Education counseling usually involves face-to-face counseling but can also include a variety of methods of communication such as fax, telephone, video, or even the Internet. Many graduates take up education counseling only after exhausting other options. However, there is a growing trend to pursue higher education. This makes education counseling an attractive proposition. Education counselors offer varied services like:
- Counseling students on higher education opportunities and helping students develop realistic career goals
- Helping students decide whether to stay at universities or start working
- Helping students choose appropriate courses of study according to their career interests
- Encouraging professionals to attend universities to improve their career opportunities
An aspiring education counselor should possess ample patience, a flair for communication, listening skills, a broad understanding of individuals, and sufficient knowledge of the education field. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, counselors need a license to practice in all but two states. A master's degree is generally required to obtain a license.
Some education counseling schoolwork is generally preferable. A variety of institutions in the United States offer programs in counseling. Aspiring student counselors can check online to locate programs of their choice. Most institutions require students to complete a period of supervision by their peers before they can become eligible for certification and training.
Statistics and Employment Opportunities
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, education, school, and vocational counselors held about 284,000 jobs in 2004 in the United States. The bureau additionally states that employment opportunities for counselors are expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate through 2014.
Educational counselors work with academic institutions such as schools and universities to provide counseling for their students or alumni. A number of private, public, and academic institutions advertise in national, regional, and local presses for openings in education counseling.
In addition to paid counseling, education counselors can work with volunteer agencies or many be able to find viable career alternatives through a variety of the local and government institutions that offer counseling services. Education counselors should also keep in mind that a number of private counseling companies and independent consultants hire counselors with the right qualifications and abilities.
Education counseling is a strong career option for those interested in careers that offer alternatives to teaching. Although teachers are currently in high demand in the United States, education counseling offers equally exciting career opportunities.