Deciding between online Human Services and Psychology degrees

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by cvoetsch, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. cvoetsch

    cvoetsch New Member

    A little intro for my first post to this site: I am almost 57 years old and have never been to college. I have spent most of my life either home raising the kids or in sales which I am currently doing. I have always dreamed of going to school and doing something i want to do rather than just doing a job that will hire me but until recently never went beyond the dreaming stage. My daughter just started at OSU and after going through the process of helping her find and apply for her funds and scholarships for college, I realized that perhaps I can do the same thing.

    I looked into the community college route but with working full time and still having a family life with a nother daughter still in high school, my time available to drive to and from a physical classroom setting would be limited. Also, as I looked into the community college route it seemed that most of the classes were geared for younger students who could attend duting the day. Going to school this way would mean extending school for literally years and years. I am the primary bread winner for the family so NOT working full time is NOT an option for me.

    So I have decided to "bite the bullet" and attend the University of Phoenix. My concerns are as follows:

    1. What I WANT to do and what is POSSIBLE to do could perhaps be two different things.

    2. What I want to do is psychology and councelling but it is even really possible or probable at my age and starting with a high school diploma I receiver in 1972?

    3. The agent I am working with at U of Phoenix has suggected a Associate of Arts Human Services Management as a starting point to getting a more advanced degree and a stepping stone towards perhaps moving in several directions depending on what my goal is.

    4. I am not interested in becomming a social worker but am interested in the councelling aspect of social work, psychology, school and or behavioral councelling etc.

    5. Would Human Services degree give me a good starting point or should I start with psychology and in all this simply a pipe dream to do this online?

    6. I am in great health with a lot of energy and plan to work for years and past 70 and I am tired of having to work in sales or call centers because I am not trained for anything else. I want to spend the next few years doing something I enjoy and really with the economy I am dead in the water for a brighter future without some type of degree.....the days of fast money and sales are ending someone when you are a female who is a 56 year old sales-telemarketer.

    7. Should I simply choose a degree that will give me job skills and help me earn a living or go for my dream? I can't afford to waste time and money and have few "shots" left. This will be somewhat a finantial burdan and want to make as few mistakes as possible.

    8. I realize the agent at U of Phoenix works for commission and may not have MY best interests in mind.

  2. MISin08

    MISin08 New Member

    Welcome to the forum. Re #2 possible, but I think you already see the need to get moving. Re your #3 an associates degree could be a way to decide how much you like college (in other words "manageable bite") but many many jobs involving counseling require a masters degree (and if you want to make decent money an advanced degree is important).
    Most of the time a 4-year Psych degree doesn't get a person into counseling; it's the stepping stone. Human Services sounds like social work. Did the UP rep say anything about job prospects for the degree?
    You can do a 4-year degree cheaper and faster than at UP, if you have the energy you describe. Keep reading this forum to learn how.

  3. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

  4. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    In some states a BSW degree allows the person to provide counseling. In all states, an MSW can provide counseling and therapy. That would be a shorter, and more widely acceptable route to a counseling credential than, say, a masters in psychology, and, contrary to common belief, an MSW has much of the same training that a psychologist would have as far as counseling and therapy, so I think it would be a good option to look into.

    There are also masters in psychology degrees that allow you to do counseling, but I think you'll find that MSWs are more reimbursable than MA Psychology. The Ph.D. is the brass ring, but is both time consuming and expensive, and if you want the primo Ph.D. in psychology, there are only a small number of schools that are APA accredited, the preferred program accreditation for doctoral psychology programs, and as far as I know, Fielding Institute is the only one with a partial distance-based psychology Ph.D. that also has APA accreditation.

    I also echo the other posters that there are much, much less expensive options than UoP. I would NOT suggest simply enrolling in a generic "human services" associate degree and then "figuring out what you want to do"... that sounds like the UoP salesguy trying to get you locked into UoP. Spend the time to figure out what degree you're after and go directly for that degree. Otherwise, you may end up with additional coursework or schooling or even degrees you don't need.
  5. eilla05

    eilla05 New Member

    I have a couple of points for you :)

    First one being find an online community college and get your associates degree from there for about a fraction of the cost you will pay for UOP. I have attended a few great community colleges online that cost under 80.00 per credit hour (most less than 60). So my first piece of advice would be to find a cheaper alternative for your associates by browsing this board or sending me a PM so I can help you :)

    Second being I would go for the human service degree instead of psychology only if you know for sure you want to go into counseling. Psychology in my opinion is not really geared toward counseling unless your in a counseling psychology program which is generally at the Masters level. But in all fairness neither degree will steer you wrong and will allow you to obtain some entry level positions within the helping profession.

    I also have to agree with Chip above. MSW's will give you the ability to counsel but so will a counseling psychology degree or a degree in counseling itself.

    The first thing you should do is find a cheaper school! There is not point in paying 10k (im guessing here) for an associate that you could have for 3. You should spend a little time exploring what you really want to do before deciding but an associates in Human services will allow you to get your foot in the door of the helping profession but not in counseling.

    Good luck to you!
  6. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    I had considered attending UoP myself and, after learning of their high prices and poor reputation in the business and academic world, decided to attend elsewhere. We have often joked that a doctorate from there should be called a "McDoctorate".
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2011
  7. okydd

    okydd New Member

  8. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Welcome - you came to the right website and you will find or receive answers to most questions you may have about distant learning options.

    It is never too late to start.

    Then DL is a great alternative.

    UoP is OK however it is quite expensive and there are much better options available.

    I suggest you check out Excelsior College Home - or COSC Charter Oak State College - Finish Your Degree Online - the former is a non-profit school and the latter is a state school. Both offer Associates and Bachelor degrees. I suggest you first go for an AA degree then you can choose a specialty later on. With these two schools you can earn credit from any RA college or university then transfer it in. There is no need to enroll right away but you can start earning credit now. We will provide suggestions as to appropriate courses. For starters you could look at Clovis College . At Clovis their English Comp course (3 units) would cost you $184.
    You can also earn credit by passing various challenge exams such as CLEP CLEP: Exam Descriptions and DSST DSST -

    For my Excelsior degree I transferred in credit from a dozen different schools plus one CLEP exam.
  9. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Don't forget there is an additional $50 fee per course for many (if not all) DL courses
  10. okydd

    okydd New Member

    You are correct. There are two additional fees totaling $34 per course. I tried to covered this by saying tuition plus technologies fees.
  11. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    It is still the best credit-for-credit price of any courses that I am aware of.

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