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Mental Health Degrees in NYC


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Hi all,


After spending some time in journalism I've spent the last three years in the mental health field where I plan to stay. I considered some other fields, but I find this one the most rewarding and what I have been best at. That being said I don't currently make very much and really would like a job with more responsibility. Money isn't everything I guess, but it counts for something. I've been looking into possibly getting an MSW, PH.D or Psy.D degree. Not any time in the near future, but somewhere down the line. I was wondering if anyone was familiar with degrees offered in the NYC area and which have the highest earning potential as well as job openings. Especially since I still have a while before I would earn such a degree I'm looking for fields that are expected to have job openings down the line as well.


I'm looking for more professional/practicing programs rather than those based in academia. I know Psy.D degrees tend to be less academic oriented, but there are so few of those in NYC and those in the area tend to be rather expensive. Cost is definitely an important factor to me since I'm still working on paying down a big student loan I have. For any further degree I earn I am hoping to be able to pay it out of pocket and through scholarships.


I am also concerned about how to go about getting letters of recommendation for these programs. Although I've taken a ton of college courses I can't say very many have been related to the mental health field. I figured it may be best to find credible professors in the field in NYC and enroll in individual courses with them, which would both help me build up a little more familiarity with studying mental health and help get some letters of recommendation. Is this a good approach or not?


For a little background about me I've worked as a residential counselor for the past three years. Two years in a high intensity program and the year before that in a less intense setting. I work in a group home setting in a psychiatric rehabilitation program. The population I have worked with have mostly been older clients with axis 1 mental disorders (schizophrenic and schizoaffective disorders to be precise). I'm looking to probably get a different job in the same field in the next 6 months or so. I have a MS degree, but it is in journalism and likewise my undergraduate work was in journalism and media studies. I have begun applying to other jobs already and meet the qualifications, but even these jobs are below $40,000 a year typically. I'm hoping a further degree would get me closer if not above the $60,000  a year mark. Also, I'd ideally like to keep working with the same population, but of course can be flexible.


Sorry for the long sort of rambling post, but I've been thinking about this a lot lately and just have so much to learn. Thank you in advance to anyone who can help :)

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