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Career Counseling For High School Students

Norma Said:

bad high school counselor?

We Answered:

Today college is definitely stressed over vocational schools. In a way the high school counselor's job is to get students placed at high level colleges, it is what drives the entire system now.

If you can't find the vocationa help you are looking for, try finding a tech/vocational school where you can take classes and utilize their career day and career fairs.

There's also a thought out there from older people I think that high school students can't know what they want to do.

Not going the college track can ultimately hurt you in the future, but there are professions where it isn't mandatory and you will be offering a vital service.

Violet Said:

Masters in Counseling - Student Affairs or Masters in Instructional Leadership with Academic Advising Cert?

We Answered:

I may be biased--my degree is more like your Counseling/Student Affairs option--but I would opt for that one. The focus is more likely on student development, and working with students across the co-curricular aspects of their education. It's probably more oriented toward preparing you for jobs in the Student Affairs division of a university or a school. The Instructional Leadership degree sounds more oriented toward academic administration, and on preparing you for non-teaching jobs in the Academic Affairs division. In student development we talk a lot about "educating the whole person" and I think the Student Affairs degree might be better at helping you do that. Of course, this is all without seeing the actual curriculum of the two programs. And re-reading, what I wrote, no maybe about it--I'm definitely biased here!

In reality, the two degrees will be more interchangeable than you may expect, for all practical purposes. You will be well-prepared with your experience and either of these degrees to get jobs in student affairs or academic affairs, including academic advising. Which of these two degrees you get will probably matter less than your experience and your presentation at an interview, even in your first job search--and after that, it will matter even less. The degree you choose will matter more in shaping your professional orientation and the skills and tools and strengths you feel most comfortable using. I'd say go with your gut--look at the courses you'll be taking and choose the program with the ones that sound like the most fun to you. That's going to be your best fit!

Patricia Said:

Any counselors (more specifically HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELORS) out there?

We Answered:

I used to be a high school counselor, now i work at a mental health place and am about to join a private practice. the pros of working at a school are that you get to be creative and plan groups, you get to spend one on one time helping kids and families, it can be fun dealing with teenagers, you get a good pension, time off and insurance, and you don't have after hours emergencies. the cons are that there can be a lot of paperwork, low pay, and some schools don't value counseling and treat you like a glorified secretary. i have known some school counselors who ended up having to be the truancy or 504 person, which is silly and has nothing to do with counseling. the school i worked at let me do a lot of counseling and groups. i enjoyed my job, but they didn't pay much. i make more working at mental health or private practice. you will have to take a legal/ethics course in college and they will tell you everything you need to know about the laws. you have to tell what a person says to you if there is a court order, or they are going to hurt themselves or someone else, or tell you about abuse. all counselors have to have liability insurance so in case you get sued you are covered. a school would provide this for you and your college will require it to do an internship. you should go to a college that has a school counseling program that is accredited by CACREP (go to to see listing of programs by state). then you are better prepared and it wont take as long to be a licensed professional counselor (which you need to work anywhere else besides a school, and is good to have even if you work in a school). for your school counseling license you just have to take a test when you are done with your program. school counseling is a good degree because you have more job opportunities; you can work in a school or for mental health or any other counseling type job. good luck!

Cory Said:

Can you give me advice on my career aspiration?

We Answered:

If you are happy doing what you are doing now, GO for it! Get your Masters in Educational Counseling. You really do not want to get out there in a job that you will not find rewarding. If it is $$ you are going for then seek other employement, but if you love what you are doing now, I say Go for it!

Dorothy Said:

Any Counselors (more specifically HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELORS) out there?

We Answered:

I trained as a secondary school teacher, and that includes high school counseling.
I also trained as a family and child specialist, also includes counseling, only family oriented. In both cases, worked with people in your case, meaning career counseling.

I understand for high school counseling as a career itself you have two options:
train as a Guidance Counselor, after your teaching studies and also through Psychology studies.
High School or Guidance Counselors deal with motivating students experiencing difficulties, address issues of behaviour problems, disabilities and resources thereof, abuse or other issues, and the students advancement into other programs, forms, applications and tests for IQ, aptitudes, entrance [lSAT's] and work with the child and families.

Your best way is to go to your school Guidance Counselor.

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