That’s right: don’t waste time getting a life coach degree. Look at the current state of coaching and the degree programs out there. You will quickly see that coaching has not evolved to the point where a degree gives you the most current and powerful knowledge in the field of coaching. That is unless what you are actually looking for is a degree in “counseling” or “psychology.” And if you do get such a degree, you probably should sign up for a certification program in coaching, so you will actually learn how to coach!
Apprenticeships Trump a Life Coach Degree
Look at any recognized profession, whether it is Engineering, Medicine or the Law, and you will see that degrees in these fields are not the ultimate measure of competency. After graduation, engineers must work for five years with a licensed engineering firm and pass a very serious exam before they can to be christened “Professional Engineers.” Doctors go to school, but most of that schooling is in an apprenticeship format as medical students, interns, and residents. Generally, lawyers go to law school and then take the Bar Exam, but anyone can take the Bar Exam, and if they pass it, they become licensed attorneys. But even then they will typically “clerk” for a high profile judge, or serve an apprenticeship period in an established law firm.
So Where Does that Leave Coaches?
Basically, it leaves them in the same boat. Getting a life coach degree does not prove anything, in and of itself. That means that you should seek out a well established and recognized certified life coaching training program that has an excellent track record of turning out highly effective coaches. And after your certification you still have to prove yourself working with actual life coaching clients.
But What about that Degree?
Getting a formal education from a well recognized institution of higher learning is always a wonderful thing. But don’t expect it to qualify you as either a craftsman or a professional. Your proof is in the results. So just like getting a degree in English Literature doesn’t make you real poet or essayist, getting a life coach degree does not make you a real life coach.
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach