What Can I Do With My Human Service Major?

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Human Service

Human Service is a career in which professionals provides a helping service to people and to our society, particularly in times of need or crisis.  Human Service career opportunities encompass a wide array of specialties including working in areas of homelessness, social service needs, poverty & hunger, children, youth and teen support and guidance, crisis & trauma, case management, developmental disabilities, senior and elder care, mental health & illness support, etc.  If you are interested in helping people yet not sure which direction to take, a degree and studies in Human Service is certainly an area to consider.  Wanting to be a school counselor, social worker, psychologist or a family counselor?  Your NHTI degree in Human Services gives you the knowledge, skill and experience to start your career experience as you continue your education towards these higher degree-related careers.  If you have a desire to help communities and people better their lives and situations, read on to explore Human Service related career possibilities.

The Human Service Degree offers the opportunity for you to explore firsthand the expanding field of the helping profession through practicum experiences in which you work with professionals and individuals seeking assistance.  Two practicum courses with 125 hours a piece in areas that you are interested in pursuing in your career afford you the ability to ‘try on the job’, get a sense of the direction you want to take as you begin career.

Job Outlook
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social and human service assistants is projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will be due to an increase in the elderly population and rising demand for health care and social services.

Much of the growth will be due to the needs of an aging population. An increase in number of older adults will cause growth in demand for social services.  The elderly population often needs services such as delivery of meals and adult daycare.  Social and human service assistants, who help find and provide these services, will be needed to meet this increased demand.

In addition, growth is expected as more people seek treatment for their addictions and more drug offenders are sent to treatment programs rather than to jail.  The result will be an increase in demand for social and human service assistants who work in treatment programs or work with people with addictions.

There also will be continued demand for child and family social and human service assistants.  These workers will be needed to help others, such as social workers, investigate child abuse cases, as well as place children in foster care and with adoptive families.

Employment of social and human service assistants is projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Social and Human Service Assistants
Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22
Social and human service assistants 22%
Community and social service occupations 17%
Total, all occupations 11%

Visit NHTI’s Human Service Department for information on degree and course offerings.  The following degree and certificate options are also offered related to human services:  Associate Degree Program in Addiction Counseling; Certificate Programs in Addiction Counseling/Criminal Justice and Community Social Service.

Career Paths for This Major

When you graduate with this major, you will have work options that are varied and that depend upon your specific interests, abilities, work values, and hands on experience in the field.  Key considerations include considering what it is that’s drawing someone to human services.  Students frequently start by saying that they wish to ‘help others’ but aren’t always clear as to who they would prefer to help and what challenges they would like to support others in managing or overcoming.  In addition, some professionals help others ‘directly’ while others provide support ‘indirectly’ or behind the scenes.  For example, an administrator for a social service agency plays a significant role in supporting the public yet it could be staff at the agency who provide direct care.  Of course there can be a mixture of direct and indirect support but a key factor, in any work situation, is the nature of skills used on the job.  The remainder of this guide is designed to introduce students to a broad range of possibilities as they explore and experiment with areas of interest to them.

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Skills Developed Through This Major

Skills learned and developed in the Human Service Degree program include professional as well as personal life skills.  One major focus of professional skills include the Twelve Community Skill Standards.  These skill standards define the competencies used by human service workers in a wide variety of service delivery contexts in community, agency, school as well as other types of settings across the nation.

Twelve Community Skill Standards
Participant Empowerment;  Communication; Assessment; Community And Service Networking; Facilitation Of Services;  Community Living Skills And Support;  Education, Training, And Self-Development;  Advocacy:  Vocational, Educational, And Career Support;  Crisis Intervention;  Organizational Participation; And  Documentation.

