Career Counseling Degree
A career counseling degree trains professionals to assist people with discovering a job that they love. A career counselor can help people with the transition between jobs. People who experience the loss of a job or stress in the workplace may also visit a career counselor.
Most successful career counselors are detail-oriented. They need to be able to analyze a client’s job difficulties and then generate possible solutions. Career counselors should have excellent interpersonal communication skills. They may have to constructively criticize some clients to help them improve their resume or skills. Some clients may be depressed or emotional when they make an appointment. Being able to communicate well can keep clients in a positive mood.
Although educational requirements vary by state, a master’s degree is typically the minimum to become a licensed counselor. A doctoral degree is usually required for a teaching position. Some management job opportunities may require professionals to have a doctoral degree as well.
A counseling program may be found in the human services or psychology departments at a university. The coursework for a career counseling degree covers subjects such as:
- Interpersonal communication
- Professional ethics
Some prospective career counselors may choose a specialty to increase their ability to help clients. Addictions and substance abuse specialties are popular. Some clients may need specialized counseling to solve personal problems before they can be successful in their career.
After graduating from a university, a new career counselor must apply for a license before they can work. A license of some type is required in at least 49 states and the District of Columbia. Counselors who will provide services in a specialty besides career counseling often need a separate additional license to practice their specialty.
However the license requirements can differ greatly between states. For example, some states require that career counselors working for a private jobs organization be licensed while those who work for a college or university do not have to be licensed.
The requirements for a license can vary, but usually include:
- A master’s degree in counseling
- 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience in a clinical setting
- Passing an examination
Most states require that licenses be renewed on a regular basis. Showing continuing education is a requirement for license renewal in nearly all states. Evidence of continuing education can be a college transcript, seminars related to career counseling, or something similar. During license renewal, some states may also require that career counselors show that they haven’t had any ethical complaints filed against them.