Psychology Master’s Degree Programs in Nevada
Sagebrush and neon are a fair characterization of the cultural landscape of the Silver State… glitz and glamour in the urban cores of Reno and Las Vegas, and hard-bitten mining and ranching out in the mountains and deserts of the state.
The split mirrors a major demographic difference as well, one that has big implications for the practice of psychology: rural Nevadans tend to be natives of the state, who keep to themselves and their communities, while the cities are home to a more diverse population with professions largely oriented toward serving the tourist industry.
That creates a kind of frenetic turnover that can be psychologically hard to deal with, along with the human fallout of the vice industries that drive the urban economy. Gambling, drinking, prostitution, relaxed divorce laws, and their ilk uncover some of the more unpleasant sides of human behavior… and require expert psychological services to manage.
One School Rules Them All In Nevada’s Psychology Game
Online master’s programs in psychology are very popular in Nevada for all the obvious reasons. The University of Nevada is the only game in town when it comes to getting a psychology master’s degree in Nevada, but at least you get the option of two different locations: both UNLV and UN-Reno have psychology master’s programs.
Both options have nationally renowned faculty and an emphasis on scientific training. Reno only offers the degree with a behavioral analysis specialization, while UNLV’s program is part of their clinical or experimental PhD tracks.
A Master’s Offers Excellent Qualification For Psychological Service Jobs in Nevada
Most psychologists in Nevada will need to earn a doctorate in order to get their license to practice. The exception is school psychologists, who can get their credential with only a master’s from an approved university.
A psychology master’s degree can also open up licensing in Nevada as either a marriage and family therapist or a professional counselor. To become an LMFT, however, you’ll need to ensure that your master’s curriculum lines up with the state requirements for coursework in the subject area.
The Flip Sides of Addiction Science Are Always Hiring in Nevada
The psychology of gambling is a fascinating niche within the industry and there are few places in the country as ideal for studying it as Nevada. What you might find even more fascinating is that there are two major, equally important, diametrically opposed opportunities for practice revolving around gambling in the Silver State: addiction treatment for gamblers, and industrial and organizational design for casinos.
The Center for Gaming Innovation at UNLV is an internationally-recognized institute for the study and development of casino games. The psychological details behind what makes those games compelling to play have become a vital part of that design, as well as an important component of casino and resort design. There are always positions open for experts in psychology in the gaming industry to help create and manage those experiences.
But there’s a dark side to the good times. With some of the most liberal alcohol laws in the nation, Nevada also has more than its fair share of folks with drinking problems. And the state tops the nation in deaths from methamphetamines and other stimulants, part of the frenetic rush that gambling can bring.
Since a master’s degree in psychology can cover the educational requirements to become a licensed addiction counselor in Nevada, you can put yourself in a position to help stem the tide of addiction, or to help manage it as part of the gaming industry itself.
School Psychologists Are in Great Demand Around Las Vegas
If someone asked you to guess the largest employers in the state of Nevada and you picked a casino, you’d be wrong: the top two largest employers in the state are the Clark and Washoe County School Districts.
Clark is the 5th largest school district in the nation, and they are always hiring. After the influx of new residents began in the 1990s, as many as 16 separate schools were opened in a single year.
Not only is it a large district, it’s a district with considerable turnover and turmoil. The schools have their own police department with more than 160 sworn officers. They’ve helped to catch 7 different students bringing guns to school in 2018 alone… each of those incidents a heart-in-throat near miss that cries out for psychological intervention.
Depression Comes With The Territory in Nevada
It’s no coincidence that the Loneliest Road in America (U.S. Route 50) runs through Nevada. The state has one of the highest rates of depression in the nation.
As recently as World War II, Nevada was the least populous state in the union. The rapid influx of migrants that has seen the southern triangle booming has also made for a lot of uprooted strangers running around there, folks who could often use some counseling to stave off the loneliness that can come with being just a face in the crowd.
Experts attribute the high depression rates, in part, to a lack of trained psychologists available to perform that counseling. A master’s degree in the field can put you on a fast track to make up for the problem.