In the U.S., many developments in health care require knowledgeable behavioral experts for different industries. For example, educational entities seek behavior analysis for understanding the learning processes of their students. As ongoing research unveils the link between behavior and competency for learning, a Behavioral Analysis degree is becoming more popular due to its application in assisting educators’ success. But that’s just the beginning. Here, we will look at four interesting reasons to get your Applied Behavior Analysis degree, and the positions that require its well-rounded accreditation.
- Applied Behavioral Analysis is a growing field.
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a growing field for many psychology students in the United States. Over the past few years, many students have adjusted their coursework towards behavioral specialties that could better their chances of landing placement in the health care workforce. ABA happens to be one of those specialties. In terms of application, Applied Behavior Analysis is a field of psychological study that’s used within a diverse range of industries. This has created a wider offering of schools with ABA focus and coursework, including Applied Behavior Analysis graduate programs online, for additional convenience.
The degree popularity also has expanded the job market in terms of career opportunities, as well as the many possible roles of an accredited Behavior Analyst. New student options for various course sequences within the degree program have become available, including an online Master’s Degree, as well as secondary online programs applicable to the additional requirements needed by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. As we will see, practitioners in Forensic Psychiatry, social work, pharmacy research, and psychologists of various concentrations all require the insights of a board certified Behavior Analyst.
- Learning disabilities are more widely recognized.
According to organizations such as Behavior Analysis International and the Center for Forensic Psychiatry, located in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and New York City, new studies into learning disabilities have created new career opportunities for Behavior Analysts. Simply put, Applied Behavior Analysis proactively studies the links between an individual’s behavior and their competency for learning. By evaluating those findings, Behavioral Analysts can determine the proper treatment, as well as educate others on how to use programs for patient engagement. With this in mind, an ABA is ideal to assess individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other developmental disabilities of a related nature. In fact, the course sequence for many ABA online programs, including a Master’s Degree, integrate classes on Autism and similar learning disabilities. These coursework requirements are similar to those for a Master of Education online program.
However, helping understand Autism and other learning disabilities is only one facet of an analyst’s work. Their assessments can benefit teachers in a variety of settings that deal with human behavior and treatment. For example, psychiatrists, social workers, and other Special Education instructors can all learn to teach students with developmental disabilities with a higher success rate by using the research of a board certified Behavior Analyst.
- Many fields require a Behavioral Analyst.
Due to greater understanding, more developmental disabilities are recognized within the U.S. today. With refined assessments allowing for earlier diagnosis, individuals with learning disabilities can attain better treatment (including needed health insurance and specific medications) at a younger age. With both quality of life and workplace equal opportunity at stake, the professional opinions of a board certified Behavior Analyst are increasingly important to employers in a variety of settings. Often, those employers will assign mandatory coursework regarding behavioral health to their team members, additionally seeking out an ABA to teach the training modules. For example, health insurance professionals, CNAs and RNS at psychiatric hospitals and clinics, intervention organizers, social workers, and clerical staff of mental health centers may have training requirements that a board certified Behavior Analyst could instruct. In addition, the eligibility of a patient for specific medications and behavior centers depend upon an ABA’s assessment.
Many individuals who seek to become an Applied Behavior Analyst show an earlier interest in becoming a psychologist, or have an affinity for both psychiatry and how human service tie together with mental health. According to Dr. Ned Hallowell, a noted child and adult psychiatrist specializing in ADHD and learning disabilities, as well as the founder of the Hallowell Center, an aptitude for research can help in obtaining the needed Master’s Degree for Applied Behavioral Analysis. Once completed, however, the ABA certification can go a long way towards helping others and finding lucrative, fascinating work in every realm of mental health and learning development.
- Behavioral Analysis is a creative area of healthcare.
If the hands-on tasks associated with ABA degrees aren’t a good fit, there are other specialized fields within the degree program that combine the fundamentals of social work and mental health research. For example, you can continue your online Master’s Degree and board certification in order to study Behavioral Pharmacology. This is an often-overlooked facet of Master’s program options with concentration in ABA studies. Some certificate programs target research into the clinical uses and potential effects of psychotropic medications. Because prescription drugs and their dosage can have a direct impact on variations of mental illness or developmental disabilities, a board certified ABA can provide crucial assessments of their effects upon behavior and competency. These assessments and additional information can be of great value to psychiatrists, pharmaceutical researchers, and ultimately, pharmacists themselves.
The partnership between Behavioral Analysis and pharmacology is an important one, especially to those with developmental disabilities requiring prescription medications. Not all forms of mental illness are necessarily recognized by certain insurance plans, leaving some individuals seeking the best prescription discounts or reputable generic drugs of specific medications for the lowest price. Without the proper insurance plan, copay, and deductible, the high cost of drug prices can make prescriptions unattainable, leaving the patient in the cold. As research into the Autism Spectrum and ADHD continues, experimental drugs and forms of therapy for similar intellectual disabilities and emotional health are a key component for various treatments. With that in mind, an ABA can have a direct influence over the health care decisions regarding drug manufacturers’ prescription prices and the overall retail price that goes to each of America’s pharmacy chains. Whether Walgreens or a local pharmacy, this ultimately reaches patients at dictated “discounted price,” or pocket costs.
While there are excellent pharmacy options for finding the best discounts for prescription savings (discount programs, such as GoodRx, among others), the solid research and assessment exercises of a trained Applied Behavioral Analyst can make a world of difference in getting new medications approved for insurance purposes. Even government programs, such as Medicare, can depend on the research and findings of an ABA’s diligence and expertise.