According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, human services is one of the fastest-growing fields, and it will continue to grow into the next decade. But what is a human services degree? How can you get one? What kind of jobs will you be prepared to do? Here is a brief review of everything you need to know about human services degrees.
What is a human services degree?
Human services is a broad field, covering many areas involved in meeting human needs. Human services include the counseling professions like psychology and social work, criminal justice professions such as working with juvenile offenders, and caregiving professions like providing support to people with physical and mental disabilities. A human services degree focuses on the knowledge and skills that are fundamental to providing these and other types of services to people who need them.
What will I learn in an online human services degree program?
Most online human services degree programs have two main areas of focus: general psychology and working with specific populations. For example, students learn about case management, communication, and counseling, as well as how to work with individuals, groups, families, and communities. They also study issues surrounding substance abuse, disabilities, and mental health. These programs are interdisciplinary, drawing knowledge from the fields of psychology, sociology, biology, management, and more.
Some schools offer generalized online degree programs, which provide introductions to all of the fields involved in human services. But most schools allow students to choose among concentrations including additions, family and child services, and criminal justice. There are also more business-focused programs that offer concentrations in business leadership and administration.
Students already working in the human services field who wish to improve their job skills and advance their careers can opt for a degree in human services management or leadership. These degrees focus on knowledge and skills necessary to manage employees, programs, and resources. Students in these programs study topics ranging from human resources to grant writing, to program development, implementation, and evaluation.
What are the career opportunities in the human services field?
Since it is such a broad field, human services offers a variety of career opportunities. Depending on their concentration, graduates of human services degree programs can become social services case workers, child welfare workers, probation officers, elderly services care providers, client advocates, and more. Students who opt for human services administration and leadership programs have career options including human resources managers, program directors, and residential services supervisors.
If you want to work with people, especially in a position where you can help others by providing services in social work, advocacy, corrections, and similar fields, an online bachelor’s degree in human services is a great place to start. Check out your options today.