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An Introduction to this Degree
If you have already completed a masters degree within your field, you might be looking for additional methods for obtaining higher level positions in your area of expertise. Students that choose the field of counseling for their degree paths can become dedicated and well-educated professionals with the tools required for helping others work through difficult circumstances within their life. The highest degree level available for the field of counseling is the online doctorate. The online Doctorate in Counseling is a degree program that can train you in multiple aspects of counseling research and application, making it a potentially excellent choice for accelerating your promotional growth.
Those that are interested in obtaining the highest degree level in the field of counseling can do so through multiple universities in the U.S. This degree program can allow you to focus on research that can help to improve the quality of practice in the field of counseling, or even train you on how to become an effective leader in mental health organizations with varying purposes. This degree program can provide you with higher learning in aspects relating to counseling theory, mental health management, financial management, and even large-scale treatment research.
The purpose of programs such as this one is to build your knowledge from what you have learned in bachelors and masters degree programs to a greater level of understanding. The best candidates for this program may be students that have completed a Masters in Counseling and have received some work experience in the field. In order to truly appreciate all of the information provided in the online doctorate program, students should be familiar with how counseling theories are applied in the field and the many different treatment and counseling methods available for use with your clients.
As you read through this guide, you should consider what your career goals are with an online Doctorate in Counseling. Our team of educational experts has provided you with information about this degree program, as well as what can result from your completion of it.
Outline of the Degree Program
Some graduates of Bachelors and Masters of Counseling programs may be seeking routes for further success within their professionals lives. In fields such as counseling, the different types of degree programs available can provide you with varying levels of skills that can be applied in a large variety of settings. Upcoming professionals that have an interest in diving deeper into the theoretical and practical aspects of the field of counseling should consider the online Doctorate in Counseling for their education.
From the very beginning, the Doctorate in Counseling can build upon the skills that you may have learned in your previous educational experience. Most doctoral programs have a diverse research component that can allow you to create and conduct your own research about various topics within your field. You can likely expect to learn more about the methods for conducting valid research projects, as well as ways to present your research to the counseling community.
Doctorate programs in this field may also promote communication as a way to learn while at this degree level. Courses may require students to work together to find solutions and communicate issues in order to see different points of view about particular subjects. Testing and examinations may still be an aspect of doctoral programs that are familiar to students enrolled, but it may not be the central focus of each course.
One of the more important goals of the online Doctorate of Counseling is to promote critical thinking skills and the encouragement of theory based assessment and discovery. As a student within this degree program, you may be challenged to solve issues that could arise while working in higher level positions in the field.
Specialization Options to Consider
In comparison to masters programs within this field, the online doctorate may provide you with opportunities to learn more about fields that are directly and indirectly associated with counseling. Choosing a specialization can be helpful when creating the perfect scenario for a fitting career.
Some students that may have years of experience providing counseling services at the masters level may choose to pursue a specialization that focuses on leadership in the field, while others may choose to pursue specializations in field research or improvement. Regardless of which aspect of counseling is most attractive to you, there may be specializations available to help you get started. Our team of educational experts has reviewed some of the more popular online Doctorate in Counseling programs in order to give you a look at some specialization options available.
In the list below, read through some of these programs to see if any would be a good fit for your skills and desires.
Education and Supervision
If you have some experience in the field of counseling and are interested in pursuing careers in leadership within your field, specialization options such as Education and Supervision could be the right choice for you. Programs with this specialization can teach you more about how to manage large teams of counseling professionals, communication methods for use in the field, and training techniques to help build the best possible team within your organization. This specialization option can be found in many online programs at this degree level.
Program Evaluation and Improvement
The need for professionals interested in improving the field of counseling and its practices may constantly grow as this field develops even further. This specialization option may include courses that look at the various evaluation methods used to ensure the quality of counseling programs, methods for reviewing and using consumer feedback as a method for improving programs, and the steps required to implement programs within a consistently operating facility.
Counseling Research and Practice
One of the more popular specializations for the online Doctorate in Counseling is one that focuses on promoting growth within the field of counseling through further developments related to theory and practice. This specialization may focus on research as a primary means for learning, so that students in the program can move forward into careers responsible for developing even more effective counseling methods for use in the field. This degree program may consists of independent exploration and research opportunities from start to finish.
Learning in the Online Setting
With all of the available learning options in society, students can create a degree program that fits perfectly into their lifestyle. For busy and hard-working adults, the online options for degree programs may be the most practical for what they require in their learning experience. All over the United States, colleges are offering online degree programs that can provide you with convenience and flexibility throughout the duration of your program.
Online Doctorate in Counseling programs can be a great way to learn more about your field while continuing on your path to career success. If you are like many others considering online degree options, you might be interested in knowing more about what is involved in this type of program. For starters, online degree programs can be accessed via the internet through a school's program website. Students may be provided with log-in credentials once enrolled, which can bring them to a web page that lists each class they are currently taking. Through each class web page, students can have access to their syllabus, communication tools, and assignments from their first day of class.
The online Doctorate in Counseling may allow students to engage in theoretical research and assessment practices that can assist them with building skills within these areas. Since this degree program is also popular for those interested in leadership, online courses may also provide focus and assignments to help increase student awareness within these areas. As a student in the online program, you can have the flexibility of logging in at times that work for you and turning in homework based on due dates provided to you at the onset of your courses.
