8 Human Services Degree Jobs That Let You Pursue Your Passion
It’s time for you to begin your search for a job — and not just any job — a job that you’re passionate about. You want to help others, make a positive impact on your community, be a voice for someone that might not have one and openly welcome each day. Most importantly, you want to feel good about the work you’re doing day in and day out.
We are here to help you find what you’re looking for. Here are eight human services degree jobs that should meet the items on your checklist. Also, it’s important to note that some of the jobs below might require more education than a bachelor’s degree; it will completely depend on the organization and its requirements.
Healthcare social worker
What they do: A healthcare social worker provides individuals, families and groups with the support they need to cope with chronic, acute or terminal illnesses.
Duties they perform: They may advise family caregivers, provide patient education and counseling, and make referrals for other services. They also provide access to financial assistance, legal aid, housing, and job placement or education services. These individuals work at hospitals, home health services, outpatient care centers, and nursing or assisted living homes.
Why it’s rewarding: The most rewarding part of this job is helping patients overcome dependencies, recover from illness and adjust to life. The healthcare social worker gives what is necessary to make a person and their families comfortable during a tumultuous time in their lives.
Child, family & school social workers
What they do: Child, family and school social workers, or family advocates, provide support and counseling to families who are suffering from the results of various traumas, including abuse, drug or alcohol addiction, abduction and other crises.
Duties they perform: The family advocate might find themselves assisting parents, arranging adoptions and finding foster homes for abandoned or abused children. If they work in schools, they address problems such as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior and truancy. These individuals may work in foster agencies, homes for children and families, K-12 schools, nonprofit organizations, or directly through government social services departments.
Why it’s rewarding: The family advocate brings a family together and helps them to grow and improve the entire family life. Although they will see many struggles and emotions from families, they will help them get to the other side with a smile on their face.
Substance abuse & behavioral disorder counselor
What they do: The substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor, also known as an addiction counselor, typically assists people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders or other behavioral problems. They provide treatment and support to help the client recover from their addiction or help to modify their problem behaviors.
Duties they perform: This counselor works with clients individually or in a group setting, and teaches them how to cope with stress and life’s problems while helping them recover. Additionally, they help clients rebuild professional relationships and, if need be, reestablish their career. Addiction counselors work with psychiatric and healthcare professionals to develop treatment plans and coordinate care for patients in a variety of locations, including treatment centers, healthcare facilities.
Why it’s rewarding: A person in this job has the ability to regularly help people better their lives and heal their personal and professional relationships. The client may have reached their “rock bottom” and the addiction counselor works to help them improve every aspect of their lives to get them back on track.
Child welfare specialist
What they do: Child welfare workers are a specialized type of social worker who focuses on helping at-risk children and families.
Duties they perform: This individual observes children, their surroundings and their family situations, and is responsible for keeping a record of their observations, counseling parents and assisting with court cases. They may also assist families with applying for a variety of services, including housing, daycare, medical assistance or food stamps. Child welfare workers work in K-12 schools, private practices, hospitals and community health clinics.
Why it’s rewarding: This position is rewarding because the main duty is to protect vulnerable children from abuse or neglect. It also presents the opportunity to help children and families get needed assistance, either by helping them find a place to live or by applying for welfare to fill kitchen cabinets with groceries.
What they do: A health educator teaches people behaviors to help them lead a healthier life. They also provide and help manage health education programs for individuals, families and their communities so they can maximize and sustain healthy lifestyles.
Duties they perform: A person in this position helps to create and implement different strategies with the end goal being the improved health of individuals and communities. Health educators also collect data and discuss health concerns with members of specific populations or communities. For example, they would speak to pregnant women if a certain virus put them at risk. Health educators work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nonprofit organizations, government offices, doctors’ offices, private businesses and colleges.
Why it’s rewarding: Someone in this position is spending their days helping people lead a healthier lifestyle, which in turn should elongate lives. However, not only are the helping individuals become healthy, they are also affecting communities in a positive way by preparing for health emergencies and teaching proper nutrition.
Correctional treatment specialist
What they do: Correctional treatment specialists monitor and work with people on probation to help prevent them from committing new crimes. These probationers may be people who are given probation instead of jail time, who are still in prison, or who have been released from prison.
Duties they perform: This specialist evaluates inmates using questionnaires and psychological tests, and then sets up counseling for the parolees and their families, find substance abuse or mental health treatment options, help with job searches or find housing. Correctional treatment specialists keep an eye on the inmate, their history and predict the likelihood that he or she will commit another crime — and includes any and all information on the inmate in case reports. Once inmates are eligible for release, the case reports are given to the appropriate parole board. These specialists typically work in state or local governments.
Why it’s rewarding: This person has a strong belief that people can change and enjoys helping people transition from inmate to probationer. Besides helping the probationer start over, they are helping people so they don’t commit a new crime and harm something or someone else.
What they do: A fundraiser organizes events and campaigns to raise money and other donations for an organization.
Duties they perform: Some of the duties of a fundraiser include designing promotional materials, increasing the awareness of a particular organization’s work, goals and financial needs, as well as planning and overseeing campaigns and events to raise money and other donations. Fundraisers work primarily for nonprofit organizations, including colleges, churches, health research foundations, social services organizations and political campaigns.
Why it’s rewarding: If it weren’t for the fundraiser, many of the events that raise money or other donations for good causes would never take place. For example, a fundraiser sets up an event where the money will go toward feeding hungry children, or sending care packages to soldiers overseas.
What they do: A career counselor works with clients to help sharpen their skills — possibly by education or training — to get them ready for the job force.
Duties they perform: This individual will assist people in deciding finding a career, and then helping them develop skills or choose a career or educational program to get them into that career. Career counselors work in colleges, government agencies, career centers and private practices.
Why it’s rewarding: The best part of this job is helping people decide what the best next step is to better their life with a career that fits their personality, passion and skill level. This person helps get that person a dream job or a way to support their family.
What do you think?
There are ample opportunities to work in a field where you are helping other people or living out your passion. A human services degree is the first step to getting you on the track where you can impact someone’s life on a daily basis. Next, deciding where you want to work might help you land on the job you want.
Rasmussen College does not offer an educational program that prepares students to become licensed or to be employed as a social worker. Please see www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of the programs we offer.