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Applied Behavior Analysis Degree: How it Can Bolster Your Career Prospects

No one wants to feel like they are struggling to find a job in today’s hyper-competitive economy. Unfortunately, it truly can be challenging out there, and the amount of stress that one is likely to face when they are contending with the possibility of not being able to find work is truly daunting. One thing that some individuals have opted to do to improve their career prospects is to consider getting an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) degree.

An ABA degree can boost your career prospects by making you a more well-educated and marketable commodity. Applied behavior analysis is a behavioral science, and there are many different ways that one can approach it. They can use such a degree to open doors to countless career path opportunities, and they can potentially rest a little easier knowing that there are various options available to them.

ABA Degree: A Foundation for a Rewarding Career

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Finding jobs, in general, can be challenging. One thing people do to increase their employment chances is by getting an ABA degree.

Before you sign up for taking on the challenges of an ABA degree, it is wise to first know a little about what this degree is and what types of ABA degrees are available in the first place.

Drexel University explains the following about how these degree programs can assist you in finding the meaningful and well-rewarded work that you are looking for:

What can you do with a degree in ABA? Careers in applied behavior analysis include several different paths. Among them, you’ll find opportunities inside educational environments, hospitals, private and non-profit organizations, and residential treatment settings.

You will pick up a lot of foundational knowledge about the field of behavioral science, and you will learn many of the practical skills that you can use to help improve your career prospects and serve the people you come in contact with at any job that you may take on with this degree. There are many different degree types and certifications that you can strive for, including:

  • Board-certified assistant behavioral analyst (BCaBA)
  • Board-certified behavioral analyst (BCBA)
  • Board-certified behavior analyst doctoral (BCBA-D)

The specific degree that you aim for should be based on what you intend to do with the education that you obtain. Always strive to have some plan in mind for what you will do once you have your ABA degree in hand.

Career Opportunities with an ABA Degree

The primary reason why people get an ABA degree is to open the door to more career opportunities than they had before. They wouldn’t necessarily put up with all of the toil and struggle that goes into obtaining such a degree if not for the fact that they know it can translate into better career opportunities for themselves.

ABA professionals are needed in many different industries. These individuals serve in jobs in healthcare, education, and even private practices. They are almost always in high demand because the jobs that they do simply cannot be performed by just anyone. It takes a highly trained individual who knows what they are doing to produce the results necessary from this type of work. This means that plenty of jobs will be open for those who follow through with getting their ABA degree.

A few of the career opportunities that are available to those with an ABA degree include the following:

  • Special education teacher
  • School psychologist
  • Non-profit employee
  • Social worker
  • Behavioral analyst
  • Wellness coach
  • Clinical director

All of these options, and many more, are potential career paths that one might opt for if one goes through the process of getting an ABA degree. Any one of these careers may be calling your name, and there is little doubt that all of these careers will be needed long into the future.


Market Demand and Salary Expectations for ABA Professionals

When thinking about potential career moves to make, it is always a good idea to consider the market demand and salary expectations of any particular move that you might want to make. This is why it is a good idea to learn about the market demand for the skills that you might pick up as an ABA professional.

It is impossible to say with absolute certainty what the ABA job market will look like at any given time. However, there are certain averages that one can use to better assist themselves in understanding approximately how much they may earn in this type of job. Simply getting a better idea about what kind of income they may expect to earn for their hard work can encourage some people to take a stab at going after their ABA degree in the first place.

Let us first take a look at some of the explosive demand for this type of labor according to recent statistics. Burning Glass Technologies was commissioned in 2019 with running an analysis of the demand for work that requires an ABA degree, and to look at the influencing factors that play a role in the amount of demand for this type of work over time. Here is a sampling of what they discovered:

  • From 2010 to 2018 there was a 1,942% increase in demand for BCBAs.
  • There was a 1,098% increase in demand for BCaBAs during that same eight-year period
  • In just one year, from 2017 to 2018, there was a 127% increase in demand for BCBAs and a 184% demand increase for BCaBAs

All of this shows that there is both a lot of interest in this type of work and a lot of demand for the people who possess the degrees and talents necessary to get the work done. You can rest assured that you are highly likely to have a job available to you if you decide to take it.

The Role of Board Certification in Career Advancement

You might stop and ask yourself why you need board certification in the first place. You may wonder aloud what good this does for you or why it is even necessary. It turns out that the while the certification process may require some hard work and dedication on your part, it is worthwhile for you to go through because you will ultimately end up with more people showing you the respect you deserve.

There is a greater chance for career advancement when you have a BCBA or a BCaBA because it shows potential employers that you are the type of person who follows through on your commitments and that you are willing to put in the hard work necessary to achieve the results you desire. When you understand it from this perspective, it begins to make more sense why there is such a premium placed on the individuals who spend their time obtaining their board certifications.

Continuing Education and Professional Development

An applicant handing over his resume in a folder to an obscured interviewer as a job interview begins. The interviewer’s associate on the left is also obscured in the photo.

Looking into the demand of a certain job can help you decide if you want to pursue an ABA degree for it.

Your development as a person doesn’t end the moment you have your ABA degree in hand. In fact, the process has only just begun, and you must continue to work on learning new skills and tasks whenever possible. There are ABA resources that allow you to stay on top of the latest developments in the field and continue to work on the process of lifelong learning. You want to continue to tap into those resources to keep yourself informed and as highly marketable as you possibly can be as an individual.

Professional development is all about proving that you are still willing to learn and adapt to new knowledge and information. Make sure you are striving to take steps to keep yourself appealing to potential employers so you never have to panic about landing a job when you need one. For more information on the power and value of ABA degrees learn more about Careers that Intersect with Applied Behavior Analysis