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What Can You Do With a Human Services Degree?

What Can You Do With a Human Services Degree?

When picking a major for college everyone has an opinion for you right? Everyone from family to friends to people you meet randomly. Unfortunately, all this “help” may increase your anxiety in an already stressful time in your life. 

If you are looking at helping professions because you truly care about your fellow man and community you may hear things like “you have to go into nursing then or another health care field….that’s where the money is”. If you have mentioned the Human Services field or Social Work you may have received a negative response regarding low salary or other comments. Well, I am here to say congratulations and thank you for considering a career in Human Services. The world needs more people like you! 

What is a Human Services Degree?

Students often ask “what is a Human Services degree?”A degree in Human Services provides an introduction to policies and programs designed to meet community needs among a variety of populations. At Ottawa University, you gain abilities in program implementation, client interviewing, cultural competence, data gathering, counseling, consulting, and case management in online and face-to-face courses. We also offer amazing internship opportunities at facilities such as hospitals, battered women’s shelters, substance abuse clinics, residential treatment centers for at-risk youth. For online students, we facilitate hands-on experiences such as video counseling sessions and opportunities to learn about agencies and resources in your area. 

Careers in Human Services

Now let me tackle the myth about depressing, low-paying jobs. That simply is not true. One of the many positive things about a degree in Human Services is its versatility. With a bachelor’s of Human Services from Ottawa University, you can work with children and teens, adults, families, or the elderly. These settings you can work in are just as versatile including hospitals, community organizations, public welfare agencies, and private clinics such as substance abuse clinics or mental health clinics.

Substance Abuse Counselor

Those struggling with substance abuse issues may seek treatment at outpatient clinics, in in-patient hospital settings, or in longer-term residential rehabilitation centers. With the recent increase in Opioid abuse, society has now recognized the need for compassionate medical and therapeutic care for those with this addiction. Thus, as society recognizes the need and importance of compassionate treatment, the demand for qualified workers as well as compensation for those workers has increased. This is a growing field for anyone with a bachelor’s in human services.    

Senior Care

Even though many of the “baby boomers” are passing, that influx of need for qualified senior care caused society to commit to providing quality care to older individuals. In-home services have become the new norm for care with this population thus increasing the need for qualified assessments and treatment plans to meet the needs of those individuals within a community setting.  Therefore, the focus has moved from nursing type care to in-home supportive services where human service professionals assess an individual’s needs and develop care plans including access to meals, personal care assistance, and financial services. The direct services are then provided by community agencies selected by the client and Human Services professionals.

Youth Services

Unfortunately, all one needs to do is look at the news to see the overwhelming need for direct services for at-risk youth in our communities. With the added component of social media, we know that cyberbullying and other pressure can lead to teen violence as well as depression and suicide. An individual with a bachelor’s in human services can serve these populations in several settings including schools, community drop-in centers, runaway shelters, and residential treatment centers. 

Domestic Violence Services

Although family violence is not a new phenomenon, communities are working to create a more effective response and intervention to this problem. Police are now working closely with Human service professionals with coordinated responses to calls regarding Domestic Violence. Those with a Human Service s degree are called upon as survivor advocates by the courts to provide support throughout legal proceedings as well as providing ongoing support to the family. A degree in human services from Ottawa University will provide you with the knowledge needed to help you begin a rewarding career. 

Developmental Disability Agencies

As with aging adults, recent advances in services have allowed more persons with developmental disabilities to receive services within their homes and communities vs. hospitals or rehabilitation centers. This allows someone in the human services field to develop an individualized plan for these clients' intellectual or physical limitations to receive support to reach their highest potential within the community. Again, a very rewarding career for those who embrace this special population.

Earn Your Degree in Human Services

The career options listed above illustrate the versatility of this degree. Another significant advantage is the ability to relocate geographically. The problems addressed by the Human Service Professional are not limited to any region or population. All cities and small communities throughout the US have Human Services agencies usually facilitated through the county government. Therefore, this is a perfect career if one’s spouse or partner is in the military or has a career with frequent relocation requirements.

Ottawa University’s Bachelor’s of Human Services

The skills gained from earning a bachelor's of Human Services work are transferable, sought after, and valued around the country. With many of the services provided by Human Service Professionals being mandated by federal laws and policies, the financial compensation for these services is also usually funded through public funding or insurance which demonstrates the value now placed on these services. Those who did not understand your choice in your academic journey initially will quickly see how your career benefits you, your family, as well as others. Good luck on this journey. I guarantee you won’t be sorry you chose to pursue a degree in Human Services.

Read more about Ottawa University’s Bachelor of Arts in Human Services program and discover the wonderful opportunities that await you in the helping field.

Contact us today for further information about our Human Services program!

Posted: 08/11/2020 by Mary Alice Grosser, MSW
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