Career Spotlight: Genetic Counselor

Many students express a desire to combine an interest in science with a desire to use interpersonal skills to help others.  Genetic counseling is one such field.  As the name implies, a genetic counselor helps a client by “mapping genetic patterns within the family” (OOQ Online, 2011).  This information can be used in prenatal counseling, as well as helping clients understand genetic conditions from which they are suffering.

According to an article in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly,

Genetic counselors must have a master’s degree in genetic counseling from a program accredited by American Board of Genetic Counseling. There are currently 30 of these master’s programs nationwide, and admission to them usually requires completion of significant undergraduate coursework in biological science. The programs combine scientific aspects of genetics with counseling study and take about 2 years to finish. In addition, most employers require certification, and some states require licensure.

A list of accredited programs can be found here.

The following articles can provide you with additional information on the profession:

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