Human Services is just what it says–providing services to humans. If a person seeks a career that can be fulfilling both personally and professionally human services could be the best choice. Though some jobs require long hours and sometimes less than top pay while dealing with difficult people and situations it is nevertheless one of the most satisfying career paths that can be taken. Many colleges and universities offer online Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Human Services.
Human Services Associate’s Degree
For many people entering human services or social services an Associate’s degree is the first step. Many schools offer this degree online and it has proven to be quite popular. Students study a variety of human services topics such as:
- Child Welfare
- Case Management
- Substance Abuse
- Mental Illness
These topics cover such things as child protective services, issues of the elderly, record keeping and documentation, substance abuse treatments and mental health assessment and service options.
Students in these programs need computer availability with internet access to submit assignments, take tests, participate in group discussions and activities and interact with professors. This degree offers such classes as:
- Introduction to Human Services
- Counseling Techniques
- Group Dynamics
- Community Organizing
- Introduction to Substance Abuse
These classes lay the foundation for further study or gaining entry-level jobs. Graduates can expect to become:
- Case Managers
- Community Outreach Specialists
- Mental Health Workers
- Eligibility Workers
- Social Service Clerks
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Human Services will be one of the fastest-growing fields over the next decade. Despite low wages opportunities will be numerous with the average salary of human service workers being $30,000 yearly. Growth will be substantial in direct-care jobs, child care and residential counseling.
Human Services Bachelor’s Degree
Those students seeking more advancement opportunities often seek Bachelor’s degrees. These programs of study emphasize the following:
- Assessment and Intervention Techniques
- Legal Issues in Human Services
- Developmental Psychology
- History of Human Services
- Statistical Analysis
- Research Methods
Many colleges offer accelerated degree programs in human services or social work and offer credit for life experience. These programs give students flexibility as to what they wish to study with the chance to finish in less than four years.
Internships are required in these degrees. Students can spend a semester working with at-risk youth, helping the elderly with paperwork or counseling inmates at a local jail. Whatever the job it will change day-to-day and offer new challenges.
Accreditation can be very important in this field. Make sure your online degree is accredited by the U.S. Department of Education and meets the standards of the agency you are interested in.
Bachelor’s Degree Careers
The most common Bachelor’s degree positions are Social Workers. These jobs entail everything from sitting at a desk processing paperwork to making field visits to homes and schools checking on clients. Growth is expected to be very good the next decade as the population ages and needs more help and services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports job growth for social workers will be 25%, faster than average for other occupations. Average salaries are near $43,000 per year and expected to climb as agencies compete to get the best workers.
So if you care about people and have a genuine desire to help others human services allows you to do this while having a great career.