Social Work Degree vs. Human Services Degree

There are many degrees that are excellent to have attained if you wish to pursue a career in Human Services. Perhaps the two most useful educational tracks you can take are Social Work and Human Services. Completing your education by earning a degree in Social Work or Human Services will give you tremendous insight into human behavior and the toolsets to help people in need. While there is quite a bit of overlap between these two areas of study, there are also significant differences between them. Either degree route is going to provide you with a highly useful education that will give you an excellent foundation of knowledge that you can apply as a Human Services professional.

If you want to have a broad knowledge base that prepares you for virtually any career in the Human Services sector, then attaining a degree in Human Services is an excellent choice. Whether you decide to get your Bachelor of Human Services or earn your Master of Human Services Leadership, you will gain a multi-disciplinary outlook on the field of Human Services that includes elements of Sociology, Social Work and Psychology. A degree in Human Services will give you a taste of most of the more specialized degrees and is actually an excellent choice for your Bachelor’s degree regardless of whether you plan on continuing in Human Services, another educational track all together or even going directly into the workforce.


With a Bachelor of Human Services you will be eligible for the following Job titles:

  • Eligibility Worker
  • Behavioral management Aide
  • Case Management Aide
  • Human Services Screener
  • Human Services Liaison
  • Community Outreach Worker
  • Juvenile Court Liaison
  • Rehabilitation Case Worker
  • Probation Officer

Of course earning your Master of Human Services degree will open even more job possibilities and it is always an excellent choice to consider continuing your education until you have earned your Master’s degree.

While a Human Services degree will give you a broad overview of several disciplines and prepare you to plug into virtually any Human Services organization or occupation, the Social Work degree is actually quite specialized. Social Work degrees give the student knowledge of the specifics of Social Work and prepare one for a career as a Social Worker. There are a variety of agencies one can work in as a Social Worker, but the bulk of Social Work professionals will end up working for the state through the Department of Human Services or its equivalent. By giving the student a comprehensive understanding of Social Work, which is the alleviation of suffering amongst vulnerable populations through a strength-based approach to self-sufficiency. A degree in Social Work allows one to have jobs such as Permanency Case Worker in Child Welfare helping to place children into Foster and Adoptive homes. If one has their Master of Social Work (MSW) then you can begin the process of licensure and eventually become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) providing Mental Health counseling either in private practice or for a public organization. Earning your Social Work degree is an excellent path to becoming a Human Services professional.
Some of the job titles you can hold with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree include:

  • Child Welfare Case manager
  • Marriage and Family Therapist (depending on state)
  • Child Welfare Case Manager
  • Permanency Case Worker in Child Welfare
  • Social and Community Service Manager
  • Human Services Administrator

While there is quite a bit of crossover between the two degree tracks, the Social Work degree and Human Services degree paths give one different skillsets and outlooks on Human Services. If you take your education to the Master’s degree level you will begin to see very different outcomes in terms of career opportunities as your education becomes increasingly specialized. Regardless of your degree choice, both educational paths will prepare you for a career in Human Services that is rewarding both financially and in terms of job fulfillment.