What Else Can I Do With a School Counseling Degree?

In a recent Washington Post article, Valerie Strauss claimed that the United States has an extreme shortage of public school counselors, with only 1 counselor for every 457 students. For this reason, many individuals with interests in education and psychology have entered undergraduate and graduate programs for school counseling. However, school counseling is not for everyone. Luckily, there are a number of different careers that can utilize a school counseling degree.

Mental Health Counseling

With only a small amount of additional coursework and licensure, a school counselor can go to work in the exciting field of mental health counseling. In both the public and private sector, mental health counselors help people who are struggling with serious illnesses that require residential treatment and care. Mental health counselors can be employed in hospitals or as outpatient advisers on the payroll of government social services. The American Mental Health Counselors’ Association claims that there are more than ten thousand mental health counselors in America, but that demographic shifts should lead to increased demand over the next several decades.

Addiction Counseling

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has ranked addiction counseling as one of the jobs with the highest growth potential for the last three years in a row. Addiction Counselors lead group and individual therapy sessions, monitor patients for signs of relapse, and they manage portfolios of clients referred by the government and local hospitals. Unlike school counselors, addiction counselors have the potential to create their own businesses with their skills, turning their love for counseling into a lucrative enterprise.

School Administration

A counseling degree is good for far more than just counseling, it also demonstrates to employers that the individual has the skills and experience necessary to calmly deal with a variety of people and situations. Public and private schools are constantly on the look for people with counseling experience to fill a variety of liaison and supervisory roles within the school system. Counselors hired by the school administration might find themselves organizing student initiatives (like drug prevention or mental health awareness) or dealing with the community through public affairs positions and new media.

Nonprofit Work

For people who got degrees in school counseling hoping that they could truly help children, nonprofit work might be a perfect fit. There are literally thousands of nonprofit organizations that hire people with counseling degrees to oversee their programs and to aid children on a daily basis. From groups that deal with underprivileged and abused children to groups that foster increased awareness of the dangers of drunk driving, there are boundless opportunities for counselors to reach out into their communities in a positive way.


If you entered the school counseling field with trepidation, realizing too late that a career as a school counselor might not be for you, there is hope. There are many jobs that people with school counseling degrees can do, and many ways that a school counseling degree can be put to use serving the community.