Human Services Careers

A Human Sevices degree prepares graduates for careers assisting social and health care workers in a variety of organizations, in the commercial, academic, government and healthcare sectors, as well as the area of nonprofit. Students in the field of human services will learn to apply their knowledge of the behavioral sciences in helping families, individuals, and communities with a wide range of human needs and problems. Human service professionals perceive their career to be professionally rewarding and personally fulfilling. Students are often encouraged to do volunteer, not only to enhance their learning experience, but to help discover their particular field of interest.

Employment Opportunities

Human Services professionals may find careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Case management
  • Social and community services
  • School counseling
  • Mental health
  • Health care administration
  • Community outreach
  • Gerontology
  • Many areas of the nonprofit world, such as charitable organizations
  • Child welfare agencies


Human Services degree holders need a wide range of capabilities, including:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Research skills
  • Sensitivity and empathy
  • Counseling skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Desire to help others
  • Knowledge of child development
  • Management

Industry Spotlight

Employment for social workers is expected grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2016. Job prospects are expected to be favorable, particularly for social workers who specialize in the aging population or work in rural areas.

Many job openings will stem from growth and the need to replace social workers who leave the occupation. However, competition for social worker jobs is expected in cities, where training programs for social workers are prevalent. Opportunities should be good in rural areas, which often find it difficult to attract and retain qualified staff. By specialty, job prospects may be best for those social workers with a background in gerontology and substance abuse treatment.

- Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008