Counseling has become an attractive career option as more branches of counseling become in-demand. Getting a master’s degree in counseling can open up many of these career options. Here are some of the requirements and benefits of a master’s in counseling.
Getting Your Masters in Counseling
Normally, a student will begin a master’s in counseling program after completing a related undergraduate degree. Students with a bachelor’s degree in psychology or counseling are strong candidates for these programs. However, other students who are strongly motivated to complete the program can also apply. In this case, it would be wise for the applicant to have some background experience related to counseling, such as coursework or volunteer experience.
The masters degree program itself is approximately two years long, and it introduces students to the techniques and theories of counseling. With this degree, students will be equipped to begin a career in counseling. Graduates of a masters program in counseling are by no means experts in the field, and it will take several years of solid work experience to master the ideas taught in the program.
Career Paths with a Masters in Counseling
The most obvious career choice for a master’s in counseling graduate is counseling. Counseling positions exist in various fields. For example, one could become a school counselor and help children deal with the issues they face at home or in their adjustment to school life. Or, one could choose a position at a mental health clinic and help patients cope with mental illness. The patients can be from all walks of life, and in varying states of mental health. Depending on the exact role of the counselor, an individual may need to attend additional training in order to learn more about the population they will be working with.
Career counseling can be a rewarding option for those who enjoy solving practical problems. When young people are at the beginning of their careers, they often need a lot of guidance in choosing a suitable profession. Career counselors help them look at different options and choose a good path. Career counselors need to know a lot about a range of occupations, including the pros and cons of the job, educational requirements, career outlook, and more. In order to guide others on such an important decision, a novice career counselor will need to seek additional training. Career counseling programs can often provide new employees with the training they need to start the job.
Another popular kind of counselor is a marriage and family counselor. These counselors are experts in the relationships between spouses, parents and children, and others. When a pair of close people is having troubles in their relationship, they seek the help of a marriage and family counselor to help them resolve the issues together. The counselor’s role is simply to encourage fair and open dialogue between the parties, so that they can work their issues out.
For something a bit different than other counseling jobs, substance abuse counseling is an option. These counselors help people deal with their drug and alcohol addictions, and they support their patients as they try to overcome their substance abuse problems. Substance abuse counselors have a tough job, as their patients often struggle a lot with recovery. However, the influence that these counselors can have on others’ lives is substantial. Substance abuse programs will provide their employees with training and information on how to deal with particular substance abuse problems, along with tactics for dealing with difficult patients.
Choosing a Counseling Career
The choice of which career path to choose with a master’s in psychology is very personal, and there are a lot of factors to consider. One must consider whether they are willing to take on a more difficult counseling position in order to work with individuals who need their help the most. Another factor may be working hours; counselors who work in schools or offices will tend to have more regular hours that those who start their own practices. In any case, getting a master’s degree in counseling can be extremely rewarding. No matter which branch of counseling you choose to pursue, you will have plenty of opportunity to make a difference in others’ lives.