The Advantages To Earning A School Counseling Degree
A school counseling degree gives individuals the skills and knowledge required to work within educational settings and other fields as a qualified mental health professional. Most school counseling degree programs are based in studies regarding human growth and development, ethics, counseling techniques, and guidance or career counseling. Degree programs give students the information and skills necessary to understand diversity, human growth and development, group work, relationships, ethics, career development, counseling techniques, and evaluation. Degree programs also provide students with specialized training regarding student affairs, substance abuse counseling, and family therapy. Most school counseling programs also require students to complete clinical experiences to gain hands on experiences necessary for professional success.
Most colleges and universities have developed online degree programs to extend education to students managing work and family obligations in addition to pursuing a degree. Most online programs feature virtually the same educational experiences as their traditional, on campus counterparts with the added benefits like increased flexibility in course scheduling and a more personalized educational experience. Online courses generally offer groups of 25 students 24 hour access to course materials and instruction. Additionally, online classes give students one to one access to instructors and other classmates. Many students find online programs offer the most convenient, affordable means of expanding education necessary to propel personal, educational, and career goals.
What Students Learn Within School Counseling Degree Programs
School counseling degrees are specialized programs which enable students to gain employment in the educational system and within various other organizations. School counseling programs give students the training necessary to assist clients with social, occupational, or educational development. School counselors are generally required to complete a master’s degree program as well as State licensing requirements in order to qualify for employment. Many students begin their education with an associate degree in psychology. Courses at an associate level include: introduction to business, English composition, human relations, introduction to psychology, human growth and development, personal finance, business communication, American government, college Algebra, social psychology, abnormal psychology, social problems, organizational behavior, introduction to computers, psychology of personality, business ethics, principles of marketing, human resource management, and social impact of technology. Graduates from associate degree programs may advance to employment or higher degree programs.
Bachelor degree programs offer students an expanded knowledge in the field of school counseling. Most bachelor degree programs require students include courses like: communication skills for career development, psychology as a natural science, psychology as a social science, cross cultural psychology, data analysis and presentation, methods in psychological inquiry, professional issues and ethics in psychology, human development: child and adolescence, human development: adulthood, psychology of learning, psychological disorders, cultural perspectives in health psychology, brain and behavior, racial and ethnic identities, psychology of gender, influence and persuasion, and global perspectives in psychology. Graduates from bachelor degree programs may advance to licensing programs necessary for employment or continue studies within graduate programs.
Students within master’s degree programs gain specialized training in the field of school counseling necessary to advance their career or attain administrative positions within public or private organizations. Master’s level courses include: introduction to couple and family therapy, principles and techniques of counseling, human growth and development, personality and counseling theory, group theory and therapy, addictions, research methods and statistics, cultural foundations and social justice, interpersonal neurobiology and pharmacology, risk and resilience in youth, child and adolescent disorders, action research designs, lifestyle and career development, ethical and legal issues, treatment planning, classroom teaching and learning, counseling theories and process, counseling and human development, counseling special populations, guidance principles and practices, counseling services: organization and ministration, counseling and skills, vocational development and career assessment, group dynamics and procedures in counseling, school counseling: strategies and interventions, mental health and consultation in schools, and clinical practicum. Graduates from master’s degree programs may advance to employment as upper level professionals or continue studies to doctoral degree programs.
Students interested in being qualified as experts within the field of school counseling may participate in doctoral degree programs. Courses at a doctoral level include: advanced group theory and methods, supervision of counselors, research in counseling consultation theory and methods, clinical applications of marriage and family counseling and therapy,, foundations of counselor education and supervision, cultural foundations and counseling, advanced individual appraisal, advanced counseling practicum, clinical internship/instructorship/supervision/research, counseling children and adolescents, counseling and addictions, and design and evaluation of teaching. Graduates who complete doctoral degrees generally advance as researchers or instructors within colleges, universities, and other facilities.
Prospective Jobs For Graduates With School Counseling Degrees
Graduates with school counseling degrees receive a specialized training necessary for employment within educational institutions and other organizations. Generally graduates who complete studies within school counseling programs advance to employment as school counselors within public or private schools, vocational or community colleges, or universities. Most graduates work within elementary schools offering evaluations, guidance services, and curriculum adjustments for teachers and students. Many graduates who work within high schools advise students regarding financial aid, college selection, internships, career choices, and other duties. Some graduates may advance to employment within governmental institutions, community programs, or private organizations. Graduates who complete associate degree programs generally qualify for jobs as mental health technicians, assistant social workers, human service workers, assistants within residential treatment centers for children or young adults, mental health case workers, patient admissions staff within mental health organizations, or drug rehabilitation assistants.
Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs and licensing procedures may advance to employment as entry level assistant school counselors, mental health case workers, outreach specialists, parent educators, residential group home managers, assistant counselors, or with continued education, middle or high school psychology teachers. Graduates with master’s degrees generally work as school counselors, instructors within middle or high schools, guidance counselors, rehabilitation directors, mental health specialists, or vocational school counselors, or administrators within governmental or community based organizations. Graduates who complete doctoral degree programs are considered experts within the field and work as instructors within colleges or universities. Some graduates with advanced degrees work as administrators within research, training, or testing facilities. Some graduates who gain necessary education and experience may establish their own businesses and work as independent consultants in the field of school counseling.
Salary Range For Graduates With School Counseling Degrees
Graduates with school counseling degrees will have varied salaries based upon factors like: organization of employment, level of education, geographic location, work experience, and area of specialty. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports professionals within the field of school counseling generally earn median salaries of $38,720 to $65,360 annually. Graduates with associate’s degrees who work as mental health, human service, or social service assistants have earnings from $21,860 to $34,590 annually. Graduates with bachelor degrees who work as mental health counselors generally earn $28,930 to $48,580 annually. Graduates with master’s degrees who work as school guidance counselors earn $38.740 to $65,360 annually. Graduates who work as instructors within vocational schools, colleges, or universities generally earn $41,600 to $83,960 annually. As with most occupations, graduates who complete advanced degrees, combined with specialized training and work experience, generally have higher earnings than graduates with less experience and education.
Career Outlook And Advancement Opportunities For School Counseling Degree Graduates
Graduates who complete school counseling degree programs will find favorable job opportunities and stable employment options. The demand for school counselors is anticipated to rise due to demand within educational institutions for drug and alcohol abuse issues, crisis or preventative counseling, and other factors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports job growth for school counseling professionals will increase by 18% through the year 2018 at a faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations. Graduates will found increased job prospects in rural areas as the number of available jobs will exceed the number of qualified applicants. Graduates who specialize training in substance abuse, behavioral disorders, career counseling, and crisis and preventative counseling are expected to find an increased employability. Additionally, graduates who complete licensing requirements and gain clinical experience through internships and on the job training will often find an increased employability.
Economic factors and budgetary issues may limit the number of available jobs for graduates with school counseling degrees but overall the field is expected to remain primarily stable. Many graduates begin their careers within entry level positions and gradually advance by gaining work experience and continuing education. Graduates with advanced degrees often begin employment within supervisory or administrative positions within smaller organizations and go on to positions with greater responsibilities within larger organizations. Some graduates may begin self operated consulting businesses upon gaining adequate experience and funding.