Deciding which career you want to pursue in life is a huge step and one that can take a long time to come to. Maybe you’ve already been working for years, just not in your dream job, or perhaps you’re just starting out. If you’ve decided that an online masters in counseling is what you want to pursue then there are some things you’ll want to be mindful of when applying.
Make Sure the School is CACREP Accredited
Before you even think about any other factor, you want to be sure that the school in which you plan to pursue your masters in counseling online has CACREP accreditation. While online universities have come a long way in the past 10 years or so, some are still more reputable than others. Take for example Bradley University, which offers online counseling degrees that are CACREP accredited.
For those unfamiliar with what CACREP means, it stands for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs. As stated, not all schools/programs have this designation. What this accreditation means is that the program itself is of the highest standards. It’s assurance that what you learn is what you’ll need in the workforce. This designation was introduced in 1981 and CACREP itself is an accrediting agency. It was created to protect students.
What Kind of Jobs Will Be Available?
It’s only natural to think about what kind of jobs will be available to you once you have your degree; in fact, this is very important. You want to be sure that the positions that exist are ones that interest you and will fit your own natural skills. Clearly, you will learn all of the core knowledge in school, but there are still certain skills that you will probably want to possess in order to excel in a career in counseling.
Make Sure to Compare Courses
Think of this as due diligence – you are just making sure that the courses you pick are what you need to succeed in your dream job. Different schools may offer different courses, so it’s best to allow plenty of time to do research and comparison.
Investigate the University
You will also want to spend time checking out the university itself. Take a look at their website, as well as their social media pages. It can be helpful to see what other students are saying about the school, the degree programs, and the courses themselves.
Make Sure the Requirements Are Clear
Every program has requirements that you must meet, so it’s important you look into what they are and figure out if there is anything you are missing. If you allow enough time before registration, you may be able to obtain information or requirements you are currently missing.
Be Prepared in Every Sense
Picking which program you want to study in university is really only half the battle. From there it’s up to you to do some research and investigation making sure the school and the program meet your needs, and that you have all that is required of you.