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Counseling Doctorate Degree

The Pros and Cons of Pursuing Your Counseling Doctorate Degree

Every decision in life – including the decision to get your doctoral degree in counseling – comes with inherent risks and rewards. It isn’t until you evaluate your options with both in mind that you can obtain a “big picture” perspective that allows problem solving powered by critical thinking to emerge. If you’re considering taking your studies to the next level with your counseling doctorate degree, it’s crucial that you take several factors into account, including:

  • Your earning potential with a doctorate degree
  • The cost of the graduate studies, both in dollars and minutes
  • The credibility of possessing doctorate credentials
  • The benefits your clients can look forward to when your degree is awarded
  • What your doctorate degree will “cost” your friends, family and colleagues

The Financial Rewards of a Doctorate Degree in Counseling

Boosting your earning potential is one of the primary reasons that professionals ultimately decide to work towards their doctorate degree in counseling. In addition to being able to earn more financially, a greater number of employment opportunities unfold for those possessing this highest degree in the field. In addition to having the ability to operate a private practice, you can also work within universities, hospitals and in the higher echelons of social working agencies. Doctorate degrees in counseling include your PhD, PsyD or EdD and better prepare you for life in academia or in research related aspects of the field.

The Differences Between Doctorate Degrees in Counseling

Because those who pursue a doctorate level degree in counseling do so for different reasons, there are different varieties of doctorate degrees, including the PhD, the PsyD and the EdD. A PhD is also known as a Doctor of Philosophy and is a traditional psychology degree that puts an equal emphasis on research and clinical training. These programs are generally offered by traditional colleges and universities and can be incredibly competitive, often with as few as six or more students in each academic year. A PsyD, however, is the Doctor of Psychology and is a relatively recent development in the world of grad school. A PsyD is offered by most professional schools of psychology and puts a greater emphasis on the clinical practice and less on research training. These programs are generally less competitive than those encountered in pursuit of a PhD. The final EdD is most often offered by an educational department and shows a particular expertise in educational counseling or related aspects of psychology. In each of these instances, however, you’ll need somewhere between two and four years of intensive, specialized study and will need to produce either a written or oral dissertation.

Counting the cost of Counseling Doctorate Degrees

Obtaining your doctorate degree isn’t a task for the faint of heart or for those who can’t stand the pressure of an ever growing student loan debt. In addition to what you’ve already invested in your Bachelor and Master’s degrees, each year you spend in a doctorate program will set you back an average of $6,819 for in-state residents or a whopping $16,334 a year for out of state residents. Fortunately, those who are serious about pursuing their doctorate degree can find some level of respite through scholarships, grants, internship programs and other sources of traditional and non-traditional financial aid. Additionally, a number of companies will help off-set the cost of furthering your education by tuition assistance or reimbursement options. For more information, you should contact your organizations HR representative to find out what options are currently available to you.


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