Bachelor of Science (BS): Human Services Degree Overview
Individuals working in human services, social services or public works, usually focus on populations in need of assistance, such as the mentally disabled, low-income families, substance abusers or the homeless. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Services teaches students how to interact with clients and run various types of human services programs. Read on for more information about the human services degree program.
Bachelor of Science in Human Services Degree Overview
Most human services degree programs teach students about the real world applications of human services programs, as well as the administrative side of running these programs. To gain an understanding of how human services programs work, students first learn about different populations in need, such as the mentally and physically disabled, children, the elderly and low-income families. Next, students may take classes on potential human services programs, including criminal justice, emergency medical, child development, health services and community outreach.
After receiving instruction on various programs and populations, students learn how to deal with individual clients. To train students to talk with clients in a professional manner, human services degree programs provide courses in behavioral psychology, interpersonal relationships, intervention strategies and counseling. Other core classes provide training on the fundamentals of running human services programs, including research methodologies and statistics, public service management, program funding and legal issues related to human services.
Since students who have a degree in human services go on to multiple career paths, most degree programs allow students to specialize by choosing career path-based electives or degree concentrations. For example, students interested in helping the mentally disabled may choose elective courses focusing on social psychology, child psychology, psychological disorders or mental health institutions. Alternatively, students who want to work in social reform programs may choose courses related to social services and non-profit organizations.
Many human services degree programs require students to gain real-world experience through internships and externship programs. Usually these programs last for 1-2 semesters, although students can elect to participate in additional internship opportunities. Through these experiences, students learn how human services professionals work with other industries, how to evaluate individual cases and how to work with various populations in need.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs for social and human service assistants are expected to grow 28% from 2010-2020. A May 2012 report from the BLS showed that these workers' median salaries were $28,850, with most workers earning $19,430-$46,080.
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