Overview of Free Online Developmental Psychology Courses
Psychology is a vast area of study wherein several specialized fields are nested. Developmental psychology is a branch of psychology that primarily deals with understanding and learning about human beings' physical, social, emotional, psychological and cognitive changes as they develop through various stages of their lives. This branch studies human beings from birth to their death and assesses them through myriad prisms such as behavior or cognition skills. Typically in a developmental psychology course one would learn about the various theoretical approaches associated with this field and its applications to real life situations. Detailed information including online course information and possible career options will be discussed below.
Requirements for Online Developmental Psychology Courses
Since most of these free online courses are for a short duration and not full- fledged degree programs, they do not have a consistent requirement. The requirements would depend upon the university or online platform providing the course. Some courses might be introductory, while others may suggest that students already have a degree. Since these are online courses, what is a definite requirement is having a steady internet connection to access the course materials, especially video lessons. And of course, you will need your own motivation, willingness to learn and time to give for completion of the online course.
The coursework will vary depending upon the university or the online platform that you decide to pick. Broadly, many of the courses could be based on key concepts associated with developmental psychology. Introductory classes could begin with infants and address social attachment. You might learn about the three basic stages of human beings: childhood, adolescence and adulthood and how each stage goes through unique transition processes.
You may also explore various theories and experiments that help to understand human beings' cognitive and social development as they progress through the different life stages. Both normal and pathological development will often be addressed. The three theories that would most likely be included in all courses and which form the cornerstone of developmental psychology are Jean Piaget's Cognitive Theory, Lev Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory and John Bowlby's Attachment Theory. Some courses may even include lessons on behavioral developmental psychologists such as Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner or address Freud's Psychosexual Development Theory.
Career Options with an Online Developmental Psychology Course
While a short online course will not equip you with the necessary tools to become a psychologist, it could help you in your career that specifically deals on a regular basis with key developmental transitions in a human being's life. This could include careers in healthcare, social/human services, and education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018, the median annual salary for many healthcare practitioners and technical careers was $66,440, $44,960 for community and social service occupations, and $49,700 for education/training/library careers. Online psychology courses might be quite useful for enhancing the skills of those engaged in the following careers.