I want to use my degree
mary lemay masters degree
Name: Mary LeMay, 47
Place: Stevens Point, Wisc.

After working 18 years in financial counseling, I went back to school in my 40s to earn a master's degree in community counseling.

I had always aspired to be a school counselor, but when I started the program, I was informed there were very few job openings in schools. I chose community counseling instead, because I was told it was a larger umbrella with more opportunities.

After graduating in May 2010, I knew that most counselor positions would require certification as an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor). In Wisconsin, that would entail an additional two years and 3,000 hours working under the direction of someone in the field. I didn't know how difficult it would be to obtain that certification.

I've been looking for those positions, but it seems there are so few job opportunities for someone to become a counselor-in-training. Very few employers are willing to supervise you.

Why do graduate schools keep churning out counselors when there are so few jobs or opportunities for certification?

I funded my masters degree with $20,000 in student loans. I'm still looking forward to being able to use my degree, but I'm just wondering if that's ever going to happen.


- Last updated January 24 2013 12:40 PM ET