What can I do with this degree? - HUMAN SERVICES

AREAS

SOCIAL SERVICES/NONPROFIT

Administration and Planning
Case Management
Advocacy
Program Evaluation
Policy Development
Volunteer Coordination

EMPLOYERS

Public welfare agencies
Federal, state, and local government
Private social service agencies
Group homes
Religiously affiliated organizations
Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers

DESCRIPTIONS/STRATEGIES

Social services are designed to provide support for poor, disabled, ill, elderly, or juvenile clients.

Volunteer at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, battered women homes, literacy programs, or other social service agencies to gain relevant experience and demonstrate interest.

AREAS

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/CORRECTIONS

Counseling/Therapy
Rehabilitation
Probation
Parole
Youth Services
Victim Assistance

EMPLOYERS

Prisons and correctional facilities
Courts
Police departments
Probation and parole offices
Victim services organizations

DESCRIPTIONS/STRATEGIES

Human services workers in corrections focus on rehabilitating clients and assisting victims.

Obtain experience by volunteering at a corrections facility or a victim services organization such as a rape crisis center.

AREAS

GERONTOLOGY

Advocacy
Counseling
Case Management
Programming
Public Policy

EMPLOYERS

Hospitals
Nursing and retirement homes
Senior centers
Hospice

DESCRIPTIONS/STRATEGIES

Gerontology involves working with older adults, healthy or ill, and their families.

Become involved with programs or organizations designed for senior citizens.

AREAS

CHILD WELFARE

Case Management
Advocacy
Service Coordination

EMPLOYERS

Public or private child welfare agencies
Adoption agencies
Foster care organizations
Day care centers and nursery schools
Recreational facilities (i.e., YMCA or YWCA)
Head Start programs

DESCRIPTIONS/STRATEGIES

Child welfare workers strive to ensure the safety and well-being of children through interventions and programming.

Volunteer at day care centers, children's shelters, camps, YMCA/YWCA, Scouts, or other agencies that aid youth and children. Take additional courses in child development or early childhood education.

AREAS

DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Case Management
Advocacy
Program Planning and Evaluation
Policy Development
Rehabilitation

EMPLOYERS

Community residential homes
State and local agencies
Medical facilities
Mental health organizations
Schools
Employment agencies
Vocational Rehabilitation

DESCRIPTIONS/STRATEGIES

Human services workers specializing in this area help people with disabilities to adjust to and lead productive lives.

Volunteer at special needs camps, child care centers, schools, or hospitals to gain experience. Gain experience with and knowledge of a variety of disabilities.
Obtain specialized training in areas such as sign language or assistive technology for additional opportunities. Earn a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling for opportunities in Vocational Rehabilitation.

AREAS

HEALTH CARE

Case Management
Counseling
Program Development
Administration
Rehabilitation

EMPLOYERS

Hospitals
Community health centers
Outpatient clinics
Public health programs
Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
Nursing homes
Group homes
Hospice

DESCRIPTIONS/STRATEGIES

Human services workers in health care facilitate the medical and emotional treatment of patients.

Volunteer in health related settings such as hospitals or the American Red Cross to gain experience. Supplement curriculum with course work in nursing or health.
Complete appropriate prerequisites for entrance into professional programs such as occupational therapy, physician's assistant, or physical therapy.

AREAS

ADMINISTRATION

Management
Policy Development
Planning

EMPLOYERS

Family service agencies
Child welfare departments
Social service agencies
State mental health departments
Employee assistance programs
Probation departments
Public interest groups
Local, state, and federal government

DESCRIPTIONS/STRATEGIES

Administrators are involved with planning, budgeting, public relations, management, fund raising, and other crucial operating responsibilities that keep an organization functioning. Obtain a master's degree in social work or related field for additional opportunities. Gain management experience through internships, part-time employment, or leadership in relevant student organizations. Supplement curriculum with course work in areas such as public relations, advertising, accounting, or management.

AREAS

EDUCATION

Teaching
Interpreting
Case Management
Student Affairs

EMPLOYERS

Universities and colleges
Public (K-12) school systems
Private (K-12) school systems
Human service agencies
Private learning centers
Free-lance tutors or consultants

DESCRIPTIONS/STRATEGIES

Human services graduates working in education focus on providing instruction for a wide range of students including children with disabilities as well as adult community members. Learn American Sign Language and manually coded forms of English for specialized opportunities. Volunteer in schools or programs that serve disabled children. Obtain appropriate teacher licensure for public school teaching opportunities. Earn a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling, mental health counseling, school counseling, social work, or college student personnel. Seek campus leadership positions such as peer mentor or resident assistant. Obtain a doctorate degree for teaching and research opportunities in colleges and universities.

AREAS

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

Human Resources
Management
Sales
Public Relations
Corporate Giving
Development
Employee Assistance Programs
Financial Counseling

EMPLOYERS

Business firms in various industries
Developers of educational products
National foundations and associations

DESCRIPTIONS/STRATEGIES

Graduates of human services programs may apply their skills and knowledge in the private sector of business and industry.

Earn a minor in business or related field. Develop computer skills particularly with spreadsheets, databases, word processing, and desk top publishing.
Gain experience through part-time jobs, summer jobs, and internships in business environments.

GENERAL INFORMATION

A bachelor's degree in human services prepares individuals for entry-level positions in the helping professions.

A master's degree in counseling, social work, occupational therapy, or related field, in addition to appropriate professional licensure, is usually necessary to provide therapy and for advancement to supervisory or administrative positions.

Complete practicum experiences and internships to determine suitability for the helping professions and to gain exposure to various practice settings and clients.

Candidates should possess empathy for others, an appreciation for diversity, and an interest in social change.

Gain experience with a diverse range of clients and client systems including individuals, families, groups, communities, and minorities.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer

Last Updated: 3/24/14