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Career Counseling Education Requirements

How to Become a Career Counselor

Have you found the career of your dreams and you would like to help other individuals experience that same sense of professional satisfaction? Are you well versed on the ins and outs of many common career choices and feel that you can adequately help an individual select a professional path that suits him or her? Do you find that you exhibit strength in communicating with others, with motivating individuals, and with counseling people on specific career focused items? If these questions sound like you were just being described, then a job as a career counselor may be perfect for you! Career counseling, commonly referred to as career coaching, is quite similar to traditional counseling except that it focuses on career focused issues. For instance, career counselors spend much of their work day focused on issues such as career change, career exploration, or personal career development. It will be common for your clients to know what they desire for an end result or goal, but they just aren’t sure how to make that happen.

In order to become a career counselor you will need to find out what is required by the state you reside in and the type of job you plan to pursue. For instance, in order to increase your employment opportunities in a private sector of career counseling it would be wise to obtain a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. You may also want to obtain your graduate certificate in this area of study. In addition, if you hope to work in a governmental capacity, you will probably be required to get a specific licensure and a specific level of educational degree. In order to obtain your certificate in career counseling you should expect it to take between one and two years of course work. You should have already completed your bachelor’s degree and can focus your studies in areas such as: educational psychology, career evaluation, career program design, and counseling and career education methodology. It is common for individuals who are career counselors to have an educational background in industrial or organizational psychology or vocational psychology.

Once you have completed your educational requirements to become a career counselor you will likely be employed in schools, career assistance firms, employment search centers, or universities. You will spend much of your time helping your clients with career oriented tasks, like building their resume, applying for appropriate jobs, and assessing their career skills. You may find yourself responsible for helping young individuals identify their career interests and goals or helping a client who is having difficulty transitioning to a new career. It will be common for you to work to identify your client’s interests, skills, aptitude, and personality as a means of determining feasible employment paths for them. You will be responsible for making an effective connection between the psychology of a client and the external factors of degree programs and employment options. Often, you may have to guide a client regarding ways that he or she can make themselves more marketable in the work force. You should expect to be required to conduct the Strong Interest Inventory assessment and the MBTI assessment with your clients on a regular basis. One of the challenges associated with becoming a career counselor is that potential clients may choose to pursue many other avenues before they turn to formal counseling. For instance, they may choose to get advice from family members or other individuals who are in their field of work. It will be important that as a career counselor that you can be patient with your clients and guide them as best you know; you may have to deal with the professional repercussions that your clients deal with because of bad decisions they have made.