Online Masters Degree in Counseling

As a counselor, you can help people by providing support services and therapy, either in groups or one-on-one. You could find yourself working in diverse settings ranging from private offices to medical facilities to schools. In most states, master's degrees in counseling are required before professionals can become officially licensed and begin practicing.

Earning master's degrees in counseling

Candidates for counseling graduate programs usually have a background in the study of psychology, education, sociology or another related field. You can choose from several different specializations to target the position you seek in the workforce. Here's a sampling of courses you might find:

  1. Counseling theories and techniques
  2. Human development
  3. Multicultural perspectives
  4. Psychological testing
  5. Psychopathology

Other subjects could encompass group counseling methods and research methods. Master's degrees in counseling require a mix of quantitative and language skills; for example, the study of psychometrics requires a background in statistics. Programs typically encourage students to critique psychological theory and develop strong interpersonal and therapeutic skills.

Job outlook for counselors

Counseling professions are among the faster growing careers in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here's a rundown of 2010 median annual salary estimates and expected employment growth between 2010 and 2020 for related careers:

  1. Educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors: $53,380; 19 percent
  2. Marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors: $39,170; 37 percent
  3. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors: $38,120; 27 percent

Those growth rates are higher than the national average for all occupations, and the BLS expects that more than 187,500 new counseling jobs will be created from 2010 through 2020. Opportunities are found in very different environments: You could treat clients in private practice, or as a substance abuse counselor, you might work in settings such as mental health centers and prisons.

Beyond your master's degrees in counseling

To deepen your knowledge and broaden your skills, you may continue your schooling up to the doctoral level. A Ph.D. in counseling is typically required for work as an advanced counseling practitioner, clinical supervisor or counselor educator. Continuing education is often expected in this rewarding and expanding industry.

To help busy professionals advance their education, programs are offering alternatives to traditional full-time studies. Counseling degrees may be available in a part-time or online hybrid format, where web-based courses are combined with clinical experience or on-campus classwork.

Featured Online Counseling Degree Programs

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About Capella University

An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers both foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you’re learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.

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