Is an MS in Counseling Psychology Worth It?

Industry Advice Healthcare

With many educational paths to choose from, students today must evaluate programs based on length, time commitment, and post-grad benefits. Given technological advances, rising tuition costs, and competitive acceptance rates, students now complete extensive research before making a final pledge.

For individuals who want to make a difference in others’ lives, a graduate psychology degree can be the extra boost your resumé needs. Whether you want to make more money, get closer to a promotion, or change your career path altogether, a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology could be the key to unlocking your future.

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Download our free Counseling Psychology Career Guide to learn how.


Reasons to Earn an MS in Counseling Psychology 

1. Competitive Salary

According to, most counseling psychologists earn a starting average salary of $74,200. Professionals who value flexibility will also appreciate that nearly one-third of counseling psychologists are self-employed.

2. Job Stability and Demand

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for psychologists to increase three percent from now until 2029, with most jobs suited for those with an applied specialty. Whether you choose counseling psychology or another field within psychology, choosing a specialty will increase your employment odds.  

Choosing a concentration will also increase your appeal to employers after graduation. Some popular concentration areas include:

  • Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • Forensic Counseling
  • Health Psychology
  • Cultural, Gender, and Political Psychology
  • Early Intervention
  • Research

3. Flexibility and Variety 

Counseling psychology is a subset of professional psychology, meaning these psychologists work in offices, classrooms, mental health facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or military organizations. This line of work allows professionals to work with a variety of clients to generate wellness solutions that combat physical, emotional, and mental health issues.

The need for counselors is universal; in schools, prisons, private practices, and businesses in the private and public sectors. Counselors can work during the day or evenings to accommodate patients who work various hours and shifts.

The American Psychological Association expects the need for counseling psychologists to only increase in the coming decade. The APA anticipates that psychologists will face stiff competition, especially from counselors with master’s degrees. The fields growing most rapidly are geropsychology, neuropsychology, and industrial and organizational psychology. 

4. The Opportunity to Make a Difference 

Perhaps the most crucial question to ask yourself is: what kind of impact do you want to make in your career? 

Do you want a job, or do you want to make a difference?

If you hold a passion for helping people with emotional, behavioral, and mental health problems, counseling psychology may be the career choice that allows you to do both. Typically, counseling psychologists are empathetic by nature, exhibit strong interpersonal and communication skills, and are capable of listening with compassion. They work with individuals and groups to assess, diagnose, and prescribe treatment and coping mechanisms to help navigate chronic and crisis circumstances. 

By choosing the field of counseling psychology, your career choice can make all the difference in alleviating feelings of distress and resolving crises in the lives of your future clients. 

5. It’s Required

Depending on the specific state you would like to work in and the job title you would like to hold, a graduate degree may be required. As more and more states move to adopt graduate-level education as a baseline requirement, earning a degree becomes a smart option, even if it is not required in your state at this exact moment in time.

Choosing the Right Psychology Program

If you are ready to take your next step in earning your degree, it’s important to choose a program aligned with your goals. Some important questions to ask yourself include:

  • Will you be earning your degree part-time or full-time?
  • Do you have a particular specialty or concentration in mind?
  • Where do you hope to work after graduation?

At Northeastern University, you can earn your Master of Science in Counseling Psychology through either part-time or full-time study. Your first year focuses on clinical skills and practicum, while your second year focuses on internship. The second year of study will vary depending on your selected concentration or electives. Our team of faculty works to mentor students, enabling them with the real-world experience and education to propel them toward an impactful, meaningful career in the field.

Northeastern University is surrounded by some of the country’s top healthcare professionals in the heart of Boston and beyond. Our world-renowned co-op program offers access to our longstanding relationships with numerous hospitals, clinics, health centers, shelters, and community service agencies. Students have the flexibility to return to the same placement site or gain various experiences at different places during their two years of study.

Jumpstart your future today and learn more about gaining the skills and experience needed to accelerate your counseling psychology career.

Counseling Psychology Careers Ebook