How to Choose the Best Human Services Degree

The article below details why you should consider earning your human services degree. You will learn about types of human service degrees, how to choose a program, joint degree options, accreditation, requirements and career options:

What Is a Human Services Degree?

A human services degree is an academic degree that is awarded to professionals who have completed an academic degree in human services. This degree is designed for those who want to enjoy a long and rewarding career in human resources, community services and human services.

Why Earn a Human Services Degree?

A human services degree is a very broad education, and could find work in many different organizations. That is one of the reasons that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for human services professionals is so high. It reports that demand for social and community service managers will increase by 21% by 2022.

With that kind of employment demand, you will find that you will not have difficulty finding full time employment. You could find yourself doing many interesting things that involve helping other people: from counseling others to administrative support tasks and much more. Some of the common job titles include the following:

  • Caseworker
  • Probation officer
  • Social service liaison
  • Residential counselor
  • Alcohol and drug abuse counselor
  • Adult day care worker
  • Community outreach worker
  • Mental health worker

Such a broad array of job titles indicates just how many different roles you can take with a human services degree. You will discover that you have a broad skillset that will be in demand from many employers.

To be certain that you have a strong start in human services, you should determine which degree you want to earn and also the correct type of online or campus degree program.

Further, you need to determine the time you wish to dedicate to your studies. There are options available where you may earn your associate’s degree in human services. This would take you just two years. However, if you want to earn a master’s degree, you can expect to take up to six years to finish your education, if you include the time it takes to do your bachelor’s degree.

If you want to have a higher level of responsibility and more pay, consider eventually earning your master’s degree in human services.

Choosing Your Degree Path

After you have determined how long you want to be in college, you should think about exactly what you want to do with your human services degree over the long term. Depending upon where you want to work, what you want to earn and do, you can decide which level of human services degree to obtain:

  • Associate’s Degree in Human Services: This entry level degree will prepare you to enter the human services field with skills related to psychology, interviewing, legal and ethical awareness and cultural sensitivity training. Graduates of this two year program will be able to obtain entry level human services assistant jobs. You might see a position as a social work assistant, community outreach assistant or a gerontology aide.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Services: This type of degree will teach you to advocate for change for children and families. You will learn how social issues have a strong effect upon family well being and communities. You will learn how to provide case management services in an entry level position, such as assessment, building relationships, evaluate treatment plans and refer clients to other service providers.
  • Master of Science in Human Services: This is generally the highest level of human services degree that you can earn. It is a multidisciplinary degree in human services that teaches you how to collaborate, advocate and communicate well to create value in the community. You will deepen your understanding of the human services field while you also are able to take elective depending upon what exactly you want to do. People who earn this degree may become a case manager, residential counselor, director of community services, or human services manager.

Online Human Services Degree Options

Many new online human services program are now available. By earning an online degree in human services, most students find that they can continue to work and complete their degree on their own personal schedule.

Whether you choose to do your program online or on campus depends upon where you live and your work schedule. Some students may think that getting an online degree is ‘easier.’ It certainly is usually more convenient, but earning your degree online takes a high level of discipline.But if you live far from the campus where you want to earn your human services degree, online may be your only option.

Note that with many online programs, you still may need to attend campus sessions once or twice per year.


Before you apply for a human services degree program, be sure that you investigate if the university is accredited. An accreditation from a respected body means that the school has been evaluated and is highly regarded in the human services field. Naturally, you do not want to get your human services degree and discover that it is not regarded highly by employers.

Currently the gold standard for accreditation in this field is the Council for Standards in Human Service Education or CSHSE. This is the primary accreditation you want to see on the university’s website. The purpose of this body is to assure the quality of human service education via peer-reviewed accreditation process.

The CSHSE website has a list of accredited human service degree programs throughout the US. If your university is listed on this page, you can expect that your program is thought of highly in the human services field.


Your human services career is bright, given the strong demand that is being seen for this field. Choosing the appropriate degree for your career goals may take some work, but if you review the information outlined here, you should be able to find the ideal human services degree.