Master's Degree in Counselling Beneficial for a Counseling Career

Benefits of Master Degree in Counseling

Working as a counselor may be a rewarding career path. Many people want to help others work through difficult times in their life. Being a counselor requires a lot of hard work and an understanding of how to communicate with others and provide them with various types and levels of support. That is why it is typically a requirement for those providing counseling services to have a master degree in counseling. Without it, you may not legally be allowed to work.

Do You Need a Master’s Degree to Be a Counselor?

In many situations, the answer to this is yes, you need a master degree in counseling to work as a counselor. Typically, states require individuals to complete at least a master’s level of education from an accredited program and sit for a licensing exam. Having a license to provide these services may help to ensure you have the necessary skills to do so. More so, many employers expect applicants to have a master’s degree or higher to provide these services.

What Are the Requirements for a Career in Counseling?

To work as a counselor, you may need to complete a bachelor’s degree as a first step. Then, you may need to continue your education to complete a master’s degree. Many who work as a counselor or therapist may complete their degrees in counseling directly, but it may also be possible to complete a degree in psychology or human services instead, though a formal counseling master’s degree may be a better option.

Once you complete your education, be sure to determine state licensing requirements. You may need to complete specific education or sit for a licensing exam. Be sure to also learn about any continuing education courses in that field.

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Should You Pursue a PhD?

Once you obtain a master’s degree and licenses to meet your state’s requirements, your next step might be to determine if you want to start working in the field or if you want to continue your education to earn a PhD. A PhD is a doctoral level degree that often provides more skill and insight into the field, often a chosen field or concentration. You may wish to pursue this path if you wish to work in leadership positions, teach higher education, or engage in research in the industry. Some employers may also require it for promotions.

Also, consider that there may also be the opportunity to complete a PsyD degree. This is the equivalent of a PhD, but it may not focus heavily on research. Rather, it typically focuses on practice development and clinical studies. That is, it aims to help you to continue to provide services to patients with new skills and additional educational resources.

What Does a Doctoral Degree in Counseling Do for You?

A master’s degree is typically a requirement for working as a counselor, but completing a PhD may be beneficial to you if you hope to work in different career positions. A PhD may also prepare you to have a private practice as well as work in some high level jobs in hospital settings, universities, school systems, government positions, or community centers. A doctoral degree is also often a requirement for those who wish to work in higher education, such as a university professor or a department head. The skills taught in this program may help you to gain the knowledge necessary to work in any of these positions.

Are you planning to complete clinical work?

For those who wish to pursue a degree so they may work in clinical practice, such as providing patients with counseling, having a PhD may be necessary. It may provide you with the tools you need to interact with patients, provide a higher level of care and attention to their needs, and support your goals of maintaining your own private practice.

Are you hoping to work in administration positions?

Some people who complete a master’s degree may have the skill and education necessary to do well in administrative positions, especially if they have experience in the field itself. Some administrative positions may require a PhD, though. Be sure to determine what your employer considers is important in terms of what education you may need to have to work there.

What Are Doctorate Counselors Able to Do?

When it comes to making the decision to earn just your master’s or to continue to learn for your doctorate degree, consider the type of work that counselors do when they have a doctorate degree. This may range widely from one position to the next.

  • They may engage in ground breaking research. Some may spend much of their time in their PhD studies completing research for various organizations. This may include developing solutions for common problems or examining why people develop addictions.
  • Learn how to support other counselors. Many counseling PhD programs may provide students in these programs with tools and support so they may teach and prepare others working as counselors. This may help you to provide management services in some environments.
  • Learn new treatment options. Many could spend time learning high level or new types of treatment techniques and options that may allow them to make recommendations for care to their clients.

When you complete this degree path, you may need to choose between an academic and a clinical career. That ultimately may determine what type of program you complete and the coursework that’s valuable to your end goals. Yet, there’s no doubt that a master’s degree is a necessary tool for many people because it may be a requirement to obtain a license. From there, making the decision to complete a PhD program is up to you.

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Keep in mind that you may be able to enter the field and start working with your master’s degree. Then, work to complete your PsyD or PhD program in counseling online. You may be able to work on it while you are working part time, allowing you to gain more skill and experience on the job while you do so.