The goal of the online Doctorate in Counseling is to promote higher learning in counseling professionals in either research-oriented aspects of counseling or practice. A few things that can influence the types of courses that you can take during your program include the the type of specialization you choose – if any – and the college that you attend. Your specialization can help organize your courses in a way that builds up to your final goal, which can diversify your experience from the generalist degree program. Different schools may also provide varying course work that covers all of the mandatory subjects for this program.
Our team of experts has looked into several different online Doctorate in Counseling programs in order to pull out some of the most common topics among them. In order to truly prepare for and understand the concepts of each program, you should always review the curriculum and what is expected of you during the process. Some online programs may also require that you take part in a supervised experience requirement, which should be planned and prepared for early on in the program. Check out some of the most common courses in this program below.
Counseling and Social Change
Students enrolled in the online Doctorate in Counseling program may take a look at different perspectives responsible for influencing their field. This course may explore concepts such as social justice, inequality, socioeconomics, and diversity as a means for learning more about methods for positive social change. These factors can play a role in the development of more inclusive counseling professionals with the ability to create programs for people regardless of their status in society, race, sex, or educational level.
Survey Research Methods
As part of the general curriculum for online doctorate programs, this course can be excellent for upcoming students interested in pursuing careers in research or program evaluation. Different research methods such as surveys, interviews, and technology-based questionnaires may be covered in this course, in order to introduce students to the many different ways that data can be gathered during the research process. This course can be a great complementary course to those focusing on effective research design and individual program assessment.
A large amount of online programs in this field may consists of a teaching component for learners at this level. The goal of courses such as this one is to provide learners with methods for reaching the adult learning in a professional or educational environment. Different learning techniques may be covered in this course, as well as cultural and individualistic considerations for educating others. Students enrolled in this course can use these skills to be great trainers while working in the field or even effective instructors within a collegiate setting.
Career Opportunities with this Degree
Careers in the field of counseling can be found at levels working directly with clients in the field as well as in upper management and field research. In some areas of the U.S., doctoral level counselors may also be called upon during the creation of new assessment tools, when needed in the legal system, or even as practitioners in the growing healthcare field. Your goals and aspirations in this field can guide you into the right type of practice for what you desire.
If you are interested in learning more about what other professionals in the field are earning with this degree, you should take a look at the information provided in this section. Since there are so many diverse options for you to consider when entering into the professional field, there may be other things to consider when choosing your career path. Some upcoming professionals may be interested in joining a career that focuses on treating specific groups, while others may be more concerned with the earning potential of their degree choice.
In order to help you make the best decision, our team of educational experts has provided you with salary information from current professionals in the field. The information provided is based on yearly averages of workers within different areas of expertise. Your earnings in this field can be dependent on your previous work experience, what type of specialty field you are working in, and the state in which you work. Check out the possibilities in this field below.
- Social and Community Service Managers: $64,100 on average per year (BLS).
- Marriage and Family Therapists: $48,790 on average per year (BLS).
- Sociologists: $79,650 on average per year (BLS).
Professional Organizations to Know
The field of counseling may be one that changes with time. What is known about counseling techniques and methods may consistently evolve over time, making it necessary to stay on top of any new research and developments in the field. Current professionals or recent graduates in the field of counseling can become members of organizations that are responsible for continually educating and partnering with others involved in counseling.
If you are interested in being a member of professional organizations in counseling, you should take a look at some of the most popular agencies currently active throughout the U.S. Benefits to becoming a members of professional organizations in counseling can go well beyond simply networking with other counselors in the field. These organizations often have active websites that can provide you with access to new research, ethical considerations, and publications relevant to your practice. Conventions and conferences are also regularly offered to members of certain organizations, providing you with the opportunity to see different aspects of your field and meet with others with similar interests.
Take a look at the list beneath this section to read more about these fascinating organizations and their purposes.
The American Psychological Association
Counseling as a sub-field of psychology draws upon its parent science for expertise surrounding the human brain and its many processes. The leading professional organization for fields in and related to psychology is the APA. This organization can provide an abundance of information regarding the policies and regulations within this field, as well as a look into the many diverse fields that can be influenced by the research released in this field. Counselors interested in staying knowledgeable on the changes and improvements to the field as a whole can take advantage of membership with this organization.
The American Counseling Association
Catering specifically to the needs of counselors all over the U.S., the American Counseling Association is the go-to resources for professional counselors in all subfields and careers. This agency represents counseling from a proactive standpoint, providing new information regarding techniques and treatments, information about new careers from state-to-state, and opportunities for meeting others with similar interests and career aspirations. As a new counselor in the field, you could greatly benefit from joining this widespread organization after graduation.
The American Mental Health Counselors Association
There are numerous professional organizations that can cater to the needs of current counselors in many diverse positions in the field. While joining a generalized organization can be great for staying up to date with changes in your field, joining a more specific professional organization can help you focus on what is important in your current career. For those involved in careers in mental health, the American Mental Health Counselors Association is the agency of choice. By joining this group, you can have access to unique studies, social research, and new theories relevant to this field which can help you expand your knowledge of mental health counseling during your experience.