5 Great Internships for Ph.D in Counseling Students

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Updated August 4, 2020

Ph.D in Counseling Internships

  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Academic Researcher
  • Educational Administrator
  • Independent Psychologist
  • Postsecondary Psychology Teacher

Counseling students who are completing their doctoral degree should ensure that they find an internship before graduation. Internships can improve a student's chances of finding a job through relevant experience and connections. A wide range of internships are available to doctoral counseling students, and picking the right one is the first step toward success in any career.

Resource: Top 10 Online Doctoral Programs in Counseling

1. Mental Health Counselor

Getting an internship as a mental health counselor represents an extraordinary opportunity for doctoral counseling students because experience working as a counselor is considered critically important for employers after graduation. Even if a student plans to work in research or administration, the experience of empathizing with struggling individuals will help guide a student to a deeper understanding of the people that the counseling field is built to serve. Moreover, an internship as a mental health counselor can often lead to full-time employment upon graduation. Working as a mental health counselor, therefore, can help enhance the resume of any counseling student.

2. Academic Researcher

After studying the work of other researchers for so many years, students often perceive new academic research as a field reserved for only a handful of leading influencers. Many doctoral students, therefore, are surprised to learn that they will have the credibility to engage in their own academic research upon completing their degree program. Furthermore, students can get an internship working with another researcher before finishing their degree. Entering the workforce with a research background can make students more attractive to employers in any relevant line of work, and published research can lead to funding through grants and entrepreneurial opportunities. Getting an internship in academic research, therefore, can be a great option for doctoral students in any field.

3. Educational Administrator

Many counseling students have extensive experience in education, and, therefore, they can often function as effective school administrators. Primary and secondary schools need well-educated administrators to manage individual teaching departments and the overall school itself. In under-staffed schools, doctoral counseling students can be ideal candidates for administrative positions because they can serve an ancillary role as a school counselor. Students who find an internship as an educational administrator can often have a job ready for them after graduation while making a substantial difference in the lives of younger children.

4. Independent Psychologist

Students who graduate with a doctoral degree in counseling often decide to start their own practice. As with any other business, a new practice can only prosper by offering the right services to clients who need them. Most new businesses fail, so students who get an internship with an independent psychologist can leverage the experience of others to improve their chances of success. Students who intern with an independent psychologist can also acquire first-hand experience helping individuals who are in need of treatment. Doctoral counseling students who intern with an independent psychologist can launch their careers with a thorough understanding of the requirements for working independently.

5. Postsecondary Psychology Teacher

Exemplary students can often join the ranks of their teachers immediately upon graduation. Doctoral counseling students can start by teaching undergraduate courses, and work their way up to teaching higher-level classes. Many universities need doctoral counseling students who are willing to intern as teacher assistants or temporary professors. Students who complete an internship as a postsecondary psychology teacher can also acquire additional credibility that will help them find a future job in any field.

Most schools teach the importance of finding an internship before graduation, but few students manage to find the internship that is right for them. A good internship can help students acquire the experience, connections, and credibility necessary for initiating a career in almost any field. Doctoral counseling students, therefore, should plan ahead to ensure that they find an internship where they can grow and learn.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Master's in Psychology Degree Programs

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