Overview of a Human Services Degree
A human services degree is similar to a degree in social work, but there are some key differences. For instance, human services degrees don’t lead to licensure and often focus on preparing students for a wide range of careers.
The best online schools for human services provide students with an understanding of alcohol and drug counseling, rehabilitation services, family therapy, social work, and healthcare management. Online human services degrees are offered at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, as well as certificates.
A bachelor’s degree in human services takes about four years to complete with a full-time schedule. Some programs may accept previous credits or an associate degree, which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your degree. Applicants to an online bachelor’s degree program will need a high school diploma or GED and transcripts from high school or previous college-level coursework. Some programs may require SAT or ACT scores.
Can You Get a Human Service Degree Online
Absolutely. There are many online human service degrees, and they provide the same courses as an in-person degree. Online degree programs are respected by employers and higher education institutions, especially in today’s technology-driven world.
Online Classes for Human Services
After graduating with a degree in human services, individuals work as counselors, healthcare administrators, family therapists, and more. So, courses in this major provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to have a successful career. Here are some examples of courses offered by human services degree programs:
This course gives students an understanding of the different US systems that provide social and human services. These may include charities, government organizations, and private institutions.
Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Individuals looking to work in a human services job should understand human behavior and how they can best meet the needs of those they’re helping. This course examines different social environments and the ways people navigate them.
Because human services graduates may work as school or family counselors, students learn about the laws and regulations in place to protect children. They may learn about domestic violence, social work, and how the foster system functions.
So much of human service work relies on government organizations and the regulations that non-profit and private organizations have to follow. It’s necessary for human service workers to know the laws they’re subject to and how to work with other agencies.
Occasionally, it may be necessary for social services to act quickly and efficiently, so students learn the best methods of helping people in crisis situations. This course, and similar ones, prepares graduates to handle emergencies and de-escalate crisis situations.
Career Options for an Online Human Services Degree
The online human services bachelor’s curriculum provides a well-rounded introduction to the skills of the helping professions. Students learn the skills for effecting change at the individual, group, and community levels. Many programs also train students in the administrative aspects of human services organizations, such as fundraising and program development.
Many human services bachelor’s programs include the opportunity to specialize in a particular aspect of the helping professions, such as child and family services, substance abuse, emergency management, or health and human services management. Most programs require an internship or practicum in a local human services agency.
Annual Median Salary: $74,000
Job Growth Rate: 15%+
Social and community service managers create and oversee administrative programs for their organizations. They maintain records and policies and work with others to ensure their communities receive the best possible care. Often, they develop policies themselves and decide on budget distribution.
Annual Median Salary: $101,340
Job Growth Rate: 15%+
Medical and health services managers oversee medical, nursing, clerical, service, maintenance, and other personnel. They may work in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, and public health organizations to plan and coordinate care. Often, they are in charge of finances and research as well.
Annual Median Salary: $48,520
Job Growth Rate: 22%
Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors advise people with addictions, eating disorders, and mental health issues as they go through rehabilitation and modify their behaviors during recovery. They work with clients’ families to develop and maintain strategies that will help clients cope and recover. These counselors also conduct outreach programs to help other professionals and organizations identify and help people in need.
Annual Median Salary: $37,610
Job Growth Rate: 15%+
Social and human service assistants help other providers with the services they offer. These services cover psychology, rehabilitation, social work, and other community services. SHS Assistants may be in charge of finding and obtaining benefits from other organizations and developing programs to help their clients.
Annual Median Salary: $38,560
Job Growth Rate: 10-15%
Rehabilitation counselors help individuals with birth defects, illnesses, physical traumas, and other health issues live independent lives and hold successful careers. They coordinate activities for care and treatment facilities, assess client needs, and maintain records. Often, they work with their clients on a long-term, ongoing basis.
Is a Human Services Online Degree Worth It?
Not every degree will fit every person, but if you’re interested in a social services career, then consider an online human services degree. Many jobs require a bachelor’s degree in human services, or a related field, so attending post-secondary school is a common starting point for professionals. Here are some benefits and drawbacks to a human service degree:
Faster-than-average job growth
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Community and Social Service Occupations are projected to grow 12% between 2020 and 2030. This is faster than the average for all occupations, and translates to nearly 350,000 jobs.
A great launching point
The field of human services is vast and has a large variety of job options. Graduates of a bachelor’s degree program can work as counselors, administrators, assistants, policy makers, and managers.
It feels good to help others
If you’re looking into a human service degree, you’re probably interested in helping those in need. It can feel good to help people and see them improve over time.
Restrictive laws and regulations
Because human service workers work with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and people in need, there are a lot of regulations and limitations on the work. It’s common to run into barriers, such as funding or oversight, which make it harder for human service workers to do their jobs.
May require higher education
A bachelor’s in human services is a good starting point, but it doesn’t license graduates to work as social workers. Many counseling and healthcare management careers require master’s degrees or various certifications.
Earning your degree in human services can lead to a successful career that helps others and changes society for the better. There are many facets of the degree, such as law, healthcare administration, human behavior, and counseling, but the extra work is worth it. If you’re interested in working closely with people in need and healthcare organizations, then pursuing an online degree in human services may be right for you.