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A post-graduate degree of a Master in Counseling can open numerous opportunities for employment for an individual. Indeed, professional graduates with a Master’s degree in Counseling can work in various job settings. According to Leong and SAGE Publications (2008), graduates who successfully complete their Master’s degree course in counseling are also required to pass an examination set by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) for a legal certificate for practice. All professional counselors are also required by law to obtain relevant or certified credentials from state authorities in order to practice. Professional counselors usually work in various settings such as healthcare institutions, state corporations, institutions of higher learning, private firms, public prisons, and correctional centers, rehabilitation centers, and homes for the elderly. Discussed below are the various professional positions which graduates of Master’s in Counseling may hold, and their respective job settings.

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School or Career Guidance and Counselors. These are career guidance and counseling professionals who provide advice to students in high schools, institutions of higher learning such as universities, tertiary colleges, and other educational institutions. Career guidance counselors provide professional advice to students in relation to their academic and career development and social adjustments.

Mental Health Counselors. These are professional counselors who assist people who suffer from various mental illnesses and other antisocial issues or problems such as the death of a loved person. Mental health counselors also assist people who suffer from emotional disturbances, such as stress resulting from work, depressions, personal fears and phobias. In most cases, mental health counselors work in healthcare care facilities such as clinics and hospitals. According to the United States Employment Service (2009), mental health counselors handle issues relating to emotional imbalance and mental traumas.

Leong and SAGE Publications (2008) assert that mental health counselors or therapists usually work in schools, hospitals, clinics, human resource departments of various organizations, as well as in consultancy firms as private practitioners.

Marriage and Family Counselors. These are professional counselors who work with couples or married people and their families. Marriage and family counselors, also known as family therapists, help couples and family members with professional advices on how to solve various issues that arise within the institution of marriage. Additionally, marriage counselors guide couples on the most appropriate ways of building strong interpersonal relationships within their marriages and families (Leong & Sage Publications, 2008).

Moreover, marriage and family counselors suggest various alternative methods of solving social problems that a family may face, for example, unplanned teenage pregnancy, marital infidelity, teen pressure, financial difficulties, management of family resources, child-rearing as well as tolerance of certain behaviors of members of the family such as excessive alcohol consumption and drug abuse (United States, 2010).

Other areas in which marriage and family counselors offer creditable support include parenting and child behavior management, improving the ability of the family members to provide socio-economic and financial support to children and youth, as well as the development of therapeutic relationships amongst family members (United States Employment Service, 2009).

Rehabilitation Counselors. Rehabilitation counselors are professional behavioral psychologists who assist people suffering from various mental and physical disabilities in dealing with their conditions. For instance, a rehabilitation counselor may help a victim of an accident or rape in coping with the trauma caused by such occurrences. According to United States (2010), rehabilitation counselors work closely with mental health counselors and other psychologists during re-establishment or revitalization of an individual. Rehabilitation counselors usually work in health institutions such as clinics and hospitals, prisons, rehabilitation centers as well in homes.

Tutors and Lecturers. These are professional counselors who teach or lecture in both private and public universities as tutors or assistant lecturers. Professional counselors may also teach in other educational institutions such as tertiary colleges. However, it is important to note that teaching or lecturing in institutions of higher education is very competitive and thus may require one to seek for further education. For example, a tutor with a Master’s degree in Counseling may be required to enroll for a doctorate degree or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in order to remain competitive in the teaching industry. In my view, this is because the teaching industry is highly dynamic and very competitive. Moreover, professors of counseling are also expected to teach both undergraduate and post-graduate students. Professional counselors in institutions of higher learning can also be contracted to conduct research studies for the government as well as for private organizations.

Private Consultancy Services. Graduates with a Master’s degree in Counseling may also provide professional advice as consultants in the private sector. This encompasses starting a private consultancy firm where prospective clients would seek the services.

Social Workers. Graduates of Master’s in Counseling may also be employed as social workers by local and international organizations or welfare agencies such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

State and Federal Government Employment. Finally, yet importantly, one of the major employers of graduates of Master’s degree in Counseling is the state and federal governments (United States Employment Service, 2009). Both state and federal governments may employ graduates in counseling as rehabilitation officers, parole officers, psychosocial specialists and managers of social services.

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