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Counseling Graduate Degrees

What is counseling? Counseling is the professional guidance of a skilled and educated individual that uses psychological methods when working with people. Counselors provide assistance and guidance for those who need help in resolving personal or psychological issues. Getting a higher degree in counseling with one of the many counseling graduate degrees can allow the student to become more aware of the human mind along with specializing in a specific field of interest.

What is a counseling graduate degree?

counseling graduate degreesNormally a counselor receives a higher form of education, rather than an associates or bachelors such as a masters or PhD. A counseling graduate degree usually needs to be from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and includes classes on psychology, statistics, counseling techniques, and research.

What are the most popular types of counseling graduate degrees?

There are four main types of counseling graduate degrees that can be received. These degrees include:

  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Social Work (MSW)

An MA is very similar to an MS in which they both educate the student on psychology as a whole, and are both relatively common degrees. The MA requires that a student hand in a thesis at the end of the two year term, while an MS does not. A student whom is interested in having a career in education, such as a school counselor should study to get the MEd, while someone looking to get into social work should steer toward the MSW.

Why would someone want to earn a counseling graduate degree?

Earning a counseling graduate degree can help the student further his studies to get a rewarding career in any one of these areas:

  • Career Counseling
  • Rehabilitation
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse
  • Marriage/Family

Getting a graduate degree can also help a student focus on a specific specialization in their field, while also broadening their education on the human mind, social work, and the community. A graduate degree also allows a person to stand out from other competitors in the career field, while helping him get a PhD (especially when he has an MA) down the road if he so desires.

Online degree or on-campus?

Determining whether studying online or on-campus is something a student will need to consider. While getting a degree online at a student’s own pace is very popular and convenient there are some states that will not allow the student to get licensed after getting an online degree because it is simply not recognized as a legitimate form of education. Most online programs (like on-campus) require that you get an internship within your field for your last semester with supervised work hours, in which will then help you get qualified for the licensing exam. Students who are interested in online learning should always find out first if the state they want to practice in accepts these types of degrees. Studying at an on-campus institute is the conventional way to earn a degree and allows to student to connect more freely with the instructors, classmates, and the community as a whole. However, this type of studying is not always the right choice for those who are working full time or have other full time obligations, as the class times are not as flexible as those online.

How much money should a person with a counseling graduate degree expect to earn?

A counselor’s average salary can start around $37,000 but when he has a graduate degree it can be well over $100,000. However, this also determines on the type of counseling (specialty), the location, and the person’s experience.