Best Online Human Services Degree Programs
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A degree in human services best serves students with a passion for making a difference in their communities. Many careers in this field are related to essential services like counseling, addiction treatment, and social work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment in human services occupations will grow by 12% between 2020 and 2030 — a rate faster than the average for all occupations.
Most positions in this field require at least a bachelor's degree. Completing an undergraduate program is vital to launching a successful career. Consult our program guide for in-depth information on human services bachelor's degrees.
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What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Human Services Programs? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|#1||Colorado State University Global Campus Greenwood Village, CO|
|#2||Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods, IN|
|#3||LeTourneau University Longview, TX|
|#4||University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI|
|#5||Western Washington University Bellingham, WA|
|#6||Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA|
|#7||Bellevue University Bellevue, NE|
|#8||Anderson University Anderson, SC|
|#9||Southern Wesleyan University Central, SC|
|#10||Judson University Elgin, IL|
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Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Human Services Programs
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What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Human Services Program?
Successful human services professionals possess strong problem-solving, communication, analytical, and interpersonal skills. The top human services bachelor's programs aim to cultivate these abilities. Many human services positions involve working with the public, clients, and organizational or government leaders to create positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.
Successful human services professionals possess strong interpersonal, problem-solving, communication, and analytical skills, all of which human services bachelor's programs aim to cultivate.
Bachelor's programs traditionally require students to complete about 120 credits, which takes full-time learners about four years. The curriculum typically includes several core courses in math, English, science, the humanities, and history, in addition to major coursework.
Earning a bachelor's in this field qualifies students for entry-level positions, but career advancement may require a graduate degree. Prospective students should establish their career goals before selecting a program to determine if their ultimate goal requires a master's. Some schools boast transfer agreements or provide dual-degree options that allow students to save time and money.
Additionally, many programs offer concentrations that allow students to tailor their online bachelor's in human services degree to specific career goals. Common options include child and adolescent development, criminal justice, psychology, addictions, and leadership.
Some programs include a practicum or capstone requirement. A practicum requires students to work with a human services organization, which gives them the opportunity to see how course concepts can be applied in real-world situations. A capstone typically involves a research project that challenges students to use their knowledge to address a human services-related problem.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Human Services Program?
Each online bachelor's in human services program features a unique set of courses and graduation requirements. However, since bachelor's programs provide an introduction to key human services concepts, they usually offer similar core courses, including some of the following options.
Public Policy and Advocacy
Students taking this course explore core human services policies. Learners examine the processes behind policy development in federal and state governments, nonprofits, and the private sector. Coursework emphasizes advocacy and the role it plays in shaping social welfare programs and developing new policies or processes.
This course provides an overview of principles, issues, and best practices in human services case management. Students also learn about critical prevention and intervention strategies. Learners develop essential listening, organizational, and project management skills. Additional topics may include how to set up and maintain professional boundaries and how to assess community or client needs.
Introduction to Human Services
This course provides a comprehensive overview of several key human services concepts. Students typically explore the history of human services and its development over time. Additionally, students learn about the various roles, settings, and functions of professionals in this field. Additional topics include behavioral and social theories, ethics, service delivery systems, and common social issues.
This course typically provides a breakdown of popular theories and current research relating to physical, cognitive, language, social, emotional, and personality development. Most courses emphasize the relationship between human development, human services, and public policy to teach students how to create effective programs.
Research and Data Analysis
This course helps learners develop effective research skills, with a focus on qualitative and quantitative methods. Students learn how to extract data from academic journals, books, and databases to analyze and amend human services policies. Degree-seekers also explore research design, analysis techniques, statistics, assessment scoring, and dissemination methods.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Human Services Degree?
According to the BLS, human services professionals earned a median annual salary of $47,520 as of May 2020. Because of an aging population, social dilemmas such as the ongoing opioid crisis, and an increasing number of employers offering mental health benefits, the BLS projects 12% employment growth in this field between 2020 and 2030.
Careers span several industries and specialty areas. The following section highlights five fields in which you can pursue employment after earning an online bachelor's in human services.
Human services professionals in the healthcare sector can work as health educators or community health workers. These healthcare jobs involve teaching healthy habits and promoting community well-being. Primary tasks include collecting data, developing programs, and advocating for a community's health needs. Professionals may work for hospitals, government agencies, colleges, nonprofit organizations, and clinics.
Graduates with a human services degree may pursue work as a school or career counselor. School counselors play a vital role helping students achieve academic success and prepare for their future education or professional goals. Primary tasks include evaluating student abilities through assessments, providing counseling, and educating learners on key issues like bullying and substance misuse. Counselors work closely with teachers, administrators, and parents to ensure students succeed.
Careers in this sector focus on providing services like counseling and rehabilitation. Professionals in social work careers help clients by coordinating access to counseling, childcare, food stamps, and healthcare. Additional tasks may include responding to crisis situations, maintaining public records, and monitoring programs for effectiveness.
With an online bachelor's in human services, you can pursue a career as a substance misuse, behavioral disorder, mental health, or marriage and family counselor. Counselors work directly with patients to develop strategies for dealing with substance misuse issues, emotions, relationship roadblocks, and life changes. Working in this field requires strong interpersonal skills and an ability to maintain confidential medical records.
Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists are common careers you may consider with a bachelor's in human services. Professionals in this sector typically perform home, employment, and property checks. Common tasks may include interviewing probationers and parolees, determining the best course for rehabilitation, testing for drugs and alcohol, providing job training, and maintaining records.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Human Services Programs
Is a bachelor's in human services worth it?
Because many careers in human services require at least a bachelor's degree to qualify for entry-level positions, earning this degree can be vital to launching a successful career. Nevertheless, you should establish your career goals before selecting an online bachelor's in human services program to ensure the curriculum and training meet your needs.
What can I do with a bachelor's in human services?
Earning a bachelor's in human services can open the door to several opportunities across industries. Some common positions to consider include social worker, health educator, counselor, probation officer, and emergency management specialist. Many careers in this field offer opportunities to make a difference by helping others.
Are human services majors in demand?
How much money can I make with a bachelor's in human services?
According to the BLS, human services professionals earned a median annual wage of $47,520 as of May 2020. However, salaries vary depending on experience, education, and location. Also, career advancement may require a graduate degree.
What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a bachelor's in human services?
The earning potential for human services careers varies widely by position and education level. The top-paying industry for human services professionals is the federal executive branch. Human services workers in this area make annual mean wages above $84,000.