizational behavior, operations research, consumer behavior and media psychology. This means that a background in behaviorism could help you find meaningful job in advertising, law enforcement, education, any sort of corporate job, or even government work.

The major downfall of the discipline is that the more you learn about behavioral science, the less you can enjoy the show Criminal Minds. Which really gets a lot wrong.

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