School Counselors get to help support students in personal, social, educational, and vocational developments. As the person with the connections and answers, students will look to you for help. It will be your job to encourage and guide students in a direction that will prepare them for their future. The opportunity to help aid students can be in any grade level within elementary, middle, and high school.
In this field you will be required to take classes in ethics, psychology, sociology, counseling services, student development, vocational counseling, and some law courses. The concentrations in this major include elementary, middle, and high school counseling and college and career counseling.
School counselors have an ability to help students through difficult periods in their life. However, you will be required to work through difficult problems with students who may have attitude or behavior issues. You will need to look past the image of your students and find out what actually motivates them in order to make them successful. Interpersonal skills are necessary as you will be working with many people including students, parents, and teachers. Communication skills are important as you will spend a large chunk of your day talking to people. It is also important to stay organized as you administer and evaluate tests. However, the most important trait to have is to emotionally commit to your students and to show them that you care about them.
Previous work experience with children is a plus. Babysitting, working as a camp counselor or volunteering with a kids program should give you enough exposure to know if working with kids is for you.
This major allows you to become a school guidance counselor or a career and college counselor. You get to work in the school and work with students one-on-one. You will not only teach students, but be a role-model and mentor. Most employers prefer for you to have a master's degree in counseling. This field is expected to grow because of the increase of enrollment in school. However, jobs may be more available in certain parts of the country.