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How to Choose a Specialization for Your PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision

Get tips on how to select the specialization that best fits your personal interests and career goals.


When you earn a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, you position yourself to assume leadership roles in the field and promote change in the communities and organizations you serve. Walden University’s high-quality PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program offers a number of specializations so you can tailor your degree program to your goals. You can choose from a General Program, as well as the following specializations:

So, which is the best choice? Below, we go over some tips on how to choose the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision specialization that is best for you.

Identify your career aspirations.

Having a solid understanding of your professional goals can help direct your decision-making when deciding on a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision specialization. What specifically do you want to do in your career? What populations do you most want to work with? What would a successful career trajectory look like for you? Do you want to work in an established office setting or in a changing environment? If salary is an important factor, how much do you want to make? By answering these and similar questions, you will be able to identify key career aspirations and then choose a specialization that most aligns with these goals.

Consider your personal interests.

In addition to weighing your professional ambitions, it’s also important to consider your personal interests. That’s because we tend to be more engaged in and enjoy work that actually interests us. For instance, if your career goal is to guide the next generation of counselors and you are also drawn toward the field of addiction intervention and treatment, then choosing a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program with a specialization in Addiction Counseling would likely be a good fit. Marrying these two aspects—the professional and personal—is an effective way to help narrow down your options as you search for the specialization that works best for you. 

Take inventory of your work experience.

Your previous employment history can also serve as a helpful guide when deciding the focus of your counseling PhD program. If your background has predominately included working in research settings, you’ve probably become somewhat of a subject matter expert. And often, professionals leverage this expertise to tap into leadership roles in the field. Consistent experience doesn’t just happen by chance and is typically a good indicator of an area of interest. If you’re having a hard time pinning down what specialization you best align with, consider the positions you’ve held up until this point.  

Explore potential job opportunities.

Another way to inform your decision-making is to research what positions are available and trending upward in the field. You don’t want to choose a specialization that focuses on an area of counseling that’s projected to stop growing in the near future. You also might not want to choose a specialization that only positions you for the most competitive roles in the field, narrowing down your opportunities. Though considering your interests, goals, and experience is important, understanding the outlook of certain positions is also critical. 

Advance Your Expertise by Earning a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision

If you have the desire to augment your current credentials and take your career in new directions, Walden may be the right choice for you. In Walden’s CACREP-accredited PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program, you can advance your teaching and counseling skills to serve in key roles in a variety of settings, including clinical, academic, nonprofit, and research. Learn from subject matter experts and thought leaders as they share their valuable insights and field experience. And at Walden, it’s possible to earn your PhD in counseling while balancing priorities. That because online education gives you the flexibility to take your classes at whatever time of day works best for you, from wherever you have internet access. 

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program online, as well as an array of other psychology and counseling programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

Walden University’s PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Note on licensure: The PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed counseling professional.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,