How Much Do You Learn In School vs. On The Job
More Answers From Masters in Counseling Graduates
Host Question: How much of the skills that you need in your career did you learn in school versus how much are you kind of picking up on the job?
Guest Answer: I would say 50/50. I think that the counseling degree, my counseling program really trained me well, and I think that there’s a lot that I learned that feels like it’s been transferable to every single job that I’ve been in. And I think that there are certain nuances of especially to particular career fields that you do learn on the job, like you can learn. 50%, I would say, from a textbook in class discussion. And then there’s going to be other aspects that are going to be best learned in that actual workplace setting. So I would say about happen how.
Guest Answer: I feel like the skills I needed to get a job was heavily covered in my program. You need to have that scientific background of psychology and the different approaches and theories behind the counseling, because again, it is more than just talking to a person, helping them with their problems. For example, if you were to do cognitive behavioral therapy, you would need to know the background and the history of cognitive science and brain development and different approaches to therapy to help people change their behaviors and thinking. So that background equips me to enter the field. But then there is so much working in the field that you can’t learn in counseling. Like a counseling program will teach me how to build rapport with clients. But over time, as I work with more clients, I get better at building that rapport and I get a better feel for how to work with people and just get more comfortable. And that just comes with time.
Guest Answer: You learn the basics, the bare minimum of how to be a counselor, and the rest of it. You pick up on a job. You never learn how to run your own private practice in school. A lot of very situationally dependent issues that come up when you’re working with clients and I think you get a lot better like risk assessment and how to navigate those pieces that they know. Fresh out of school is kind of like, oh, what do I do here? I have an idea of who to call. What are the actual steps?
Guest Answer: I learned about 65% of what I needed to do my job in my master’s program. The remaining percentage I learned either previously in other school settings or has been current on the job training.
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