Additional Skills Acquired  
Organization and Time Management Mindfulness Skills
Communication Personal Self-Care
Documentation Decision-making
Observation Group Facilitation
Ethical Guidelines Teamwork
Boundaries Critical Thinking
Conflict Resolution Decision Making

Sample Career Titles

These titles include positions that you may qualify for with this associate degree …

Case Worker Client Advocate Mental Health Aide
Family Support Worker Social Service Aide Community Organizer
Youth Worker Group Activities Aide Intake Interviewer
Social Service Liaison Social Service Technician Community Outreach Worker
Residential Counselor Child Advocate Social Work Assistant
Behavioral Management Aide Gerontology Aide Community Action Worker
Case Management Aide Home Health Aide Assistant Case Manager
Adult Day Care Worker Group Home Worker  

Sample positions requiring a bachelor’s degree and beyond …

Social Services / Nonprofit Education
Case manager Teacher (all levels)
Community organizer School/College Administrator
Counselor School counselor
Family support worker  
Activity/recreation director Policy
Administrator/Director Family policy analyst
Advocate Researcher
Grant writer Lobbyist/advocate
Development officer Legislator
Researcher  
Parent educator Criminal Justice/Law
Youth services Lawyer (J.D.)/graduate degree
Crisis/hotline worker Advocate, child/family
Program administrator/director Lobbyist
Clergy, pastoral care Politician
  Mediator
Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and Social Work (MSW) Policy analyst
All of the above, at MFT or MSW licensed level Researcher
Psychotherapist with individuals, couples, families, and groups  
Clinical case manager Communications & Business
Psychosocial skills trainer Human resource specialist
Supervisor/manager of therapy/treatment program Employee assistance specialist
Program developer Financial counselor
Researcher Public relations
Program evaluator Sales and marketing specialist
  Real estate agent
  Corporate giving

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Sample Employers

Public welfare agencies Senior Centers
State and local agencies/ government Child welfare agencies
Private social service agencies Recreational facilities
Group Homes Head Start Programs
Crisis Services Mental health organizations
Victim services organizations Schools (public and private/all levels)
Health Care Facilities Employee assistance programs
Long-Term Health Care Facilities Community Centers

Ways to Explore and Reality Test Careers

There are four key ways to explore your favorite career interests…through reading, through speaking with those in the know, through observing and through doing.  Use the link(s) below to begin exploring major related careers through ‘reading’.  Go to the Exploring Career Interests link to get tips on all four key exploration strategies.

Additional sources of information for this major include:

  • NHTI Faculty, Academic Advisors, and Human Service Department resources.
  • Professionals working in the field
  • Professional Associations (see below)

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Continuing Education Information

Many of our graduates directly continue on with their Bachelor’s Degree.  We have transfer agreements with many well-known colleges and universities.  Students interested in becoming a social worker work with our two-plus-two programs with UNH-Durham and Plymouth State University.  They transfer on after their associate’s degree and enter into the BSW Program as a junior. Bachelor Degree options in Psychology and Human Services, as well as others, are also available in the same type of format.  Southern NH University, Springfield College, Keene State University, UNH-Manchester are some examples.  UNH-Manchester are some examples.

How to Increase Employability

  • Perform practicum work which displays your professionalism, knowledge and skill at the particular site.
  • Become an active student member of college, community, or professional associations, which helps you build leadership skills and promote connecting (networking) with fellow professionals.
  • Obtain quality practical experience prior to graduation through part-time, full-time and summer employment related to your targeted field including work settings, populations, and social issues of interest.
  • Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities.
  • Continue networking with practicum supervisors, professors and professionals met in the course of your college experience.

Professional Association Links

Professionals who do work related to this major belong to these associations.  You can use the links below to do career research and to connect with local association members.  You may also be able to join an association of interest, at a reduced rate, as a student member.

Employment Links

See below for job posting sites related to this major (including our own home grown NHTI posting site – see first link).

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Michael O'Bryant
Human Service and Addiction Counseling Dept. Head
(603) 271-6484 x4269
mobryant@ccsnh.edu

Admissions
31 College Drive
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 230-4011
nhtiadm@ccsnh.edu

Academic Advising
31 College Drive
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 230-4021
Fax: (603) 223-0785
nhtiadvising@ccsnh.edu