If you want to become a career counselor the path usually starts with education, and goes back as far as high school. You need a high school diploma, a college degree ( majoring in psychology or something similar is best), and perhaps even a graduate degree.
But, wait, what if I don’t have all those degrees, you ask? If these still hope for me to become a career counselor? It’s going to be much harder to get into this field without degrees. But, lets assume you made it through high school, studied a little between the parties in college and made it out with a degree. If this is you, you aren’t that far from becoming a career counselor.
What is a Career Counselor?
Career counseling focuses on helping people make the best of their careers. Whether someone is just starting out in the workforce or they are contemplating a career change, career counselors are there to help them make the right choices. When you become a career counselor, you work with people from all walks of life, with different educational and experience levels, and with different career prospects and goals.
What Do You Do When You Become a Career Counselor?
As a career counselor, you dig deep into various aspects of an individual to help determine the best career path for them. You juxtapose the traits, talents, experience, and goals to assist your clinet in making significant career decisions.
- Skills and aptitude. You’ve probably heard someone, probably a parent, coach, or teacher, say that you can become anything you want. It’s not true. I wanted to become a NBA player, and even though I practiced and practiced, my skills improved enough for me to be good in high school and on the playground, but I fell far short of NBA level. Career counselors will test and interview clients to find their strengths and determine their best prospects.
- Personality. Yes, personality matters. Different personalities fit with different careers. For example, if you’re an honest person, politics is probably not a good career choice (ok – just kidding…sort of). A career counselor will perform tests and interviews to figure out what careers match your personality.
- Education. Some careers require more education than others. A career counselor will help clients determine the right careers based on their clients’ education level, or help them work on gaining additional education to reach their career goals.
- Interests and passion. Career counselors will test and interview to find a client’s passion and interest. This will help determine which careers are the best options for success, achievement, and prosperity.
Become a Career Counselor or a Career Coach
Now that you know what you do as a career counselor, do you still want to enter this rewarding career and become a career counselor? If you want to take a shortcut to success, you can become a career coach. A career coach is similar to a career counselor, but you can enter the field without earning the multiple college degrees. Because the coaching field is unregulated, it is possible to get in without a series of diplomas hanging on your wall.
However, don’t let the lack of specific regulation fool you, coaching is still a professional field and it requires you to be trained and educated. You can take one of many accredited coaching programs to begin your education, and you can also take a career coach certification program. If you want to become a career counselor the educational process is long, but becoming a career coach takes much less time, and puts you in a position to do all the sames things as a career counselor.
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