Types of Counseling Degrees
Which type of counseling degree program will work for you?
Different Degrees for Different People
Most entry-level counseling jobs require at least a master's degree in counseling.
Depending upon the type of workplace you will be employed in as a counselor, you may need more—or less—education and training. Additionally, you may need state or national licensing.
Here are the types of counseling degrees available to you:
If you know what type of work you want to do after graduation, you're a step ahead of most counseling students. Choosing a specialty before choosing a counseling program, however, is not a necessity.
Counseling Degrees and Counseling Work Environment
You may already have an idea of the people with whom you'd like to work:
- Children, teens, adults or the elderly
- Couples and families
- Disabled persons
- Groups or individuals
- High school or college students
- People suffering from depression, emotional problems
- Substance abusers
If you know the people you want to help, you can find a counseling degree program focused on that specialty. Most people choose a general mental health counseling program and then intern in a particular area of interest. The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is another customizable counseling degree that is recognized in 50 states.
Questions for Counseling Schools
- How long will it take to complete my counseling degree?
- Does your program lean toward any specific area of study (i.e., school counseling, mental health, marriage and family counseling)?
- Does your counseling school offer assistance with internship placement?
- How versatile is the degree? Is it recognized in multiple states?
- Can I customize the program if I want to focus on a particular area of mental health?
Bachelor's Degree in Counseling
There are bachelor's programs in counseling, social services and mental health; however, in most states, professional counselors are required to have a higher degree of leaning before working unsupervised with the public. A bachelor's degree in counseling or psychology can be a good starting point for an undergrad student who wants a career in counseling.
In other words, people with bachelor's in non-related fields may have to take some prerequisites before engaging in a master's counseling program. The right bachelor's degree can satisfy those prerequisites so that you can move into your master's degree more easily.
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