A master's degree in counseling can open a great many professional doors. From domestic violence counseling to occupational counseling for children, a Master's in Counseling serves a great number of different areas of specialization.
The field of counseling is growing rapidly, providing those who seek opportunities in this dynamic and varied field a great number of job and career options. The field is expected to grow by nearly twenty percent by 2024 – much higher than the national average. Here are some of the jobs available to those with master's degrees in counseling.
The field of family counseling is growing exponentially. Family counselors assist all kinds of family units in exploring interpersonal dynamics, identifying and rectifying family dysfunction, and in relating to one another better and more healthfully on a day to day basis. In some cases, family counselors may also serve in a mediation capacity to help resolve interpersonal conflicts among family members, and help family members to develop skills for better communication, conflict resolution, and acceptance of one another. Family counseling requires a minimum of a master's degree and a practitioner's license in the counselor's state of residence.
Domestic Abuse Counseling
One of the most challenging areas of counseling, domestic abuse counselors assist clients escaping abusive situations to cope appropriately with the trauma the abuse has inflicted upon them (and potentially any children they may have), as well as to help them to adjust to new living situations and accompanying feelings or fears that the new situation may bring. Many domestic abuse counselors work in safe houses or women's shelters, although a good number also work in public or private mental health agencies or hospitals. The position of domestic abuse counselor typically requires a master's degree, and may also require a specialization in the areas of abuse or trauma.
Campus Mental Health Counselor
Colleges worldwide are paying increasing amounts of attention to the overall wellness of their student body, and more than ever are employing counselors of all stripes to attend to the mental health and welfare of their students. Campus mental health counselors have a challenging role, as they will encounter students of every walk of life, every background, and every mode of thinking. Every college has varying models for treatment; students may attend only a few sessions before being referred to an off-campus clinic or agency for continuing treatment, while some colleges permit students to see the on-campus counselor for the duration of their studies at that college. The position of campus mental health counselor requires at least a master's degree in counseling, and some may display a preference for counselors who specialized in developmental psychology or adolescent development.
These jobs are just a few examples of the kinds of careers master's degree candidates in counseling may pursue. Representing a wide variety of interests, specializations, and aptitudes, each represents a different area of expertise and personal interest. If you are currently studying for or have already earned a master's in counseling, consider speaking with a career counselor at your college or university to determine which path may be the best for you – and where you can do the most good for the patients you'll serve.