A Bachelor's in Psychology is one of the most common undergraduate degree programs selected by students with the intent to later pursue a master's in counseling. Undergraduate psychology degree programs ultimately teach students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers, which is directly applicable to most any profession including each of the counseling disciplines.
According to the US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), of the 1.7 million bachelor's degrees conferred between 2009 and 2010, 6 percent were in Psychology. Nearly 75% of undergraduate Psychology degree graduates go directly into the workforce and 25% continue directly to graduate study (NCES).
With the strong foundation in critical thinking and science designed to teach students to understand human behavior, a degree in Psychology can be preparation for entry to several fields. Some common areas of the workforce that new psychology graduates enter include sales, marketing, social work, and some counseling disciplines (not common without graduate level education).
NCES reported that nearly 40% of Psychology degree graduates who do not go directly into graduate school do end up returning to school for graduate study in psychology or another field. Other graduate fields of study that students with an undergraduate degree in Psychology pursue include counseling, medicine, nursing, law, social work, business, education, psychology (obviously), pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
Some colleges and universities offer both a B.A. and a B.S. and some offer just one option. When it comes down to it, there are not many significant differences between the two types of programs. Some say that a B.A. will be less focused on research, math and statistics than a B.S. and would be a better choice for those interested in ultimately pursuing master's level study in counseling and social work. The B.S. may be a better choice for someone wanting to pursue a more research focused path or a Doctoral future.
Choosing an undergraduate Psychology degree is an exciting process. Research schools and their programs to see which one fits your schedule and goals. You'll be one step closer to becoming a counselor.