Find Answers with Counseling Psychology

Counseling is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice. Helping people explore and understand their emotional or mental health issues provides an invaluable service. These days, there are so many options for a career in counseling psychology. You can choose to work in an educational setting as a school counselor, the business world in organizational psychology, a hospital or medical facility or even your own private practice. If you are an astute observer of human behavior, a naturally caring person and enjoy assisting people find solutions, you would excel in a counseling career.

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Marriage, Couple, and Family Counselors Help People When They Need It Most

Many people jump into marriage, couple, and family counseling for the emotional rewards of the job, but the fiscal ones are there too. Dedicated to dealing with people at the worst stages in their lives, these counselors tackle issues ranging from divorce and interpersonal communication issues to hefty mental health and emotional disorders. Those entering this field must possess stellar organizational skills, the ability to listen to clients without judgement, effective communication strategies, and a healthy dose of compassion.

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Why Mental Health Counseling is One of America’s Best Jobs

mental health counseling degreesThere’s never been a greater need for strong mental health counselors. If you’ve got a strong desire to help people, the ability to listen without judgment, and a drive to work with clients on a personal level as they navigate through tough emotional terrain, there’s a booming marketplace just waiting for you. Dubbed by MONEY Magazine as one of the top 40 best jobs in America, mental health counselors enjoy a flexible schedule, a nice salary, and the satisfaction that they’re changing lives for the better.

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Blow Your Mind in Psychology

Gone are the days when psychologists asked patients to lie on their couch and talk about their inner child. Today’s psychologists train for years to be able to handle everything from sleep disorders to performance anxiety to severe mental and emotional conditions. The field of psychology is incredibly diverse so, naturally, the training is as well.

Getting started in psychology requires some serious education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you’ll need a master’s psychology degree or higher just to break into the field. To get into a master’s psychology degree program, you won’t necessarily need an undergraduate degree in the field, but you will need to have the critical thinking, reading comprehension, writing, and deductive reasoning skills a bachelor’s in psychology would build. Master’s degree curriculums vary tremendously from school to school. Some institutions offer a generalized degree program, but many allow students to specialize in areas like clinical, health, social, behavioral, forensic, child, or organizational psychology. Because master’s programs are so diverse, it’s crucial to find a program that fits your needs before enrolling.

A master’s degree is sufficient for some industrial psychologists, school counselors, and those who use psychology in the legal or business fields. Most states require that practicing psychologists have a doctoral degree as well as an internship, a few years of experience, and a passing score on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.

Ph.D. psychology programs are just as diverse as those on the master’s level. Campus and online doctoral psychology programs are available and students will be required to take both generalized psychology courses and some in the various areas of specialization. You’ll also have to take courses in statistics and research methods. Like most Ph.D. tracks, psychology doctoral programs are writing and research-heavy. It generally takes anywhere from 5 to 7 years to earn a psychology Ph.D., but then it can take several additional years to complete the requirements for state licensure. The good news is that schools oftentimes reserve significant funding for doctoral students. Many Ph.D. programs automatically offer doctoral candidates lucrative fellowships or teaching assistantships that can drastically reduce tuition.

After you’re fully licensed, you’ll have a huge array of work options. Approximately one-third of psychology Ph.D.s are self-employed, but the rest find jobs in private practices, research facilities, colleges and universities, hospitals, and mental health facilities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for general, school, and clinical psychologists is growing by 22 percent between now and 2020. For organizational psychologists, that figure rises to 35 percent. The median salary for general, school, and clinical psychologists is $67,880 per year. The top ten percent in this field rake in $110,410 annually. Once again, industrial and organizational psychologists fare better by earning median salaries of $94,720 per year.

Become an Advocate for Families with a Child & Family Development Degree

A profession in the child and family development field is perfect for adult learners looking for a career in helping those in your community. Your child and family development degree will help you get your foot in the door to help high-risk teenagers, direct child care facilities, work with Alzheimer’s care facilities, support families and adolescents as a social worker or even become a family advocate to promote family wellness.

However, you must be dedicated to studying and helping children, teens, families and adults. With a child and family development degree, you have the unique chance to impact not only the lives of children at their most critical age, but also leading to the greater good of society down the road.

Understand Types of Child and Family Development Degree Programs

Whether you attend at four-year university or opt for a vocational school, trade school or career college, a high school diploma or GED is required to enroll in a child and family development program. And, along the way, classes will teach you how children’s personalities develop and help you understand the complexities of a family dynamic.

Programs for associate degrees in child and family development typically include child and family development and early childhood development, which is often the minimum requirement for an entry-level position in the industry. And, on average, learning institutions offer programs for bachelor’s degree that include bachelor’s degree in child and family development  and bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration on child and family development.

Relevant Coursework Prepares You for a Real-world Career

Undergrad courses in child and family development degree programs include instruction in education theories and the learning processes to enhance your comprehension for shaping childhood education. Child development lessons on conception through childhood, including behavior and development, will prepare you to work with little ones. Have your sights set on a family focus? You’ll love learning about the evolution and modern structure of family. And, classes in the psychological and physical development of preteens and teenagers will prime you to help your community’s adolescents.

In the spirit of making your education work for you, both campus and online child and development degree programs make it easy to check off your course requirements. You can expect to walk with a degree in hand in two to five years of schooling, depending on the degree.

Explore Child and Family Development Careers

Helping others is the recurring theme throughout the many careers that a child and family development degree can help you achieve. But regardless of which path you take, the job outlook is sweet.

In 2010, the average pay for social workers was $42, 480 per year, similar to preschool and childcare center directors who earned an average of $42,960 per year. Both of these child and family development occupations have a job outlook increase of 25-percent, which is faster than average for most other fields. Social and community services managers at elderly care facilities earned an average of $57,950 per year in 2010, and expect a to see a 27-percent job growth by 2020.

Whether you dream of shaping the development of children or hope to help families function smoothly, choosing a child and family development degree means you’re making a difference in the lives of children and families in your community.