Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access


The field of genetic counseling has evolved much since the first graduate program in genetic counseling was founded in 1969 and the profession has quickly become one of the fastest growing in the country. There exists prior research on job satisfaction and recent career trends of genetic counselors; however, there have been only limited attempts to chronicle genetic counseling career arcs to our knowledge. By surveying alumni from the Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics at Sarah Lawrence College, our study participants include genetic counselors who have been in the field from the earliest days of the profession. More than 200 unique responses were collected with representation from all but four graduating classes in the history of the program. The plotted career arcs illuminate the overall professional landscape of genetic counseling - past, present, and future. Furthermore, this study connects experiences prior to graduate school with initial post-graduate job choices, highlights factors influencing genetic counselors’ perceived preparedness, demonstrates motivations behind job transitions, and grants important insight into the values at play in crafting a genetic counselor’s career. The research outcomes offer a glimpse into how formal training programs or professional societies may better equip the workforce to navigate an ever-changing field, as well as how institutions may support the workforce by adjusting policies to better align with genetic counselors’ top values.