If you are pursuing a job as a career counselor or looking for entry level counseling support work or in a non-therapeutic setting, a bachelor’s degree in counseling, psychology or related field is a good starting point. A bachelor's degree is not sufficient for licensed counseling practice, however, it is an important stepping-stone toward a career in counseling. A completed bachelor's degree is required for acceptance to any master's in counseling degree program.
Undergraduate degrees in counseling or psychology provide a strong academic background for aspiring professional counselors as the curriculum provides a foundation for master’s level courses. A bachelor's degree with a different focus may still be applicable, but additional coursework may be required.
Synchronous Learning requires you to log in and attend classes at specific times as classes are conducted in real time. These types of classes usually require a webcam and limit scheduling flexibility a bit, but the result is an engaging classroom environment.
Asynchronous Learning allows you to log in and view lectures at your convenience. However, do not forget that there are still deadlines for assignments.
Cohort Model: Some programs use a cohort-learning model, meaning you are part of a specific class of students that proceeds through the program together. In this instance, there is a set of courses that must be followed in a specific order. This model gives you the opportunity to network and become friends with your classmates and work with them in a collaborative environment.
Flexible Course Scheduling: This model allows you to choose when you take each required course and lets you vary your course load from semester to semester. Some schools set a limit on the number of years needed to complete a degree. Without the same set of classmates, you are exposed to a diverse range of people and opinions.
Regardless of the preferred online education style at your university, many universities offer access to academic advisors who can help you devise a class schedule and graduation timeline that suits your needs and helps you reach your goals.