What Is Career Counseling for College Students?

What Is Career Counseling for College Students?
Beth Dumbauld

Most people, when asked, have a general idea of what career counseling achieves. This type of counseling can cover many bases, from finding your areas of interest to learning about what types of careers fit into those interests, it can feel overwhelming. This blog will share what career counseling is and how it can help adult college students, whether they are considering a career change or just starting out. Believe it or not, even adult students don’t always know what careers appeal to them, which college courses to take in support of those careers, and most importantly, what the current job market holds for their career interests.

A career counselor is a person who helps students focus on what they would like to do in their career, explore what education may be needed, and what job prospects are available after graduation. These experts probe a student’s motivation for making career choices, work through tough questions about education, skills requirements, and salary, and ultimately assist students in choosing a path that will give them the best return on their investment of time, effort and money.

How Career Counseling Can Help College Students

In looking at the education piece, a good career counselor directs you away from college courses you don’t need, points you at the proper credentials, and helps you understand the post-graduation job market. A seasoned career counselor can do the following:

  • Inventory your interests and direct you to a degree program in that area – Whether you’re starting new or already have some college credit, a career inventory can sharpen your focus enough to choose the best route to earn your credentials for a new career.
  • Be a knowledgeable sounding board for you to share concerns, frustrations and fears – making a big change, one that may include returning to school, can be challenging to even the most motivated individuals.
  • Guide you to timely resources where you can learn more about the career you envision – career counselors entrenched in their communities can readily direct you to resources to help you network, find financial aid, and even internships and jobs.

If you’re unsure about your path and just starting out, a career counselor can deliver aptitude tests, which provide feedback about everything from your personality type and learning style, to the kinds of education and work that may best fit your profile. If you’re looking to change your career path, aptitude testing may not be necessary. You may be more interested in what educational credentials you’ll need and what types of job opportunities exist. Either way, a good counselor will help you gain insights about yourself you didn’t already know.

Depending on your areas of interest and the career opportunities in your local area, a career counselor is invaluable. They should be networked to their communities and be up to date on the latest local government happenings, hiring practices and general needs of the businesses in their area. To find your best fit, ask for recommendations, meet several individuals, and ask the questions that matter to you.

Good career counseling can give you the insight, direction and discipline you need to decide on the degree program and career path that is right for you and your future. If part of your plan should include taking online college courses, let StraighterLine help you achieve your goals with our low-cost, low-risk, easily transferrable online college course. Intrigued? Click this link to learn more about our online college courses and the partner colleges they serve.

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