Associate of Arts (AA): Human Services Degree Overview
Get an overview of Associate of Arts in Human Services degree programs. Learn about common courses, internships, employment prospects, salary information, and options for continuing education.
Associate of Arts in Human Services programs explore social, political and economic systems, as well as group behavior, social and cognitive development, service delivery and human development. Students learn to work with families and communities in educational and work-related settings. Many programs require that students gain experience through paid or volunteer work experiences or internships with human resources organizations. Applicants to an associate's degree program need a high school diploma or the equivalent.
Throughout a 2-year human services program, students investigate sociology principles, developmental psychology and crisis intervention. They also delve into professional development, learning theories and group values. Students in an associate's degree program may study topics such as:
- Human biology
- Casework methods
- Marriage topics
- Family topics
- Community health
- Personal health
- Speech principles
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Associate of Arts in Human Services programs are typically designed for transfer into a 4-year program; however, students may be able to find entry-level positions as a social service assistant or human service assistant. Human service assistants can find career opportunities offered through health care and social assistance industries or government organizations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job prospects for social and human service assistants is supposed to be excellent with a much faster than average growth of 22% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS reported that social and human service assistants had median annual wages of $28,850 in May 2012.
Continuing Education Information
After obtaining an associate's degree in human services, graduates can continue their education by pursuing a bachelor's degree in human services or a related field, such as social work. Bachelor's degrees programs provide further education in social justice and applied research, as well as hands-on practical experience through internships.
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