Many people pride themselves on their ability to form strong relationships and help their loved ones through difficult times. But have you ever thought about making a career out of these acts of kindness? A degree in counseling is the first step towards becoming a mental health professional.
Counseling is becoming increasingly popular as a career, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating that the number of professional counselors will increase from 12% to 26% by 2026.
As well as helping people through difficult times such as bereavement or divorce, counselors are also in high demand in the criminal justice system to help rehabilitate offenders.
A master’s degree in counseling will open doors to so many different career paths. You might be working as a school counselor, a couple’s therapist, a substance abuse counselor, or a bereavement counselor. You can also earn a pretty good salary, with rehabilitation counselors starting at around $35,000. Genetic counselors are generally the highest paid at around $77,000.
What’s the Best Way to Get a Master’s in Counseling?
There are a few different ways you can enroll in a counseling course. A lot of people are signing up for online classes, where you can earn your degree without even leaving the house. These online courses often have flexible schedules, so you can fit your studies around the other commitments in your life, such as another job or childcare arrangements. Online classes also tend to be cheaper than attending a school in person.
Whichever option you pick, you’ll come away with a thorough understanding of mental health and the needs of your patients.
Another key benefit of getting a master’s degree in counseling is the people you will meet along the way. Not only will you learn a great deal from your teachers and peers, but you will also build up a network of fellow mental health professionals. This will be a great way to find work once you complete your degree, as well as gaining experience across the different areas.
If you have a master’s degree, your chances of being hired by a reputable organization are much higher.
Different Counseling Courses to Suit Your Lifestyle
There are loads of different options when it comes to deciding which type of counseling course is right for you. First, you need to decide whether you want to attend classes in person or take an online program.
If you decide to go for on-campus tuition, your costs can end up being quite a bit harder, not including any moving or accommodation fees in order to live somewhere near your university. Online courses tend to be a little cheaper, and of course, you can do them from anywhere in the world.
After that, you should think about what sort of program will work best for your schedule. You can take your master’s degree either part-time or full-time. If you do a full-time program, you will complete your degree a lot faster, and save a lot of money on the student lifestyle. However, if you do part-time, you can work and earn your own money while still studying. Both options require a certain amount of fieldwork, which can end up being quite time-consuming.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost of a master’s degree in counseling can really vary quite a lot. Online courses tend to be cheaper than ones on campus, but this isn’t always the case. You also might end up spending extra money on things like books and computer equipment, or any other course materials—as well as any accommodation or travel costs. A master’s degree in counseling can cost anything from $18,000 to $64,000. It also depends on whether you are attending a private or public university.