What Can You Do With A Human Development Degree?

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People who study human development focus on the cognitive development and emotional development of individuals as well as their relationships between one another, whether with family or with others in private and public settings. They study ways to improve development in humans of all ages, from infants to elderly people. What, then, can you do with a degree in human development? This article explores the study of human development as well as what you can do with a degree in human development.

Career Paths with a Human Development Degree

How do you know that human development is the right field for you? Since human development is the study of ways to improve people’s cognitive, emotional, and social behaviors, there are many areas of work you can explore while studying human development. While you’re earning your degree, it is important that you choose a specific career path to enter upon graduating. Deciding this early on can help you form your studies to fit the career of your choice. If you’re interested in getting a job in any of the areas below, you should consider a degree in human development.

Adoption services

Juvenile justice system

Family and child welfare

Health clinics

Retirement homes

Abuse counseling centers

Human resources

*Note: This is just a brief list of possibilities. Career paths for those majoring in human development does not stop here.

Human Development Degree Programs

Once you decide that human development is the right field for you, it’s time to start looking into colleges and universities that offer notable human development programs that best relate to the career path you plan to pursue. While you’re in high school, consult your guidance counselor for ideas on what classes may help prepare you for studying human development in college.

The Department of Human Development at Cornell University offers a Bachelor of Science in Human Development as well as master degrees and doctoral degrees in related fields. Students study not only the social and biological aspects of human development but the psychological processes of it, as well. With plenty of research opportunities within the program, students can experience hands-on learning related to multiple aspects of human development. Undergraduates are required to choose a concentration within the degree program in order to better focus on their career goals. Concentrations include but are not limited to Aging and Health, Cognitive Development, and Social and Personality Development. The human development degree program also explores how government laws relate to human development as well as neuroscientific perspectives.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, more commonly known as Virginia Tech, has a Department of Human Development with much to offer its students. Undergraduate students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Human Development with a concentration in Human Services that prepares them for various positions within the field. Students will gain expert communication skills with an even stronger desire to help individuals struggling in society. Virginia Tech also offers two masters programs: Marriage and Family Therapy as well as Adult Learning and Human Resource Development. The school also offers graduate students with master degrees to choose from four different doctoral degree programs to advance their knowledge, experience, and ability to provide assistance in the field of human development.

The School of Human Development at Pacific Oaks College has three programs specifically dedicated to human development. Undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development, and graduate students can explore a Master of Arts in Human Development as well as a Post-Graduate Certificate in Human Development. These programs, both on multiple campuses and online, are committed to helping students become the best they can be in order to succeed in the career paths of their choice. In these programs, students explore aspects of parent-children relationships, family counseling, child abuse and neglect, family crises, and more. Pacific Oaks College is a great place to explore educational options that can assist you in becoming top of your field.

Specific Careers in Human Development

In this section, you’ll read about some different career options you may qualify for once you earn your bachelors degree, masters degree, or doctoral degree in human development. Explore duties, requirements, and possible salaries of jobs in the human development field below.

Special Education Paraprofessional

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Special education paraprofessionals, or paraprofessionals for short, help special needs children cooperate and perform better in the classroom. Often referred to as teacher assistants, paraprofessionals work closely with children to help them best utilize learning materials provided by their teachers. They also attend field trips with students who have special needs, as well, in order to help teachers and make special needs students feel more comfortable in unfamiliar settings. Years of experience, training, and patience are necessary for a career as a special education paraprofessional, and beneficial degrees include but are not limited to those in human development, child development, and special education.

Special education paraprofessionals can earn over $24,000 annually, often based on the amount of training and experience they possess.

Fundraising Manager

Fundraising managers are responsible for creating proposals for and overseeing fundraisers meant to collect money for an organization that in turn provides ways to benefit the public. Nonprofit organization fundraising managers arrange and oversee fundraisers meant to collect money for less fortunate families who may not be able to pay medical bills or the like. When applying for a position as a fundraising manager, you don’t necessarily need much experience, but a bachelors degree in human development or marketing certainly looks impressive on an application. Leadership and written and verbal communication skills are highly valued qualities in a fundraising manager as is creativity.

Fundraising managers new to the field can earn around $34,000 annually, depending on knowledge and experience levels.

Therapeutic Staff Support Assistant

Therapeutic staff support assistants, also known as TSS assistants, help children with mental issues learn to control their behavior both at home and in the classroom. They usually work with one client at a time so that their attention is strictly focused on one child’s behavioral issues in order to best serve the child and his or her family. TSS assistants are usually equipped with a bachelors degree in human development, behavioral psychology, or another related field and background knowledge in general psychology. They have high pain tolerance, as some children in need of TSS assistants can have particularly violent tendencies, as well as excellent verbal and written communication skills. They are also very compassionate and dedicated to the individuals they work with on a daily basis, committed to helping them improve their behavior towards others.

Therapeutic staff support assistants can earn around $36,000 or more, depending on experience, education, and training levels.

Retirement Specialist

Retirement specialists focus on assisting individuals choose employee benefit and pension programs that best fit their needs. Specialists more experienced in this field often help develop these plans to provide employees with the best coverage possible for now and the future. They have strong backgrounds in math and business and typically have bachelor degrees in human resources, management, business, or human development. If you’re interested in helping people choose the right benefit packages and 401K plans that best fit their needs, then you should consider a job as a retirement specialist.

Retirement specialists can earn an annual salary of over $40,000, depending on education and experience levels.

Child Welfare Specialist

A child welfare specialist works closely with a child and his or her family to make certain they receive proper health care, nutrition, and education in order to help them succeed in life. Child welfare specialists are dedicated to the well-being of their clients. If they feel as though children are not receiving proper care from their guardians, sometimes child welfare specialists intervene and remove children from their homes and help them settle them comfortably in foster homes. Child welfare specialists typically possess bachelor degrees in child development, human services, human development, or other related fields with strong background knowledge in psychology and behavioral science. A masters degree is highly valued by employers for this particular type of job.

Child welfare specialists can earn over $55,000 annually, depending on the location of the agency for which they work in addition to their education and heightened experience levels.

Companies that Hire People with Human Development Degrees

Once you earn a degree in the field of human development, it’s time to brave the job market. Companies around the world are in search of people with human development degrees. Below is a list of places that hire people with degrees in human development.

Hantz Group, Inc. – located in Southfield, MI; hires positions for retirement specialists, financial consultants, equities specialists, sales representatives, etc.

United Stationers – headquarters in Deerfield, IL; largest wholesale business products distributor; hires positions for retirement specialists, customer care representatives, etc.

Hotel del Coronado – located in Coronado, CA; hires positions for benefits specialists, loss prevention officers, house attendants, etc.

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois – hires positions for child welfare specialists, crisis intervention specialists, counselor case managers, etc.

University of Maryland School of Social Work – hires positions for family development specialists, mental health therapists, behavioral health consultants, social workers, etc.

Human development degrees help you qualify for jobs in various career areas. If you enjoy helping people become more confident and improve their social and behavioral development, then a job in human development may be the right path for you.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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