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Opportunities for Career and Vocational Counselors

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Through a variety of adult education programs and settings, counselors have many opportunities to participate in an education and training system that integrates academic and vocational education, that encourages individuals' participation in further education that allows counselors to renew their commitment to serving the most at-risk or disadvantaged of our society, and to respond to business and economic development.

Counseling services are offered to adult students in a variety of programs such as ABE and GED prep programs, in welfare-to-work programs and school-to-work programs, and in all the settings mentioned earlier in this chapter.

Here is just one example of an effective education program that utilizes career counselors to the fullest:



School-to-Work Opportunities

The School-to-Work Opportunities Act, signed by President Clinton on May 4, 1994, provides federal funds-seed capital-to the states to create comprehensive, coherent, statewide school-to-work opportunities systems that prepare all individuals for high wage, high skill jobs in a competitive global marketplace. These systems contain three core elements: school-based learning, work-based learning, and connecting activities.

"Graduates of these systems receive a high school diploma or its equivalent in addition to a recognized skills certificate. Others receive a certificate or diploma indicating completion of one or two years of postsecondary education, while others enter a registered apprenticeship program or enroll in a college or university. The act emphasizes the importance of counselors in building successful school-to-work systems.

School-to-work opportunities are an exciting and dynamic new way of learning geared toward preparing all youth for career employment, further education, and lifelong learning. Individuals are prepared for first jobs in high skill, high wage careers, achieve high academic and occupational standards, and are prepared for further postsecondary education and training.

School-to-Work Counselors

For career guidance and counseling to be effective, all counselors, not just career counselors, must become proactive in their efforts to assist students and adults maximize their career opportunities. All counselors must:
  • Help individuals acquire the knowledge, skill, and experience necessary to discover their interests, identify career clusters and options, get a clear picture of the changing nature of work and careers, explore alternatives, make choices, and succeed in society

  • Work together with teachers, other school staff, students, parents, employers, and the broader community to influence the learning and career development of individuals

  • Help individuals make the connection between what they are learning and the broad range of career possibilities

  • Form broad-based partnerships with all of those involved in helping individuals join the worlds of school and work

  • Assist individuals master workplace basics

  • Help individuals find appropriate employment, continue their education and/or training, and find other community services necessary for a successful transition from school to work
  • Coordinate individuals' career plans and portfolios to position them to reach their career goals
WORKING CONDITIONS

Most school counselors work the traditional nine- to ten-month school year with a two- to three-month vacation, although an increasing number are employed on ten-and-a-half- or eleven-month contracts. They generally have the same hours as teachers.

College career planning and placement counselors may work long and irregular hours during recruiting periods.

Rehabilitation and employment counselors generally work a standard forty-hour week.

Self-employed counselors and those working in mental health and community agencies often work evenings to counsel clients who work during the day.

Counselors must possess high physical and emotional energy to handle the array of problems they address. Dealing with these day-to-day problems can cause stress and emotional burnout.

Since privacy is essential for confidential and frank discussions with clients, counselors usually have private offices.

JOB OUTLOOK

Overall employment of counselors is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the years to come. In addition, replacement needs should increase significantly as a large number of counselors reach retirement age.

Employment of school and vocational counselors is expected to grow as a result of increasing enrollments, particularly in secondary and postsecondary schools, state legislation requiring counselors in elementary schools, and the expanded responsibilities of counselors.

Counselors are becoming more involved in crisis and preventive counseling, helping students deal with issues ranging from drug and alcohol abuse to death and suicide. Also, the growing diversity of student populations is presenting challenges to counselors in dealing with multicultural issues.

Job growth among counselors, however, may be dampened by budgetary constraints. High student-to-counselor ratios in many schools could increase even more as student enrollments grow. When funding is tight, schools usually prefer to hire new teachers before adding counselors in an effort to keep classroom sizes at acceptable levels.

Rapid job growth is expected among rehabilitation and mental health counselors. Under managed care systems, insurance companies increasingly provide for reimbursement of counselors, enabling many counselors to move from schools and government agencies to private practice.

Counselors are also forming group practices to receive expanded insurance coverage. The number of people who need rehabilitation services will rise as advances in medical technology continue to save lives that only a few years ago would have been lost.

In addition, legislation requiring equal employment rights for people with disabilities will spur demand for counselors. Counselors not only will help individuals with disabilities with their transition into the workforce, but also will help companies comply with the law.

Employers are also increasingly offering employee assistance programs that provide mental health and alcohol and drug abuse services. A growing number of people are expected to use these services as the elderly population grows and as society focuses on ways of developing mental well-being, such as controlling stress associated with job and family responsibilities.

As with other government jobs, the number of employment counselors who work primarily for state and local government, could be limited by budgetary constraints. However, demand for government employment counseling may grow as new welfare laws require welfare recipients to find jobs.

