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What Kind of Degree Do I Need to Become a Guidance Counselor?

Guidance counselors are professionals who work in a school setting to help guide students in elementary, middle, and high school throughout the stages of development. If you want to enter a career where your primary duty is to help children so that they can reach their full potential in life both socially and intellectually, becoming a guidance counselor may be the most fulfilling career move for you.

As you might expect, a guidance counselor will need to possess the right skills and degree to find a position in private or public schools. If you possess the right inherent skills to help students see their own talents, here is the educational path you will need to become a professional in this rewarding sector.

The Educational Paths You Can Take to Become a Guidance Counselor

Guidance counselors have a lot of responsibilities. From conducting counseling sessions and assessment tests, to evaluating students and advising parents, a guidance counselor plays a major role in the development of the student body. Because of this, it is no surprise that these professionals must complete a formal education program. While many schools require that candidates applying for a guidance counselor position have a master's degree in education or psychology, a master's degree is not always a requirement. Here are some common paths someone aspiring to become a guidance counselor can take:

A Bachelor of Science in Psychology

A Bachelor of Science in Psychology is a degree program that will focus on how to counsel students dealing with social issues, and how to direct and guide students to achieve their goals. While a degree is psychology may be acceptable, most students will major in psychology and minor in counseling to gain all of the knowledge they need to educate, counsel, and advise students in private or public school settings.

A Bachelor's Degree in Education

Guidance counselors work in the educational system, and obtaining a Bachelor's degree with a focus on education is a good route to take. In fact, many people prefer to take this route because of the focus on the system as a whole. By majoring in education and minoring in counseling, students can meet most educational requirements to become a guidance counselor.

A Bachelor's Degree in Counseling

Not all schools offer counseling degrees, but some reputable colleges and universities will offer a degree program like this with an emphasis on education. If this is an option, it is the recommended choice if you want to be a guidance counselor long term.

Requirements Can Vary State to State

In most states, you must earn a state certification to work as a guidance counselor. The requirements for state certification vary from state to state and are set by the Department of Education. Graduates who want to become a guidance counselor should become members of the American School Counselor Association, and review the requirements of the state where they intend to work to earn their certification and satisfy requirements.

If you are serious about entering the rewarding field of guidance counseling, now is the time to enter into a training program. Review all of your options, and start pursuing your dream.


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