Counseling & Psychology
Counseling & Psychology Degrees
A degree in counseling will prepare you to provide therapy, support, and rehabilitation services to people in need. There are many different types of counselors, including educational and school counselors, vocational counselors, marriage and family counselors, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, and mental health counselors. Most counseling programs are for masters or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D) degrees, and give a background in personal issues, family dynamics, mental health, and employment. License requirements will vary by state, and the type of counselor you are.
A Psychology degree will prepare you to analyze the beliefs, feelings, and behaviors that influence people’s actions, in hopes of improving their lives. With a degree in psychology, you will be qualified for many specialized positions including clinical psychologists, health psychologists, counseling psychologists, school psychologists, experimental or research psychologists, and forensic psychologists.
A master’s or doctoral degree in psychology, along with a license, is required for practicing psychologists. Psychologists with a Ph.D. or doctor of psychology (Psy.D.) are qualified for teaching, research, clinical, and counseling positions in elementary and secondary schools, universities, healthcare services, and in the government. A doctoral degree in psychology requires five years of study. Basic coursework for Psychology degrees may include human cognition and behavior, and human anatomy and physiology.
A master’s degree in psychology requires two years of study, practical experience in the field, and a thesis based on a research project. There are also bachelor degrees in psychology, which allows graduates to assist professional psychologists in community mental health centers, vocational rehabilitation offices, and correctional programs. A bachelor’s degree in psychology will qualify students for entry-level jobs, but not for a license as a practicing psychologist.
Job Opportunities for Counselors and Psychologists
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of counselors is expected to increase by 18 percent between 2008 and 2018, but will vary by specialty. This is due to the aging population as well as an increased demand for mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Employment of psychologists is expected to grow 12 percent from 2008 to 2018, and is due to the demand for psychologists in schools, hospitals, social service agencies, mental health centers, substance abuse treatment clinics, and private companies.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 20010-2011 Edition