M.A., M.Ed., or M.S.? - Which Should You Pursue?

A reader asked me about graduate school and which degree is the best for school counselors.

Q: I came across your School Counselor Blog yesterday while researching information on graduate school programs for school counseling. I would like to say how awesome your blog is and how much I loved reading through all of your information. As I am only in the beginning stages of looking at grad schools, reading your blog really helped validate my decision of pursuing a master's degree to be a school counselor.

Also, I had a question that I hope you can help me out with. Through reading pages and pages of information on different schools and what degrees are offered, I noticed that there are at least three different types of counseling degrees: M.A., M.ED., and M.S. ED. I have read the basic differences on each of these, but is any one of these degrees better than others? (Most specifically when applying for jobs).

Thank you very much! I look forward to reading more on your blog. :-)

A: First, I recommend looking at your state's requirements for certification. Some states may have requirements about which degree they want school counselors to have. Here is a listing from the American School Counseling Association website of state certification requirements. As long as the program you choose fulfills your state's certification requirements, it should not matter if your degree is an M.A., M.Ed., or M.S.

If the program you choose is not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), you may have to meet additional requirements in order to fulfill your state's certification requirements.

Check out my previous post, Navigating Graduate School for School Counseling, for more information about CACREP and applying to graduate school.

What factored into your degree decision? Comment, email, tweet, or share on The School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!

Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources.  Contact Danielle via email, follow her on twitter, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.

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