An Online Master’s Degree is a Catalyst for a Career Transformation

Author: Kealy Moriarty

Last Updated:

Category: Feature Story | Educational Psychology

The online master's in Educational Psychology program with a concentration in Applied Educational Psychology facilitates career progression and lays the foundation for graduate's professional dreams.

online student Beth Swiatek wearing power T t-shirt

Mastering dreams ignites professional success

For many people, switching careers is a scary thought. There are a lot of unknowns, and the logistics can be daunting. Now that there are more online education opportunities, employees find it easier to make a change that benefits them personally and professionally. This was the case for one online student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Even though Beth Swiatek began her career in exercise physiology research, she wanted to transition into psychology because of her medical background. Knowing she would need additional education, Swiatek began researching psychology master’s degree programs to allow her to work full-time and excel in a new career. She found the perfect match in the online Educational Psychology program at the University of Tennessee.

With my work schedule, the online learning platform provided night classes from the ease of my office or home and made it easier for me to gain my graduate degree at a pace that fit my schedule  

— Beth Swiatek, ’15, MS, Educational Psychology, Applied Educational Psychology

She found the faculty welcoming and accommodating, providing a rich learning experience. The assignments made the content more relatable using real-world experiences, even on a virtual platform. Swiatek felt more comfortable taking risks online than in a traditional classroom and built close connections with her peers and faculty.

The online degree experience at the University of Tennessee offers classes that fit within student schedules and mental health and wellness support specifically for online learning. The online learning community is defined by connection, opportunity, and creativity.

After getting her master’s degree in Educational Psychology, Beth Swiatek plans to open her psychology practice. Courtesy of Beth Swiatek.

The program expanded Swiatek’s knowledge of educational psychology and moved her one step closer to her dream of building her private practice. Swiatek will be fully licensed within a year and plans to open her practice.

There was never a time I felt alone or unsupported during my time, which made the distance between us seem less of a barrier.

— Beth Swiatek, ’15, MS, Educational Psychology, Applied Educational Psychology 
Caption: Swiatek said her UT online program provided skills and knowledge she uses daily in counseling. Courtesy of Beth Swiatek.

I can confidently say that this online master’s degree offered by UT’s Educational Psychology program will be the foundation of my success and has helped shape my professional identity

— Beth Swiatek, ’15, MS, Educational Psychology, Applied Educational Psychology 

Swiatek’s journey is a reminder that with determination and the proper education, passions can be followed, impacts can be made, and others can be inspired. The University of Tennessee’s online degree programs offer the same excellent education, community, student support, and faculty as the on-campus experience, all with the convenience of distance learning.

Students studying on campus

Learn More

Would you like more information on the master’s program in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Applied Educational Psychology? Take the first step by completing and submitting a Request Information form on the program page.