As long as there are people in need, there will always been a great demand for jobs in the area of “human services.” An online human services degree prepares students for careers in psychology, social work, counseling, public health, medical administration, and other forms of management. Instead of pursuing an individual degree specifically in public health or social work, students who earn online human services degrees are prepared for a broad range of career possibilities within the field. In a world increasingly connected by the Internet and a global economy, many find these more integrated degrees to be an approach that meets current needs.
Employment Outlook in Human Services
Career opportunities for people who have earned online human services degrees will be plentiful in the years to come because of all of the social issues facing society today, like mental health problems, substance abuse, poverty, and the health care needs of an aging population. Social work is one type of human service that will be in great demand.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the demand for social workers in the coming decade will increase 16%, which is higher than the overall 12% national job growth overall. Those who work with substance abuse and mental health issues will see an increase of 20% in job availability, and those trained in medical and public health services will see an amazing 22% increase. The median yearly earnings for child, family, and school social workers in May of 2008 was $39,500 with the top earners reaching the $66,500 mark.
Counselors are another group of professionals in the human services field that will be in demand over the next 10 years. While the growth in jobs for educational counselors will be a moderate 14%, positions for mental health counselors will increase by 24%. The median annual income of mental health counselors in May of 2008 was $36,800 with the highest earners brining in over $63,000.
Educational Requirements in Human Services
A number of different online human service degrees are available, especially at the higher academic levels. Students wishing to enter the field can earn an online bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Human Services Administration, Public Safety, Emergency Management, and Psychology. Master’s degrees are available for those who wish to specialize further in a particular area of human services, like Public Health, Public Administration, and Mental Health Counseling. Other master’s degrees are offered in Marriage and Family, Business Management, Executive Leadership, Health and Wellness, and even Christian Ministry.
Interestingly, a relatively large number of online Ph.D. programs are available today to those who wish to teach at the college level or become the highest ranking administrator in their field. With today’s need for solutions to pressing social issues that will only increase with time, an individual with advanced degrees in human services is well-positioned for a career that is both in demand and rewarding. Ph.D. degrees are offered in General Human Services, Interview, Counseling, Clinical Social Work, Criminal Justice, Family Studies, Human Services Administration, Social Policy, Community Health Education, Public Health, and Health Management and Policy.