Taking an accelerated human services degree online program can help you enter into a career that will allow you to make a difference in the lives of other people.
If the idea of improving the lives of others excites you, a human services degree may be right for you.
Earning a human services degree can help put you on the path to a career in social work, child care, gerontology, rehabilitation, or counseling. It can help prepare you to deal with complex ethical, cultural, and economic situations, all with the goal of helping people make their lives better.
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Types of Accelerated Human Services Degree Programs
A degree in human services can have different names and concentrations, but they all typically focus on preparing students to help people and make a difference.
Two of the most common human services degrees are:
- Bachelor of Human Services
- Bachelor of Science in Human Services—Youth/Family Services
Both of these degrees are also good starting points for an online master’s degree in human services or social work. If you really want to take your career to the next level, you might even get an online doctorate in human services.
Accelerated Human Services Degree Overview
A human services online degree can help prepare you for a variety of careers in which you help people. The specifics of what you learn will vary based on your program and your specific concentration, but most programs are likely to teach how to:
- Evaluate social, political, and historical events and how they affect people and communities
- Be culturally sensitive and work with diverse populations
- Set up a legal and ethical plan of care
- Use your professional skills to build formal and informal networks
- Interpret, plan, and evaluate policies and communication strategies
- Think critically and creatively and make plans for action
Although these skills may sound very abstract, they can provide you with a foundation to build upon. You can then choose a concentration to gain the skills needed to work with a specific group, such as children and families, seniors, those with mental health disorders, or those with substance abuse disorders.
Some possible classes you may take are:
- Communication Skills for Human Services Professionals
- Human Services Organizational Systems
- Law and Ethics in Human Services
- Social Science Research Methods
- Child Growth and Cognitive Development
- Family and Community Systems
- Role and Impact of Trauma on Children and Families
- Aging and Wellness
- The Epidemiology of Aging
- Substance Use: From Prevention to Treatment
These are just some of the possible classes you may take. While many of the classes will be similar no matter the human services program, your specific area of study will help to refine your classes.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Human Services Degree?
A bachelor’s degree in human services can help you pursue many entry-level jobs. You might start a career as a:
- Behavioral management aide
- Child advocate
- Mental health counselor
- Community outreach worker
- Disaster relief worker
- Domestic violence counselor
- Corrections officer
- Family support worker
- Health educator
- Human services worker
- Mental health therapist
- Social and community services worker
You can start a career in many of these fields with just a bachelor’s degree, or even an on-campus or online human services certificate, but most of these fields will require a master’s degree or furthering licensing and certification for more advanced positions. Entry-level and bachelor-level careers will often bring you a smaller salary.
Once you have a master’s degree, you may have more opportunities to move into management or further specializations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some of the average salaries for positions that those with human services degrees often pursue:
|Careers||Annual Median Salary|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$69,600|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$51,340|
|Mental Health Counselors||$47,660|
|Community Health Workers||$42,000|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||$35,960|
Some companies and employers may prefer at least a bachelors degree to apply for these jobs, whereas others may require a master’s degree or further licensing
Why Choose Accelerated Online Classes for Your Human Services Degree?
There are three main benefits of taking online accelerated classes.
You don’t have to wait until next semester to start your human services degree. Most universities will allow you to start classes at various times throughout the year. You could potentially start your first class next month.
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Earn Your Degree Faster!
A traditional semester is 16 weeks long. Accelerated classes are typically 6 to 8 weeks long.
By taking accelerated classes, you could potentially finish your degree in half the time you could with traditional classes. That could greatly speed up how quickly your start your career, especially if you plan to go on to master’s level work.
Work According to Your Schedule!
With online classes, you don’t have to commute or move to campus. You will likely be able to attend your classes on your own schedule as well. Many online courses have no set times to meet for classes. This means you can log on and do your work when and where you want.
Human Services Degree Accreditation
If you go after a degree that is not regionally accredited, you’ll likely not save yourself any time or money, even if it is a human services associates degree online. Your degree could end up being useless if it isn’t from an accredited school because other universities and employers may not recognize it as being valid.
Regional accreditation is a process that your school must go through to prove that they are teaching you what you need to know.
Your university or college should be accredited by one of these regional boards:
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
You can check a school’s accreditation on the U.S. Department of Education’s database website.
Financial Aid for an Online Human Services Degree
Just because you’re taking the fastest online degree classes doesn’t mean you lose out on financial aid. First, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see what you qualify for in grants and student loans.
You may also be able to obtain financial aid from:
- State funds
- University scholarships
- Scholarships offered by businesses or organizations
- Tuition assistance from your employer
You’re going to be serving your community, so why not let the community help put you through school.
What Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services?
A bachelor’s degree in human services can help prepare you to work for non-profit organizations, government agencies, and private practices that deliver a variety of services to meet human needs. You might work in the health sector, mental health sector, jobs and family services, or substance abuse.
What Degrees Fall under Human Services?
Human Services is a degree in itself. Closely related majors include:
- Addictions and Recovery
- Criminal Justice
- Health Services
- Non-Profit Management
- Public Health
- Social Work
- Special Education
Any of these degrees can help prepare you for careers in which you can help others.
What Is a Human Services Major?
A human services major can help prepare you to meet people’s needs as you work alongside the health and criminal justice systems. You might be meeting a person’s physical, mental/emotional, or financial needs in a variety of ways. You may work for a non-profit, a private practice, or a government agency.
Finish Fast and Prepare for Service!
Do you have the heart and the drive to help people? If so, your community may be waiting.
An online accelerated human services degree program can help you get to where you want to be. You don’t have to plug away for 4 long years to earn your degree. You may be able to get your bachelor’s in human services in half that time and start serving others much sooner.