Opportunities for employment counselors working in private job training services should grow as counselors provide skill training and other services to laid-off workers, experienced workers seeking a new or second career, full-time homemakers seeking to enter or reenter the workforce, and workers who want to upgrade their skills.Counseling services are offered to adult students in a variety of programs such as ABE and GED prep programs, in welfare-to-work programs and school-to-work programs, and in all the settings mentioned earlier in this chapter.

Here is just one example of an effective education program that utilizes career counselors to the fullest:

School-to-Work Opportunities

The School-to-Work Opportunities Act, signed by President Clinton on May 4, 1994, provides federal funds-seed capital-to the states to create comprehensive, coherent, statewide school-to-work opportunities systems that prepare all individuals for high wage, high skill jobs in a competitive global marketplace. These systems contain three core elements: school-based learning, work-based learning, and connecting activities.

"Graduates of these systems receive a high school diploma or its equivalent in addition to a recognized skills certificate. Others receive a certificate or diploma indicating completion of one or two years of postsecondary education, while others enter a registered apprenticeship program or enroll in a college or university. The act emphasizes the importance of counselors in building successful school-to-work systems.

School-to-work opportunities are an exciting and dynamic new way of learning geared toward preparing all youth for career employment, further education, and lifelong learning. Individuals are prepared for first jobs in high skill, high wage careers, achieve high academic and occupational standards, and are prepared for further postsecondary education and training.

School-to-Work Counselors

For career guidance and counseling to be effective, all counselors, not just career counselors, must become proactive in their efforts to assist students and adults maximize their career opportunities. All counselors must:
  • Help individuals acquire the knowledge, skill, and experience necessary to discover their interests, identify career clusters and options, get a clear picture of the changing nature of work and careers, explore alternatives, make choices, and succeed in society

  • Work together with teachers, other school staff, students, parents, employers, and the broader community to influence the learning and career development of individuals

  • Help individuals make the connection between what they are learning and the broad range of career possibilities

  • Form broad-based partnerships with all of those involved in helping individuals join the worlds of school and work

  • Assist individuals master workplace basics

  • Help individuals find appropriate employment, continue their education and/or training, and find other community services necessary for a successful transition from school to work

  • Coordinate individuals' career plans and portfolios to position them to reach their career goals
WORKING CONDITIONS

Most school counselors work the traditional nine- to ten-month school year with a two- to three-month vacation, although an increasing number are employed on ten-and-a-half- or eleven-month contracts. They generally have the same hours as teachers.

College career planning and placement counselors may work long and irregular hours during recruiting periods.

Rehabilitation and employment counselors generally work a standard forty-hour week.

Self-employed counselors and those working in mental health and community agencies often work evenings to counsel clients who work during the day.

Counselors must possess high physical and emotional energy to handle the array of problems they address. Dealing with these day-to-day problems can cause stress and emotional burnout.

Since privacy is essential for confidential and frank discussions with clients, counselors usually have private offices.

JOB OUTLOOK

Overall employment of counselors is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the years to come. In addition, replacement needs should increase significantly as a large number of counselors reach retirement age.

Employment of school and vocational counselors is expected to grow as a result of increasing enrollments, particularly in secondary and postsecondary schools, state legislation requiring counselors in elementary schools, and the expanded responsibilities of counselors.

Counselors are becoming more involved in crisis and preventive counseling, helping students deal with issues ranging from drug and alcohol abuse to death and suicide. Also, the growing diversity of student populations is presenting challenges to counselors in dealing with multicultural issues.

Job growth among counselors, however, may be dampened by budgetary constraints. High student-to-counselor ratios in many schools could increase even more as student enrollments grow. When funding is tight, schools usually prefer to hire new teachers before adding counselors in an effort to keep classroom sizes at acceptable levels.

Rapid job growth is expected among rehabilitation and mental health counselors. Under managed care systems, insurance companies increasingly provide for reimbursement of counselors, enabling many counselors to move from schools and government agencies to private practice.

Counselors are also forming group practices to receive expanded insurance coverage. The number of people who need rehabilitation services will rise as advances in medical technology continue to save lives that only a few years ago would have been lost.

In addition, legislation requiring equal employment rights for people with disabilities will spur demand for counselors. Counselors not only will help individuals with disabilities with their transition into the workforce, but also will help companies comply with the law.

Employers are also increasingly offering employee assistance programs that provide mental health and alcohol and drug abuse services. A growing number of people are expected to use these services as the elderly population grows and as society focuses on ways of developing mental well-being, such as controlling stress associated with job and family responsibilities.

As with other government jobs, the number of employment counselors who work primarily for state and local government, could be limited by budgetary constraints. However, demand for government employment counseling may grow as new welfare laws require welfare recipients to find jobs.

Opportunities for employment counselors working in private job training services should grow as counselors provide skill training and other services to laid-off workers, experienced workers seeking a new or second career, full-time homemakers seeking to enter or reenter the workforce, and workers who want to upgrade their skills.
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