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How do I Choose the Best Speech Pathology Programs?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 16 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are four items to consider when choosing the best speech pathology programs: program length, education level, career path, and overall cost. Speech pathology programs are offered at both the university and college levels. A speech pathologist works with people who have speech issues, diagnosing and creating a treatment or management plan. Speech pathology technicians work under the direction of the speech pathologist, helping clients complete their treatment plans.

Speech pathology programs are available at the college, university undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels. While all four options will result in academic credentials in speech pathology, it is important to review the different programs and decide what is best for you and your career goals. The different option selected determines the types of job opportunities available to you.

A speech pathology program at the college level is two to three years in length. These programs are often offered part time, allowing students to work while studying. An undergraduate degree program is four years long. In order to qualify for admissions to a master's degree, candidate must have completed a bachelor's degree. The master's program is an additional two years. A doctoral degree is after the master's and is at least another two years, for a total of eight years in school to achieve a Ph.D.

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The career paths available for someone who completed speech pathology programs at the college level are primarily client services, working to help people follow the plan provided by the speech pathologist. Any career advancement into management or supervisory level positions requires additional training. People who enjoy direct interaction with clients and making a difference in peoples lives can be very effective speech pathology technicians.

The speech pathology programs available at the university level are designed to train candidates for managerial or professional positions. The career paths available include professional work for a government agency or health services firm. Candidates with graduate degrees can find work for universities, hospitals, and research services firms.

As with everything, cost is a determining factor when looking for the best speech pathology programs. Look at the total cost of the different programs and then compare that to the salary available for the relevant positions. A cost-benefit analysis may reveal that the most economical decision is to complete the first level of college or university, find employment, pay off any student loans, and then pursue further education. Take the time required to learn about the different career paths in speech pathology and find the program most suitable for you.

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