Where Can I Work With a Degree in Human Services?
For those in school earning their Human Services degree it is not uncommon to the question “Where can I work with a degree in Human Services?” This is an excellent question to consider while you are still in school as it will help focus both your education and it will also give you the opportunity to research what potential employers are looking for in a prospective worker. For those who have financial consideration or other reasons to want to start work immediately after graduation there are a number of jobs that only require a Bachelor of Human Services. Generally speaking, you will want to stay in school until you earn at least your Master of Human Services degree.
Often Human Services professionals have a strong desire to change the world for the better and have a strong idealistic streak. For those who feel driven to work for social justice, one of the best outlets for that energy is to find work in the Non-profit sector. By finding a Non-profit that is pursuing a social justice agenda that resonates strongly with your own personal desire to see change in the world, you can become part of a team that affects change in their community. There are numerous non-profits with laudable missions and it is simply a matter of finding one that appeals to you and your sense of social justice.
Human Services is a career path that can have many different routes towards employment, with that said the largest employer of Human Services professionals is the public sector. Government at either the state or federal level has a wide variety of organizations that provide various Human Services and they are always in need of well-educated Human Services professionals to fill the ranks of their organization. If you find that the idea of working within a government agency is appealing you will want to take the time to carefully research and consider a number of government agencies to find one that is a great fit for you and has an agenda that matches with what you want to accomplish in terms of Human Service and giving back to your community.
While the State government has the Department of Human Services which tends to encompass most Human Services jobs, the Federal government has an extensive number of bureaus and agencies that provide numerous services. What follows is a sample of some of the Federal agencies that are part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
All of the bureaus and agencies have individual missions and fulfill a great number of specialized tasks. The various organizations are listed below with a brief description along with a few of the potential occupations you can hold with a Bachelor of Human Services or a Master of Human Services or higher.
Department of Human Services
In each state there is usually a Department of Human Services although some states may have different names for the department. The Department of Human Services fulfills a number of functions that include such diverse departments as the Employment Department, Aging and Disability Services, Child Welfare (name may vary) and Adult and Family Services. One of the primary responsibilities of the Department of Human Services is to administer state and federally funded assistance programs for eligible families and individuals. This can include a number of state programs that will vary from state to state along with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP formerly Food Stamps), as well as Children State Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Medicare and Medicaid. The Department of Human Services often is the major employer for Human Services professional in most states which means it is a great place to start your career in Human Services.
Potential Jobs with a Bachelor of Human Services degree: Eligibility Worker, Eligibility Screener, Human Services Specialist 1, Human Services Specialist
Potential Jobs with a Master of Human Services degree or higher: Branch Manager, Office Manager, Line Manager, Human Services Specialist
Administration on Aging
As a federal agency the main task of the Administration on Aging is on how to improve care in this country as well as accessibility to care and throughout society for our nation’s elderly and aging in terms of direct service and also policy at the Federal level. Housing a number of sub-departments from research, to direct care facilities as well as regulatory and policy task forces, the Administration on Aging. Based in Washington D.C., the Administration on Aging does also have regional offices working at the local and regional levels to make sure its mission is fulfilled.
Potential Jobs with a Bachelor of Human Services degree: Elder Care Information Specialist, Policy Analyst.
Potential Jobs with a Master of Human Services degree or higher: Administrator of Programs, Policy Task Force Member
Administration for Children and Families
The main goal of the Administration for Children and Families is to work to help communities become more inclusive and supportive of children and families and simultaneously working to empower Families to becoming economically independent. They achieve these goals by working in partnership with government at the state, local and tribal levels to empower families to achieve economic independence through incentivization, tax breaks and other measures aimed at supporting families in their move towards economic independence. Another focus of the Administration for Children and Families is to help governments remove barriers to access of services and streamline processes to ensure quick and efficient access to government services for children and families. The Administration for Children and Families also has as part of its mission the goal of helping those deemed to be part of vulnerable populations. The Administration for Children and Families has a $58.8 billion budget, is quite extensive in both scope and number employed by it and therefore it has a huge amount of job opportunities.
Potential Jobs with a Bachelor of Human Services degree: Administrative Assistant, Program Analyst
Potential Jobs with a Master of Human Services degree or higher: Head Start Program Specialist, Management Analyst
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
In order to oversee and administer the Medicare, Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to those who are eligible, the Federal government created the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Being tasked with acting in a regulatory capacity, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services inspects those health organizations that are required by law to adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s. Their regulatory duties also include ensuring that certain quantifiable standards are being attained by Nursing Homes as well as clinical laboratories. The primary mission of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is to oversee and regulate the disbursement of Medicare and Medicaid benefits. A majority of the positions at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are around the oversight and administration of those federally funded programs. One of the ways that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services performs this task is by carefully reviewing the eligibility decisions of each state’s Department of Human Services in order to make certain that the Medicare, Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Programs rules and regulations are being followed and to make sure that any eligible parties receive their benefits in the required time frame. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Based in Baltimore, MD, however it also has many regional offices which are key components to completing its oversight and regulatory duties.
Potential Jobs with a Bachelor of Human Services degree: Health Insurance Specialist, Quality Control Reviewer
Potential Jobs with a Master of Human Services degree or higher: Management Analyst, Actuary
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The primary goal of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is to work to help those who suffer from mental illness and substance abuse problems. They work towards this goal through a multi-pronged approach that includes education components, reform components, health care initiatives and an emphasis on prevention. A secondary goal of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is to mitigate the additional costs to society due to untreated drug addiction and mental health problems. By working to make available to vulnerable populations preventative treatments, rehabilitation organizations and access to adequate healthcare the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration works to reduce the potential for illness, death and disability from untreated drug addiction and mental illness.
By prioritizing education and the prevention of mental illness and substance abuse, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helps communities to reduce additional costs related to mental illness and drug abuse while simultaneously helping to prevent additional cases of this from occurring. By working in tandem with professionals in the justice system, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helps the justice system to understand the complexity of dealing with those who have substance abuse or mental health problems. This can help to reduce unnecessary incarceration costs to communities when treatment and rehabilitation has been shown to be more effective in reducing costs, saving jail space and reducing recidivism through a more compassionate approach based around treatment. Working on the front of creating reform around the subjects of mental illness and drug abuse, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration works diligently to enact related public health reforms, such as making more available housing for homeless who suffer from mental health or drug addiction problems.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also helps healthcare professionals to coordinate treatments and vital health record information for vulnerable members of society such as the homeless who suffer from mental illness or substance abuse issues. Based in Rockville, Maryland the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also has offices in other regions.
Potential Jobs with a Bachelor of Human Services degree: Administrative Assistant, Field Agent
Potential Jobs with a Master of Human Services degree or higher: Program Analyst