People helping people: degree programs in human services
What is “human services”? Exactly what it sounds like! This field is all about providing essential services to families, children, adults and seniors. There’s a wide variety of careers in human services, but nearly all focus on helping people make their lives safer, healthier or more successful.
Examples of human services jobs include caregiver, activities coordinator, substance abuse counselor, food bank worker, employment counselor or correctional facility worker. To succeed in human services, you should be empathetic and compassionate but also able to set boundaries with your clients.
Human services jobs are not typically clinical or medical, which means you don’t need an advanced degree to pursue these careers. You do need a degree, however. Online degree programs are perfect for working professionals who need flexible class schedules and want to earn a degree in less time than on-campus programs take.
You can get started in this field with an associate’s degree in human services, human development or family studies. An associate’s degree will give you the essential skills you need to work with clients with mental illness, disabilities and/or substance abuse problems, preparing you for entry-level human services jobs.
Further your career with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. This degree includes the foundation work of an associate degree plus the basics of counseling, social work and psychology. You’ll learn about human development, advocacy and public policy, and crisis intervention. If you opt for a Bachelor of Science in Human Services/Management, you’ll also learn management strategies that will help you take on supervisory roles.
Once you have a bachelor’s degree, you may want to advance your career by getting a master’s degree in human services. Online universities offer master’s degrees in specialized fields like gerontology (working with the elderly), nonprofit management, executive leadership, public administration or social services. With a master’s degree you can take on leadership roles. You may even get the chance to become executive director of your own nonprofit agency.
Ready to start improving lives, one person at a time? Register for a human services degree program today.