What You Should Know About This Degree
Individuals working in human services help some of society’s most vulnerable people. The work can be emotionally, mentally, and even physically demanding. Human services workers must possess a variety of aptitudes, including compassion, stamina, patience, and interpersonal and communication skills. Your educating will help you hone these abilities, but it’s important to assess if you have the necessary qualities before choosing this career path.
Since the focus of working in human services is helping others, hands-on experience is a key component of human services education. Even if the program’s coursework is offered fully online, you will have to complete some field experience as part of your degree. The type of setting for this experience may vary, so it’s important to check with your program for details about how many hours you must complete, and in what setting, so you can fit this element into your schedule.
A degree in human services does not lead to professional counseling licensure, which is required by most states to practice as a counselor. If you want to become a licensed counselor, you can start your education with a bachelor’s degree in human services, but you will need a master’s degree in counseling to be eligible for licensure. Be sure you are selecting the right type of degree program for your career goals.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Human Services programs:
- Does this program have the specialization that I want? There are a number of concentrations under the umbrella of human services, including gerontology, child and family services, and substance abuse. If you would like to focus on one of these areas, be sure to select a program that offers it as a specialization.
- Can I pass a background check? Whether as part of your internship or hiring process for a job, you will likely have to undergo a background check at some point in your human services career. If there are any situations in your past that may prevent you from passing a background check, it’s important to discuss them with an adviser to find out what your options are.
During your research process, find out what the program’s admissions deadlines and procedures are, to make your application process go smoothly. This information is typically available on the school’s website, or by contacting their admissions department. You should also consider your financing options for school, including financial aid, scholarships, assistantships, and tuition assistance from your employer.