As the human services sector has grown and changed in the US, the workforce has become increasingly well educated. This is due in part to the changes in the economy over the past 10 years. During the downturn many workers returned to school to earn advanced degrees or retool their careers in favor of a new sector. Often entry level positions will require a Bachelor’s degree to even get an interview. Many positions that once required a Bachelor’s degree are now going to candidates with Master’s degrees. In the current job market, employers are able to take over qualified candidates for many positions. Due to these factors, it is more important than ever before to earn an advanced degree to remain competitive.
In addition to broadening your career horizons and helping you to attain employment, an advanced degree also prepares you for the challenges you will face in the work place. By studying your field extensively you will develop a skillset and understanding of your field that will allow you to transition from academia to a professional setting with grace and confidence.
You will want to carefully consider what degree is best suited to meet your needs. In most cases, the higher the degree you attain the greater your options and potential for advancement. However, some people will want to enter the workforce and begin earning money quickly and may find that a Bachelor’s degree suffices for their career goals.
Increasingly employers are requiring Bachelor’s degrees even for entry level positions in human services. In many cases jobs that once were given to high school graduates require a Bachelor’s degree to even obtain an interview. With a Bachelor’s degree you will be able to enter into entry and mid-level positions in human services agencies and from there can earn experience to help with future promotions. Earning a Bachelor’s degree and then entering the workforce is an excellent strategy for those who want to have a short turn-around time between their schooling and beginning to earn money.
One of the best minor focuses for your studies will be to take a foreign language. This can really help your resume standout to a prospective employer. The default language you will want to learn is Spanish due to the large population in the US which speaks Spanish as their first language. However, some regions are looking for other languages due to their local immigrant populations. If you know where you plan on working it is wise to contact some local human services agencies and find out what language is seen as most appealing to prospective employers. Many human services agencies work with populations that have English as a second language or are unable to speak English at all. This is especially true of outreach, front desk positions or any occupation which will have direct contact with the community at large. As an additional incentive, many state jobs and other agencies will offer a premium to workers who are bi-lingual. Having fluency in a second language is also often required in positions earmarked for workers who are bi-lingual.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services you will be eligible to pursue a career in one of the following positions:
Increasingly, many jobs that technically only require a Bachelor’s degree are going to candidates with Master’s degrees. This is due to the extremely tight job market. As the workforce has become better educated employers are now able to take candidates who are overqualified for the position. This has led to the saying “The Master’s degree is the new Bachelors”. By earning your Master’s degree you are ensuring that not only will you have a broad diversity of potential careers, you also will be extremely competitive to take a lower tier position and then rapidly promote from within the organization by virtue of your educational background.
With a Master’s degree you will open a variety of career options within human services. With a Master’s of Human Services you are eligible for a number of positions such as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Joining a management team is also possible with a Master in Human Services Leadership. Many positions in institutions of higher learning also become available from student affairs administration to higher education counseling positions. You also have the ability to train a whole new generation of human services workers by teaching at a local community college. A Master’s degree gives one tremendous opportunity in the field of human services. You also can look forward to a significantly higher income with a Master’s degree when compared to a Bachelor’s.
Here are some of the human services job titles you can hold with a Master’s degree:
The Doctorate Degree in Human Services is the highest degree one can earn in the discipline and with it comes the highest salaries, the most prestigious positions and the greatest selection of career choices. With a Doctorate you will be able to hold any of the previously mentioned positions. In addition, you will be able to teach graduate students at universities and train the next generation of professionals in human services. You also will be seen as an ideal candidate for a managerial or directorship within a human services agency. You will have tremendous opportunities and will be looked on as an expert in your field by earning your Ph.D. You will have access to the highest paid positions and will have your choice of agencies and careers to work in. You will be assured to be able to promote to the highest levels within any organization and have unparalleled job security. With a Ph.D. you will be able to find the career of your dreams in human services and rest easy knowing your future is secure and your options virtually unlimited.