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Psychology Bachelor's Degree

The Basic Foundation for Counseling

A bachelor’s degree in psychology is, for most forms of counseling, the foundational level of education. Very few forms of counseling license can be obtained with less education or less specific education. Most forms will require more, in some form or another. If you are planning to go into a counseling profession it’s probably wise to regard a psychology bachelor’s or a related degree as a basic necessity.

Qualifications for Counseling Careers

  • Lowest levels: A.A. and special training
  • Psychology B.S. and special training
  • Psychology B.S. or related B.S./B.A., followed by a specialized M.A. or Ph.D.

Coaching and Career Guidance

Some few forms of counseling career can be obtained with less than a B.S. or B.A. in psychology. Coaching and career guidance positions, however, being highly restricted and practically oriented forms of counseling, can in many cases be practiced with only an A.A. in psychology or counseling with additional training in relationship to the chosen field. Licensing or certification may be required in your state or district to then pursue a career.

Human Resources for B.A. or B.S. in Psychology

The primary career course for those with a B.S. or B.A. in psychology would be human resources of some type, or administration. In some states and districts actual counseling can be done with a B.A. or B.S. in psychology with additional training and certification, but the forms will usually be basic counseling of a fairly simple level. However a B.S. or B.A. in psychology can serve as vital preparation for the far more useful M.A. and Ph.D., either of which may be required for a career as a fully trained counselor.

M.A. and Ph.D. Depend on a B.A. or B.S.

The academic structure doesn’t easily allow short-cuts: there are few ways to avoid getting a B.A. or B.S. if you hope to obtain an M.A. or Ph.D. Just as a tradesman moves from apprentice to journeyman to master, so an academic moves from an undergraduate degree, to higher degrees. A B.S. or B.A. in psychology or counseling serve as exceptionally good preparations for M.A. or Ph.D. level work in counseling fields, opening up the majority of true counseling and social services positions associated with psych degrees.

Planning Your Academic Path

Planning the path through academia to reach your desired goal is far from a simple challenge. In many instances college and university advisers can tell you how to navigate the academic system to get a particular degree, but can’t help you determine the best degree to carry you to a particular career goal. Similarly a good referral agency can often help determine the correct degree needed, but will be poorly equipped to offer advice in how to obtain that degree from any specific institution.

In many instances the very best route is to assemble advice from three different resources: from a school adviser and from professionals within the college; from practicing professionals engaged in active careers; and from agencies and referral services who can offer a broad overview of available careers and the necessary degrees to pursue them. By combining these sources of information it is possible to tailor an academic path. Properly advised, a student can choose among the various courses offered to assemble a useful training background before ever graduating, and can then go on to obtain the best choice of M.A. for their desired goals. Given the expense and time investment involved in getting this vital degree, obtaining the best advice and planning as far in advance as possible is highly recommended.


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