What Can You Do With A Human Services Degree?

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A person who works in the human services industry is someone who focuses his or her time on helping individuals and communities cope with difficult situations, such as tragedies, mental or emotional disorders, and more. What can you do with a human services degree, then? There are many career paths to choose from within the human services industry, some of which can be found in this article along with schools you can attend to earn your degree in human services.

Areas of Human Service

Human services is a broad subject that prepares those who study it for many different career paths. It is also very similar to content learned in social work studies. After earning your degree in human services, you may get a job assisting people facing one of the situations listed below.

Domestic violence

Foster care

Substance abuse

Natural disasters

Health care

Human Services Degree Programs

How do you get a degree in human services? Colleges and universities around the world offer excellent human services programs for both traditional and nontraditional students alike. Consult your high school guidance counselor for advice on courses to take and activities to participate in that will help prepare you for a future in human services. Psychology and history classes may be particularly helpful, as would joining your school’s Leo Club.

Human Services Degree Programs on Campus

Ivy Tech Community College in Carmel, IN, has an excellent Human Services Program that prepares students for further degree opportunities in human services. Students at Ivy Tech can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Human Services or an Associate of Applied Science in Addictions Services as well as study for a Certificate of Elder Care, Certificate of Indiana Youth Development, or other related fields. These degree and certificate programs help students gain the knowledge necessary to go on to a professional college or university to earn a bachelors degree and even a masters degree in a specific field of human services.

A private Catholic school located in New Haven, CT, Albertus Magnus College offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Human Services, and graduate students can focus their education on earning a Master of Science in Human Services. With these degrees, students who graduate from Albertus Magnus College often go on to find jobs in employee assistance, case management, public policy, victim assistance, rehabilitation, and more. Courses are loaded with information necessary for students to excel in the world of human services.

Human Services Degree Programs Online

Individuals looking for ways to earn a degree without greatly impacting the fluidity of their daily schedule should consider online learning. Online degree programs for human services are becoming more and more popular as people’s schedules get heavier and heavier and as the human services industry continues to expand. Below is a list of online colleges and universities that offer human services programs that you may find appealing.

Liberty University Online

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

University of Illinois Online

Kaplan University

Ashford University

Walden University

Careers in Human Services

Before you graduate from college, it is important that you have an idea of what type of jobs you plan to apply for after earning your degree. If you choose a career path early enough, you can shape your educational experience to conform to the requirements of jobs you are most interested in. Once you decide your career path, it would be a wise choice to fulfill and internship in that area in order to gain experience before you go looking for a job. If you perform exceptionally well and the company has an available position, the company leaders may even offer you a full-time position.

Entry Level Careers in Human Services

Once you earn your associates degree or bachelors degree in human services, you will find that you qualify for a multitude of positions. Some positions you may qualify are listed below.

Occupancy Specialist

Occupancy specialists obtain information required to determine the eligibility for an individual or family to receive public housing. They are also records keepers of those who are enrolled in public housing programs, as well. Occupancy specialists possess a bachelors degree in a field related to human services with background knowledge in business and some customer service. Experience in the public housing field is also often a requirement for those applying for a position.

Entry level occupancy specialists can earn around $24,000 to $28,000, with room to improve and experience levels increase.

Social Service Assistant

Social service assistants help ensure the well-being and safety of children and adolescents. They often work with social workers on cases of excessive and unexcused absences from school and find ways to help better social behavior for children and their families by holding consultations with counselors and family members. Entry level social service assistants possess a bachelors degree and some experience dealing with children, such as babysitting. They have excellent verbal and written communication with background knowledge in psychology, as well.

Social service assistants can earn around $30,000 annually.

Human Resources Assistant

Human resources assistants help human resources managers and directors by handling basic needs. Responsibilities include but are not limited to helping to prepare payroll records and documents, being present for interviews and assessments, and arranging meetings for human resources managers and directors with employees and clients. Human resources assistants often have a bachelors degree in human services with background knowledge in business and experience in customer service and human resources. Human resources assistants possess great communication and organizational skills, as well.

Human resources assistants can earn an average salary of around $35,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.

Advanced Careers in Human Services

Once you gain experience in the field of human services and/or earn a masters degree or doctoral degree human services or a related field, you may qualify for one or more of the following positions.

Child Abuse Counselor

Child abuse counselors provide comfort and assurance to children who suffer from emotional, physical, or sexual abuse or neglect. They also treat those who have witnessed these types of abuse towards others, as well. Child abuse counselors are highly knowledgeable in child abuse and labor laws and are highly educated with backgrounds and degrees in human services, child development and psychology, behavioral psychology, and more. Most child abuse counselors possess at least a masters degree, and many have doctoral degrees in these fields. They are very personable, having a few years experience of interacting with less fortunate children on a daily basis.

Child abuse counselors can earn a salary of over $45,000 annually, depending on their education levels and experience working with children.

Homeless Shelter Director

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The director of a homeless shelter controls the shelter’s finances and ensures that the shelter meets the rules and regulations set by the state and government in order to safely house individuals and families. Homeless shelter directors also play a strong roll in the hiring process and supervise the day-to-day functions within the shelter to confirm that its inhabitants are being treated fairly and are provided with necessities distributed by the shelter. Homeless shelter directors typically possess bachelor degrees in human or social services as well as a master in human services. They have outstanding communication skills and have efficient background knowledge in finances and management. Previous management experience is a highly beneficial trait of a shelter director.

A homeless shelter director can earn over $56,000 annually, depending on the shelter’s location and the director’s education and experience levels.

Marriage and Family Therapist

Marriage and family therapists meet with married couples and their immediate family members in order to help improve household environments. They aim to provide individuals with steps to reduce or prevent arguments and stress and create a more relaxed atmosphere to heal family wounds by determining and treating mental illnesses among family members. Marriage and family therapists are highly educated in many fields of psychology and behavioral science in addition to human services and business management. They also have either a masters degree or doctoral degree in related fields.

Marriage and family therapists can earn a salary of over $55,000 a year, depending on the agency for which they work and their education and experience levels.

Companies that Hire People with Human Services Degrees

Once you graduate with a degree in human services, it is time to enter the job market. Human services is a constantly growing field, so finding jobs should be slightly easier for people with human services degrees than those who hold other types of degrees. Below is a list of companies and positions people often apply for within those companies.

United States Government – hires positions for all sorts of human services jobs, including but not limited to various types of counselors, public housing administrators, etc.

Kaiser Permanente – founded in 1945 with headquarters in Oakland, CA; hires positions for marriage therapists, medical office assistants, lab assistants, etc.

The Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley – located in Lancaster, CA; hires positions for in-home therapists and counselors, etc.

Families First – located in Indianapolis, IN; family outreach center; hires positions for family counselors, marriage counselors, mental health specialists, etc.

The job market may be a nasty place, but with a degree in human services, you just may be able to score sooner than you think. Get a good education from an accredited human services program and consider expanding your education further to increase the number of jobs for which you may qualify.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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