Degree in Counseling: What to expect?

If you enjoy helping people find peace, achieve goals, and live richer lives, then a job as a Counselor might be a perfect fit. Whether you hope to work as an Academic Advisor at a college, offering your two cents to get students on the right path, or as a Marriage Counselor, helping married couples deal with the stress of jobs and family, one thing’s for sure: You’ll need a degree in counseling. Here’s some information to get you started on your new career path.

Pick a Specialty
This isn’t a mandatory step, but if you know whether you’d rather work as an Addictions Counselor or for the Department of Child Services, it would make the path a bit easier to plan.

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement in the world of counseling. Most students find a four-year program that offers a degree in social work, psychology, or sociology. Check your local campuses, but if your schedule is hectic (whose isn’t, right?), consider earning an online degree in counseling.

Classwork will revolve around the human body and mind. You’ll learn about memory, physical response systems, anatomy, biology, and research techniques. As you advance through classes, you’ll begin to discuss therapy techniques and chemical reactions in the brain.

Next Step
The job market has become extremely competitive, so a master’s degree is well worth the investment. A Ph.D. will open even more doors. In fact, most jobs now require a higher degree. While earning your degree, land an internship and practice your skills under the guidance of a licensed professional.

Each state has different certification requirements. It also depends on what field you want to focus on. However, most counseling positions require passing a licensing exam offered by the state.

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