For students interested in pursuing an Online Counseling Psychology Degree, there are a variety of educational options available. Counseling psychology is a specialty that involves research and practice in multiple broad areas, with the focus generally being on the counseling process: students who earn a degree in counseling psychology typically are those who want to help people improve their mental and emotional well-being. Individuals who enjoy working with people–and helping people live better lives–are best suited to a course of study in counseling psychology. To this end, a counseling psychology degree program teaches students an increased understanding of human behavior on both a cognitive and emotional level. By integrating research, theory, and practice, a counseling psychology program will lead the graduate to help people improve their well-being, resolve conflicts and crises, and increase their capacity to live more fulfilled and high-functioning lives.
Students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate counseling psychology degree will typically take classes in counseling therapy, crisis intervention, family and marriage therapy, and addiction. Based on the academic experiences provided by the Online Counseling Psychology Degree program, the student will be prepared to work with a variety of populations. Students who earn a counseling psychology degree may go on to pursue careers in counseling, social services (i.e., employee assistance positions), education, health care, or progress to more advanced studies in counseling psychology.
How To Find the Top Online Counseling Psychology Degree Programs
When looking for an online counseling psychology degree program, there are several factors to consider. Students may wish to pursue a Bachelor’s program (B.S.), or at the highest level, Master’s and Doctorate programs (M.A., PhD, PsyD, EdD). Master’s and doctorate degrees focus student learning toward the acquisition of a professional license, such as a counseling psychologist, whereas at a more basic level, an B.S. program may help a student begin a career in limited types of counseling work and serve as a “gateway” for more advanced training.
The best online psychology degree programs generally offer multiple degree paths. University of Phoenix, Capella University, and Walden University are three institutions which offer online counseling psychology degree programs and receive top rankings in terms of student satisfaction. Students can choose to study general counseling or pursue specializations in areas like family counseling or addiction counseling. Unlike traditional universities, these institutions are unique in that they offer coursework entirely online, allowing students to achieve a desirable life/work balance. These institutions do offer limited need-based scholarships; additionally, they help students identify their eligibility for federal financial aid.
Careers and Salaries for Individuals with an Online Counseling Psychology Degree
Armed with a counseling psychology degree, a graduate may pursue a number of different rewarding careers. Some graduates may choose to work in a social services field as a counselor, while others may put their counseling psychology skills to work in the business world in a field like human resources.
Salaries for graduates of counseling psychology programs may vary, depending on the position and degree level of the graduate. Individuals in entry-level counseling jobs (typically for B.S. and some A.A. graduates) in school and healthcare settings can expect to earn around $32,000 annually. For graduates with more advanced degrees, salaries are higher; counseling psychologists with an M.A., for example, report a median income of approximately $80,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that the psychology field, including counseling psychology, boasts a 12% expected job growth rate over the next 10 year period. In light of this positive growth picture, graduates with an Online Counseling Psychology Degree can look forward to many rewarding opportunities in their field.