Online Master’s Degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis

Earning an online masters degree in applied behavioral analysis (ABA) can be a great fit for any individual seeking a career as an applied behavioral analyst, a school counselor, or in counseling. Most commonly, applied behavioral analysts work in schools to help children with learning or developmental disabilities, such as autism. An online masters in applied behavioral analysis will provide the student with the skills and understanding to help any client, not just school children, with language, motor, social, and reasoning skills. Master’s-level students in the field will also learn skills needed to work with businesses and in industrial settings to help teach job skills and improve work performance.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis

Online master’s programs in applied behavioral analysis can be demanding and require the student to demonstrate and develop a broad range of skills. Most programs require students to complete significant amounts of readings, examining case studies, and developing independent thoughts and writings from the case studies. Students must also participate in courses that not only require them to gain an understanding of diagnosing various learning disabilities and autism, but also develop these skills through a practicum or work study program. Some courses you can expect to see include:

  • Introduction to Applied Behavioral Therapy
  • Research in Special Education
  • Behavioral Consultation
  • Interventions and Treatments of Autism
  • Professional Issues in Applied Behavior Analysis

All online applied behavioral analysis master’s degree programs require that students complete a supervised practicum experience before graduating. In most cases, programs will allow the studentˇto choose the specific field in which they do their practicum. These might include autism or special education, or may take place in a professional setting, such as a counseling office, or with a business or corporation that provides professional therapy to its workers. Students must demonstrate the skills they’ve learned during their program in a professional setting, and in most cases will be called upon to perform applied behavioral analysis functions under the supervision of a professional in the field.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Anthropology

The most common career for a graduate of an online masters degree in applied behavior analysis is as a school or career counselor. School counselors typically work on specific elementary, middle, or high school campuses, or for a school district working at various campuses. School counselors work with children requiring special education needs or with other students with developmental issues like autism or learning disabilities. Career counselors typically work in a counseling or therapy practice office, or for large corporations, and assist individuals from teenagers to working professionals with career development, job skills training, or by helping them with the process of making career decisions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for school and career counselors is expected to grow by 19% through the year 2020. The growth is about as fast as average for all occupations, and is expected to grow due to increasing enrollment in schools and colleges.

One important thing to remember is that all school counselors are required to have a state-issued license or certification to practice. Requirements will vary from state to state, but typically include passing a criminal background check, a master’s degree, a certain amount of supervised experience, and successful completion of an exam. You can find the requirements for each state through the American School Counselors Association website.

While licensure is not required for individuals working as career counselors, most employers prefer counselors to be certified, or working towards certification. Career counselors who work in a private practice are usually required to be licensed. Requirements for licensure typically include a master’s degree, 2,000-3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, and passing a state-recognized exam. Counselors interested in earning their license to practice privately can contact their state regulating board through the National Board for Certified Counselors.


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