Bachelor’s in Human and Family Development Program Guide

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Published on May 27, 2021

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A bachelor's degree in human and family development provides an interdisciplinary view of how humans live, mature, and socialize throughout their lives.

Professionals in this field apply their intercultural and analytical skills to help families and people of all ages meet their educational, social, developmental, and economic needs. Many individuals work in Head Start programs, elder care centers, schools, government agencies, and other organizations that provide human services.

Many bachelor's programs enable students to network with professionals in the field. Some schools help students arrange internships or practicum experiences, providing job-seekers with a competitive advantage. Prospective students should consider programs that provide job placement assistance to graduates.

Should I Get a Bachelor's in Human and Family Development?

Most full-time students need four years to earn an online bachelor's degree in human and family development.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that social and community service managers' employment could grow 17% from 2019-2029. The aging population in the U.S. will likely drive an increase in adult daycare and similar occupations. Also, human and family development professionals can expect to see more individuals struggling with addiction seeking help instead of going to prison.

Most full-time students need four years to earn an online bachelor's degree in human and family development. Working professionals who take classes part time may need longer to graduate. Factors shortening this timeline might include transfering credits from another institution or enrolling in an online program.

While the human and family development field provides meaningful employment, it does present challenges. For instance, many human services organizations experience noticeable turnover due to compassion fatigue and comparatively higher salaries in other fields. Some agencies suffer from underfunding, which means they may come up short covering their expenses and providing vital services.

Some professionals with an online bachelor's degree in human and family development also obtain a certification. Individuals who work with children might consider becoming a certified childcare professional, which requires 720 hours of experience working with children in the previous five years. A total of 350 postgraduate work hours can lead to certification as a human services board-certified practitioner.

What Will I Learn in a Human and Family Development Bachelor's Program?

Most human and family development programs vary in curricula and concentrations. Nevertheless, most students take courses in aging populations, child development, early childhood intervention, family cultural diversity, human development, and human services.

A bachelor's degree in human and family development helps students build their analytical thinking and research abilities to make observations and draw accurate conclusions. Aspiring professionals also need to assist people through life transitions and trauma. Successful professionals possess intercultural competence and understand how human development affects people's interactions with others.

Programs can differ in the tracks they offer. A bachelor of science (BS) often exposes students to educational psychology, statistical methods, and cognitive and biological processes. A bachelor of arts (BA) might not require as much research but usually focuses more on practice in educational, care, and human service settings.

Concentrations

Child Development

Students in this concentration learn how children grow from birth to early adulthood. Coursework prepares graduates to work in childcare or daycare centers.

Gerontology

Gerontology addresses development toward the end of life and other aspects of the aging process. Students in this concentration usually learn about elder care, the impacts of aging on the family, and later-life development.

Human Services

Human services workers help clients of all ages overcome challenges and become more self-sufficient. Coursework typically covers crisis intervention methods, treatment plans, and client communication.

Intervention Sciences

This concentration includes instruction on interviewing, counseling, and research on intervention results. Students learn the practical and theoretical principles of mediation and treatment for individuals of all ages.

Leadership

Students with an interest in management might consider this concentration, which focuses on leadership theory and organizational behavior.

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What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Human and Family Development?

An online bachelor's in human and family development enables professionals to care for young children, direct older adults to essential social services, and help families cope with addiction and trauma. Graduates can work in senior and assisted living centers, preschools, social service agencies, and other human service organizations.

Professionals seeking career advancement can accumulate work experience and apply for leadership positions, such as childcare center director and human services manager.

Popular Career Paths

Childcare Center Director

Many childcare center and preschool directors manage finances, staff, and hiring procedures. They also organize center activities and events, delegating duties to other staff.

Childcare Worker

Childcare providers work in daycare or childcare facilities, private residences, or preschools caring for young children, toddlers, and infants. They assist children with eating and dressing and help them develop intellectual abilities and social skills.

Human Service Assistant

Human service assistants work with various professionals to help people get support services from government or private entities. Assistants can work in healthcare or rehabilitation, often supervising programs.

Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers work with pre-kindergarten children. They primarily teach intellectual, social, and motor skills.

Social Service Manager

Social service managers supervise programs that help people in need. They often work for community and government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Popular Continued Education Paths

How Much Money Can I Make With a Bachelor's in Human and Family Development?

According to the BLS, childcare workers earn a median annual salary of $25,460, and social and human service assistants make a median wage of $35,960. Professionals holding leadership positions tend to earn higher pay. The BLS also reports that social and community service managers earn a median annual salary of $69,600.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Human and Family Development Programs

Is a bachelor's in human and family development worth it?

Graduates can seek employment in many fields and advance through the ranks. For example, the BLS projects 17% job growth for social and community service managers between 2019 and 2029, compared to 3% for all managerial occupations.

How much does it cost to get a bachelor's in human and family development?

Tuition for a bachelor's degree in human and family development varies depending on delivery format, school, and state residency. According to the College Board, in-state public institutions charged an average of $9,970 during the 2017-2018 academic year, while out-of-state tuition charged $25,620. An online degree can cost less, with some students paying as low as $36,000 in total.

Is human and family development a good major?

A bachelor's degree in human and family development can lead to a rewarding career for students who enjoy helping people. This major prepares graduates to meet the needs of children, older adults, and other individuals.

What kind of jobs can I get with a bachelor's in human and family development?

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in human and family development can find employment in various fields. There are many opportunities in healthcare, human and social services, childcare, and education, and the private sector. With enough work experience, professionals can move into managerial positions.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's in human and family development?

An online bachelor's degree in human and family development typically requires 120 credits and takes about four years to complete. Transferring credits and enrolling part time can alter this timeline.

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