Online Social Work & Human Services Degree Programs
Human Services exists at the intersection of the social work, counseling, public health, and medical administration fields. A human services degree can prepare students to address social issues and challenges in their communities. Job titles vary widely and include human services worker, case management aide, social work assistant, community support worker, mental health aide, community outreach worker, life skills counselor, gerontology aide, and more. These workers and assistants all provide services to help improve the overall quality of life of their clients. While you may be quite passionate about helping others, a formal education in social work and human services can develop your ability and technical knowledge to truly help others, as well as make you more competitive in the job market.
Human Services and Social Work Coursework
Online degrees are available at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's level and can lead to positions in case management, supervision, administration, and more. The online format can make it easy to obtain the necessary qualifications while keeping your current job. The core curriculum typically covers psychology, sociology, counseling methods, interviewing techniques, fitness, human growth and development, abnormal psychology, case management procedures, and more. In addition, you may pay special attention to community resources, social policies, and human ethics. At the bachelor's and master's level, students can also choose to specialize in addictions, gerontology, child protection, deaf studies, and more.
Career Opportunities: Social Work and Human Services
There are technical and professional level careers in human services which cater to family needs and human needs, as well as economic and social systems programs. Social workers and human services workers often find work under the direction of nursing, psychiatry, psychology, and rehabilitative fields. Typically, these industries strive to help children, families, and schools in need of help in the form of public organizations and also nonprofit organizations. Today, social work is expanding past traditional areas of human services by developing personnel management and human resources opportunities.
Social Work and Human Services Salary and Earnings Information
Human services is among the fastest growing career fields in the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human services should see 34 percent job growth between 2006 and 2016. Like their counterparts, social workers should also experience significant job growth through 2016. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there should be 22 percent employment growth in social work between 2006 and 2016.
In addition to solid job increases, both fields also enjoy solid annual wages. Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that social and human service assistants earned a median annual wage of $26,630 in 2007. Child, family, and school social workers earned a median wage of $38,620. Medical and public health social workers earned $26,630, and mental health and substance abuse social workers earned $36,640.
While a bachelor's degree is the typical minimal requirement, many employers may favor a master's degree in social services. As a result, graduate degree holders can command almost twice as much in annual earnings. Although no program can guarantee placement or salary, the growing demand for qualified human services workers argues that a degree in this field should be well worth the investment.