When you’re deciding which college degree would best support your goals for the future, there is a lot to consider. A human services degree can be an excellent choice if you are passionate about uplifting others. In addition, human service assistant jobs are predicted to grow 12% through 2031, which is much faster than average. With a human services degree, you can help improve the delivery of vital services to the people who need them most. If you’re considering a human services degree, read on!
What Is a Human Services Degree?
In broad terms, a human services degree is considered a social sciences degree. Human services are about helping people find stability, meet their basic needs, improve their overall quality of life and address societal challenges like drug addiction treatment, guidance and counseling.
A human services degree provides you with the knowledge to assist people in all stages of their lives get to a place of stability and happiness. Many people pursuing a degree in human services feel a calling to help disadvantaged groups and extend their support to those struggling. A human services degree equips you with knowledge regarding case management, social welfare policy, crisis prevention and intervention, and research methods.
There are several ways to obtain a human services degree. You can opt for a generalized degree or concentrate your studies on a specific field, such as youth services or corrections counseling. A typical human services curriculum balances theory and practice, allowing you to learn communication skills and cultural awareness and participate in community-oriented practical internships.
What Jobs Can You Get With a Human Services Degree?
Once you have a human services degree, you can align your career with your passions. Some options may require graduate work or additional study. Depending on your skills, goals and professional interests, you can choose from many opportunities in human services, including the following:
- Community health worker: A community health worker is a public health professional who connects community members to health resources and education. They often serve as intermediaries between the community, government, health facilities and social service agencies.
- Behavioral therapist: Behavioral therapists work with patients to help them manage mental health disorders and teach them actionable skills to manage daily life. You must obtain a bachelor’s degree in human services and then complete a master’s degree in psychology or counseling.
- Child adoption specialist: As the name suggests, a child adoption specialist is responsible for placing children in permanent homes. The job involves assessing children and potential parents, making home visits and serving as an intermediary between the various parties involved in child adoption.
- Grant writer: A grant writer helps to seek funding for human services initiatives, writing powerful statements that communicate the need for essential community service and other community-based programs.
- Case manager: Case managers work with various clients, like abuse survivors, people with disabilities and people experiencing homelessness. Their job involves assessing clients’ needs, developing a personalized care plan and connecting clients to health care and other resources necessary for their overall well-being.
- Community outreach specialist: A community outreach specialist connects communities with physical and mental health resources through education. The job involves identifying their community’s health issues and launching programs to address them.
- Probation officer: Probation officers work with people who violate the law and receive a probation sentence. The job entails ensuring people follow the rules of their probation and helping them reenter society after their probationary period.
- Child welfare specialist: Child welfare specialists ensure children are protected from unsafe environments or mistreatment. They visit homes, assess the environment and determine whether it’s a safe space for children. They also investigate abuse allegations and connect families to care as needed.
- Substance abuse counselor: A substance abuse counselor is a mental health professional who treats patients with addictions to help them recover.
- Crisis intervention specialist: As the name suggests, a crisis intervention specialist treats patients handling crises, including natural disasters and harmful behaviors.
- School counselor: A school counselor offers specialized guidance and academic, social and emotional support.
- Social worker: Social workers are responsible for providing support and resources to struggling individuals or families. You will work with clients facing various challenges, including abuse, homelessness and addiction.
- Policy analyst: A policy analyst studies, develops, and recommends laws and policies for the government. Those with a human services background would work on policies in this area.
What Is the Average Salary for a Human Services Degree?
The average pay for human services careers ranges depending on your chosen career path. However, the average salary for human services in Massachusetts is $35,530 per year.
What Skills and Personality Traits Suit Human Services Professionals?
Like any career, human services workers should have — or cultivate — a specific set of skills and traits, some of which include the following:
- A love of helping people
- Organizational and time management skills
- Empathy and compassion
- Interpersonal skills, including the ability to listen, make people feel comfortable and connect with people from all walks of life
- The ability to set and maintain personal boundaries
- Being culturally competent, tolerant and accepting
- The ability to work under stress and implement interventions
- A high regard and ability to work within complex rules and procedural guidelines
- A strong desire to make a difference in your community and help others improve their lives
Is a Human Services Degree Worth It?
The short answer is yes. Human services jobs are in high demand, and the outlook is positive. If your goals involve working with people and helping others in your community, a degree in human services is an excellent option. It provides a great foundation and opens the door to opportunities that combine your passion with your work.
You can choose whether you want to start your career with an associate degree or take the extra time to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree. How you approach your job in human services is entirely your choice. Whatever you choose, a human services degree is an excellent step toward your career goals.
Start Your Career in Human Services With Mount Wachusett Community College
If you want to pursue a degree in human services, Mount Wachusett Community College can help you achieve your goal. We provide students with a sense of community conducive to learning and have transfer agreements with many Massachusetts colleges, so you can transfer the credits you earn with us and work toward a bachelor’s degree and beyond.
We understand that many students have responsibilities outside academics. We offer flexible scheduling options and cost-effective payment plans to help you balance your commitments and earn your degree. Request more information to get started at The Mount, or apply today and take the first step toward a successful and rewarding career in human services.