Improving Academic Performance

Profiling the School Counselor in a New World

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on September 4, 2020 3:02:02 PM CDT

This article, from one of our partners, explores the career path of a school counselor as compared to pursuit of a general career in business. It is intended to help individuals considering a career in education, and counseling specifically, generate a better understanding of the profession. 

Life during a pandemic leads people to reconsider priorities and examine their futures. As a consequence of changes to how businesses and institutions can function and thrive, individuals may start to look at career paths in new ways. You may find exciting business opportunities if you can show initiative and take bold steps, but commerce is not the only area where leadership is needed.

At the same time that businesses have to reinvent themselves, school closings and creative re-openings demonstrate the need for guidance in educational settings as well. No one may be more important to schools at the moment than on-staff guidance counselors. They are looked to by students, parents, and staff for their unemotional, professional focus on student life. Careers for business specialists and school counselors, essential employees moving forward, surprisingly share many real-world similarities.

Career Dynamics

Job prospects for business graduates will grow above the average rate as compared to all industries through at least 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The outlook for those holding degrees in school counseling shows similar projections. Businesses of the future will seek a continual influx of talent to stay relevant in increasingly competitive global markets, and schools will need to fill vacancies created by retiring workers. There are even interesting school counselor careers abroad to explore.

Because both careers are in professional fields, days are rarely predictable in either. A day in the life of a guidance counselor is profiled extensively in this article. It highlights that the roles and responsibilities of a counselor are to help students thrive through reactive and proactive means. In this, the two careers align. The ability to produce positive outcomes and results is a requirement for maintaining a position.

Often, corporate job interviews ask about your ability to work in teams. The ability to do so is important for productivity; however, an unspoken question is this: Do you get along with others? School counseling can seem like a strange social-interaction mix. You may spend a great deal of time working one-on-one with students, but you must work with teachers, administrators, and parents to provide input and elicit feedback.

Career Advancement

In business, moving upward may mean growing from your place in an entry-level position. As you gain experience, you can occasionally be promoted. Sometimes, however, advancement stems from exploring an alternative career option. If your education stopped at a high school, attaining a college degree may be the primary way to climb the ladder.

In a school setting, school counselors are considered specialists, a step-up from the job of classroom teacher. Sometimes in education, changes in position are lateral moves, even when educators assume leadership duties as part of their career path. Advancement usually means going into school administration or assuming district leadership roles.

Further Opportunities

Both school counselors and business graduates can explore opportunities related to their careers, but outside the traditional setting in which they work. For example, a corporate employee can become an entrepreneur after gaining experience in a successful business setting. A school counselor can assume further education and licensing to become a Licensed Professional Counselor.

While educators and business employees work in different worlds, they require some of the same personal characteristics. It is worth looking closely at either when considering a new career path.