MA in Counseling—advice on grad. programs & jobs?

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moscatomg1 in Las Cruces, New Mexico

24 months ago

[Part. 1] Given all the folks here on the job market search, I thought this would be a good place to voice these concerns. And though neither the Guidance Counselor or School Psychologist forum fits perfectly with this, they still may be appropriate to post in—esp. since most MA Counseling degrees are offered by education depts. at universities. . . .

My background: Since it’s relevant, my background is that I have no background in counseling or psych. I have a BA in English and MA in communication. I am an adjunct faculty and want to go back into academia (grad. school) in order to leave academia. I do want to listen to and try to help troubled individuals like my own students—but I also want to help myself get out of the black hole of the humanities in academia. I *think* I am most interested in adult mental health counseling at a state/govt. agency (substance abuse or anxiety/depression) or, preferably, student mental health counseling at a college/univ. setting. Given what I see just in these forums, I don’t know how realistic either of these is in the current job market. (However, online US. govt. resources indicate large future growth in substance abuse counseling.)

Applying to grad. programs: For any MA Counseling program I apply to, I need to find three crucial components given my background: 1. a program that does not require (officially or unofficially) several counseling/psych.-related prerequisites, 2. a program that offers solid funding for the MA (assistantship plus tuition waiver), and 3. a program whose admissions process is not too competitive (I have a 3.88 GPA and solid professor lors for my MA but very low GRE scores). So far Bowling Green (School of Intervention Services, not the Ed. Dept.) and NMSU look like possibilities. But I am anxious to know of more potential programs given these variables.

[post cont.]

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moscatomg1 in Las Cruces, New Mexico

24 months ago

[cont., Part 2]

(As for the MEd in Counseling, I’d also love to hear of any possible schools that might also be a good fit in light of these factors, but so far I am not finding any.)

Job Market: Does anyone have feedback, advice, anecdotes, or links to resources about the job market for those counseling specialties/interests I mentioned?

Long term: *IF* I can get accepted into a program with funding and can successfully complete the degree, I also have an eye on Canada (for jobs, not grad. school because their MA programs are poorly funded for the most part). For one, my wife already has job opportunities there. And although some extra certification would be required for any work in professional counseling, the Canadian approach to mental health treatment and how much it is valued and subsidized by the socialized care systems seems great. (I also mention this for the sake of anyone here struggling on the counseling job market but who are mobile/flexible for such a move.)

Finally, thank you so much for any help or advice on these issues. I am clearly having a bit of difficulty in my search for this information, so that’s why I am bringing this to you—the experts.

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