A bachelor's degree in human services prepares graduates for entry-level positions in the helping professions. Graduates are also prepared for graduate degree programs in counseling, social work, school counseling, human services, marriage and family therapy, and other related fields; these degrees are necessary to provide therapy and to advance to supervisory/administrative positions.
Internships and practicums are used to determine suitability for this profession and to provide exposure to various practice settings/clients. Candidates should possess empathy for others, an appreciation for diversity, and an interest in social change.
Human services workers serve a range of clients (individuals, families, groups, communities) as they attempt to enhance social functioning.
Administrators are involved with planning, budgeting, public relations, operations management, fund raising and other crucial responsibilities that keep an organization functioning.
Sample Work Places: Family service agencies, child welfare departments, social service agencies, state mental health departments, employee assistance programs, probation departments, public welfare agencies, public interest groups, local, state and federal government.
Business and Industry
Graduates in Human Services may want to take their skills and knowledge into the private sector of business and industry.
Sample Work Places: Business firms in various industries, developers of educational products, national foundations and associations.
Child welfare workers strive to ensure the safety and well-being of children through treatment of the whole family.
Sample Work Places: Public/private child welfare agencies, adoption agencies, foster care organizations, childcare centers and nursery schools, YMCA/YWCA, head state programs.
Criminal Justice/Probation and Corrections
Individuals who work in probation supervise offenders who have been released from prison on parole or probation. They also conduct pretrial investigations, arrange for substance abuse treatment and job training, write presenting reports for the court, make sentencing recommendations and testify in court for their clients.
Individuals who work in corrections works in either jails and prisons or in parole and probation agencies. They write and evaluate treatment plans, write case reports, and plan educational and training programs.
Sample Work Places: Prisons and correctional facilities, courts, police departments, probation and parole offices, victim services organizations.
Human Services and Interdisciplinary Studies majors in this area help people with disabilities to adjust and to lead productive lives.
Sample Work Places: Community residential homes, state and local agencies, medical health organizations, schools, employment agencies.
One of the most obvious career fields for a recent college graduate is education. Education is a broad field itself, ranging from traditional classroom teaching at the secondary and collegiate levels to more creative teaching formats.
Sample Work Places: Businesses, schools, religious institutions.
Gerontology involves working with older adults, healthy or ill, and their families.
Sample Work Places: Hospitals, nursing and retirement homes, senior centers or hospices.
Individuals choosing to go into healthcare facilitate the medical and emotional treatment of patients.
Sample Work Places: Hospitals, community health centers, outpatient clinics, public health programs, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), nursing homes, groups homes, hospice care and veterans administration hospitals.
Services for college students focus on prospective students, current students and alumni.
Sample Work Places: Colleges and universities.
Public welfare is designed to provide services and support for poor, disabled, ill, elderly or juvenile clients.
Sample Work Places: Public welfare agencies, federal, state, and local government, private social service agencies, group homes, religiously affiliated organizations, drug and alcohol abuse centers.
Adapted from: University of Tennessee Career Services Planning Staff (2000). Human services: What can I do with this degree?