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Student Counseling Major

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Student Counseling

12,358 Master's Degrees Annually
383 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#18 in Popularity (Master's)
$60,160 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Student Counseling Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many student counseling graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 12,362
Graduate Certificate 927
Doctor’s Degree 383

What Student Counseling Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to student counseling were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Student Counseling Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in student counseling should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Skills for Student Counseling Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to student counseling:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities for Student Counseling Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a student counseling student include the following:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Student Counseling Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with student counseling:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors 12.6% $56,310

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Student Counseling?

12,362 Master's Degrees Annually
82% Percent Women
36% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is one of the most frequently chosen graduate majors. It is the 18th most popular in the country with 12,358 students graduating with a master’s in student counseling in 2019. This major is dominated by women with about 82% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of student counseling majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Student Counseling Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 375
Black or African American 1,571
Hispanic or Latino 2,068
White 7,118
International Students 194
Other Races/Ethnicities 1,036

Geographic Diversity

Student Counseling appeals to people across the globe. About 1.6% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Canada
  • Taiwan
  • South Korea
  • Saudi Arabia

How Much Do Student Counseling Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in student counseling made a median starting salary of $42,200 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $38,650 (25th percentile) and $45,150 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to student counseling.

Salaries According to BLS

Student Counseling majors often go into careers with median salaries of $60,160. This median refers to all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Student Counseling Major  60,160
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with student counseling require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for student counseling careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 6.4%
Bachelor’s Degree 0.3%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.3%
Master’s Degree 94.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.2%

Online Student Counseling Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 493 schools offered some type of student counseling program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 2 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 3 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 1 0
Bachelor’s Degree 79 21
Post-Baccalaureate 2 2
Master’s Degree 542 93
Post-Master’s 121 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 84 4
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 1 0

Is a Degree in Student Counseling Worth It?

The median salary for a student counseling grad is $60,160 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 51% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $405,200 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to student counseling.

Major Number of Grads
Teacher Education Grade Specific 100,925
Educational Administration 44,381
Teacher Education Subject Specific 43,516
General Education 31,066
Special Education 30,639
Curriculum & Instruction 18,767
Instructional Media Design 7,063
Other Education 5,503
Teaching English or French 5,407
Multilingual Education 1,636
Teaching Assistants 1,591
Educational Assessment 1,532
Education Philosophy 634
International Education 400

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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