Guidance Counseling Master's Degree

Learn whether you can earn a master's degree in guidance counseling online and what you'll study in a master's degree program. Find out about admissions requirements, job duties and career outlook. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn a Master's Degree in Guidance Counseling Online?

You can earn a master's degree in guidance counseling online or through a traditional college campus. You can earn a Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Education (M.Ed.) in this field. Some online classes might combine Web-based instruction with weekend, night or summer classes. In online formats, expect to use discussion forums, video conferencing and e-mail to communicate with your professors and classmates.

What's in the Curriculum?

Master's degree programs in guidance counseling provide training in psychology, sociology and counseling techniques. Because many guidance counselors work in schools, you might also learn about pedagogy. Classes might cover:

  • Multicultural counseling
  • Guidance counseling techniques
  • Educational research
  • Intervention strategies
  • Developmental guidance
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Applied psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Counseling ethics
  • School guidance program models
  • Group therapy
  • Human sexuality counseling

What Do I Need to Apply?

You need at least a bachelor's degree to apply to master's degree programs in guidance counseling, and you may need a master's degree or teaching credential to be considered for M.Ed. programs. You can also expect to submit standardized test scores, letters of recommendation and a professional teaching resume.

What Are the Job Duties?

Guidance counselors might provide individuals with advice regarding education, career planning, social issues or emotional troubles. Although your job duties vary depending on the educational level of your students, this could include serving as a student advocate, evaluating students' abilities, creating social development plans or talking about career goals. Some guidance counselors also operate school programs, such as career service centers or educational development initiatives.

What's the Job Market Like?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the employment rate for all counselors is expected to rise 18% between 2008 and 2018. Professionals in this field earned a median annual salary of $53,380 as of May 2010, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).

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