How competitive are school counseling grad programs? Job prospects?

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denisehearts in New York, New York

19 months ago

I'm currently a college sophomore deciding majors. I'm thinking of getting my bachelors in psych and then applying to grad school to get my masters in education specializing in school counseling.

My school has a school counseling graduate program (Hunter College in NYC). I want to become a high school counselor.

Are secondary school counselor jobs secure in the economy? Are there good prospects?

How competitive are the school counseling grad programs? Are they tough to get into?

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HigherEd in Albany, New York

18 months ago

To answer your questions based my local experience.

Are secondary school counselor jobs secure in the economy? No, every district in NY State is currently laying off, including counselors. There are many reasons, but a big one is that the state has significanly reduced state funding to local districts. It is my impression the the state is trying to force mergers, consolidation and large regional/county schools similar to what you see in Florida. The point is that funding is going to stay low, budgets will continue to be tight and there will be more mergers, layoffs etc.

Are there good prospects? It depends on what you consider good. Compared to the prospects for VCR repairmen, I guess it would be good, but compared to jobs in the healthcare field I would say no.

How competitive are the school counseling grad programs? Are they tough to get into? No, if you're willing to pay the tuition, you're going to get in. As someone who works in higher ed, I can tell you that schools will take just about anyone willing to pay grad school tuition. The only grad programs that are going to be difficult to get into are medical/dental, law at the top schools, business at top schools, etc. Beyond that, it's pay to play.

I'm not saying that you definitely shouldn't pursue school counseling, because that is a personal decision based on a lot of factors. However, I am advising that you should be aware of the cost vs. potential. If you read these message boards, you will see hundreds of stories of people who thought that they would beat the odds and a get a job, and some do. But many more will accrue thousands of dollars in students loans and years of energy studying, for a degree that they will never use. Most of them are probably smart, hard-working people who would be great counselors the problem is that we have too many people and not enough jobs. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

18 months ago

HigherEd in Albany, New York said: It is my impression the the state is trying to force mergers, consolidation and large regional/county schools similar to what you see in Florida.

Very interesting statement. I wonder where/how you came to that conclusion.

Many cities and towns need to merge their services, and not just in education. The costs that would be saved would be tremendous.

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HigherEd in Albany, New York

18 months ago

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York said: Very interesting statement. I wonder where/how you came to that conclusion.

Many cities and towns need to merge their services, and not just in education. The costs that would be saved would be tremendous.

Joe, I arrived at that opinion based on a variety of sources. The first is just reading the various news articles and press releases that come out all the time. The second comes from peers who work around Albany in places where folks are paid to read the tea leaves and make informed projections about the future of education funding in NY State. Again, nothing official and on the record, just what I hear around town. Take it for what it's worth.

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School Counselor in Memphis, Tennessee

17 months ago

I just graduated with my Masters of Education in School Counseling. I am not sure how it is where you are, but here it is very competitive, but there are jobs you just have to apply in TN, MS, and AR.

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Rotli24 in Orlando, Florida

17 months ago

No jobs here in Orlando area :(

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HigherEd in Albany, New York

17 months ago

If you want to know how bad things are in NY, here are some recent NY facts: NYSUT, the largest teachers union in NY sued the state on February 20th because of the tax cap which restricts school districts from raising taxes more than 2 percent a year. Their press release says a recent statewide survey showed 87 percent of districts have cut teachers in the last three years, and NYSUT estimates that 35,000 educators have lost their jobs in the last five years and that many more face elimination this year. That is more than 10 percent of the state's entire teaching workforce.
And the unions have secured a 5-7 year "call back" period in almost every district across the state. So if those jobs ever come back, you have 35,000 experienced people ahead of your who get first dibs because they already worked in the district. Not a good time to go into education.

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