If you are a caring, compassionate person who wants to help and serve others, you may be considering a career in the human services field. Human services professionals work to improve the lives of people – in a variety of demographics – by focusing on the prevention and remediation of challenges in their lives. Think: homelessness, trauma, delinquency, substance abuse, foster care, and more.
As an aspiring human services student, you likely have a lot of questions. What are the benefits involved with a human services career? What can you expect? And, perhaps most on your mind, why study human services at all? As a career-focused school with two different levels of human services education in Connecticut, Goodwin College outlines the top 5 reasons why our students choose to pursue a human services degree today.
- You will be working in a rewarding career, helping others every single day.
“It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.” – Dalai Lama
If you have always felt that it is important to be of service to others, and to work to make this world a better place, then you may have found your calling within the human services field. At the very heart of this field lies a simple mission: to help others who are in need. Whether you are assisting children, young mothers, homeless veterans, or elderly folks in your community, you will feel the direct impact your job has on other people. And with a degree in human services, you will develop specialized skills that will enable you to make a positive impact, such as the ability to:
- Analyze service needs, develop plans of actions, and evaluate outcomes with clients
- Employ interpersonal skills that reflect a readiness to provide and lead services
- Apply evidence-based models of organizational management and leadership in human services
- Adhere to professional and ethical standards in practice
- Communicate ethically, responsibly, and effectively in writing and when speaking
- There is a vast variety of career options available in the field.
More and more people rely on human services, including those who are living with disabilities, struggling with substance addictions, suffering from domestic violence, facing poverty and homelessness, facing behavioral or mental health challenges, and even our youth who are trying to develop a positive role in their community. The rising number of social services needed, as well as a growing elderly population, is increasing the demand for human service professionals. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of social and human service assistants to grow 16% over the next few years – much faster than the average for all occupations.
Human services can involve work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, women’s shelters, veteran’s organizations, child and family services, schools, and senior centers – just to name a few! Not to mention, there is a wide variety of career choice for those who study human services. Some of the roles you may pursue include:
- Child Protective Services Specialist
- Community Outreach Worker
- Corrections Counselor
- Family Educator
- Life Skills Counselor
- Mental Health Aide
- Program Coordinator
- Rehabilitation Specialist
- Shelter Direct Care Staff
- Social Service Specialist
- Teen Center Worker
- Youth Specialist
This is just a short list of options available to you upon completing a human services degree.
- You need a degree for most of these roles.
Perhaps the most practical reason to study human services at the postsecondary level, is the fact that it is required for most of these careers. If you want to become a counselor or social service worker, you need a degree. For many of these careers, a master’s degree is required for entry-level employment, but some employers today will seek out those with a bachelor’s or even associate degree from a quality, accredited human services college.
A flexible program, like the one at Goodwin, offers students the ability to continue to work and fulfill other personal obligations while earning a degree. The human services classes at Goodwin are offered days and evenings, with most on-campus but some offered in an online format. Students may choose to take the accelerated 7 1/2 week classes, or standard 15-week classes.
The bachelor’s degree program offers practical, applicable courses made to help students excel in their careers. Courses in this curriculum include: Community Organization and Advocacy, Social Welfare Policy, And Crisis Prevention and Intervention.
- Human service careers go beyond your typical desk job, with each day presenting new experiences.
Those who choose to pursue a career in the human services field are ready for a professional life that requires hands-on work. These careers go well beyond sitting at a desk in front of a computer. Human service workers are passionate, dedicated individuals who are determined to make a real difference.
With many of the careers available after getting a human services education, you can expect to work directly with those who are in need of assistance. You may work with children in a school, or young mothers at a women’s shelter. You may work in a drug rehab facility, or with troubled teens who need direction. No two days will look alike. You will constantly be working to make progress with your clients, and you will likely see a lot of changes throughout the years. The human service field is not for those opposed to change.
- There will always be a need for human service professionals.
As long as there are children in the world, the need for human services will never go away. As long as there are elderly people around, we will always need these caring and compassionate professionals. As long as there are people with disabilities, drug and alcohol addictions, or mental health challenges, our country will need qualified and well-trained human service workers. There is no need to worry about job security with a field as in-demand as human services.
So, why study human services? From the rewarding work to abundant job opportunities, job security to a new challenge in your everyday life, there are many reasons to love this field. If you are interested in learning more about studying human services at Goodwin College in Connecticut, please do not hesitate to contact us. Call Goodwin College at 800-899-3282 to learn more.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.