Why Earn a Human Sciences Degree?

If you want to earn a very versatile degree with plenty of career options and possibilities to specialize, you should consider a human sciences degree. With either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in human sciences, you could work in many different fields, including:

  • Personal finance
  • Restaurant and hotel management
  • Retail management
  • Interior or fashion design
  • Nutrition
  • Human development and family studies
  • Health and wellness
  • Community services
  • Education and teaching

The human sciences field is very broad, and professionals who earn a degree in this area can find many jobs in client services, family support, rehabilitation, social work, and possible work as counselors, social workers, or community and social service specialists.

Generally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics refers to most human science-related professions as community and social service occupations. Employment in this general area will increase by a healthy 10% by 2024, with about 255,000 jobs added. Popular career fields within human sciences include:

Nutrition and Health

There are some human science degrees that are focused on food and nutrition, and one popular career option is nutritionist. This is a worthwhile option to consider because the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that the median salary in the field is more than $57,000 per year, and job growth by 2024 will be well above average.

Social Services

Another popular career field for human science majors is social and human service assistants; they earn a median salary of $31,000 per year but those with master’s degrees usually earn more than $50,000 per year. This field is poised to grow by more than 11% by 2024.

Types of Degrees in Human Sciences

There are both bachelor’s and master’s degrees available in human sciences, and there are several specialties that you can select within them.

Bachelor’s in Human Sciences

The human sciences field is broad, and a bachelor’s program may focus on several areas in human sciences.

Some undergraduate programs in human sciences focus on early childhood development, relationships within the family, marriage relations, social problems and human interaction. Many students getting a bachelor’s degree in human sciences are preparing for a career in working with children, adults and families in various family advocacy facilities and human service organizations.

The curriculum for this type of human sciences degree focuses on classes in family relationships, early childhood development, and issues with adolescents. Students may also study theories that deal with intrapersonal, societal and interpersonal reactions.

Some bachelor’s programs in human sciences may also focus on food and nutrition, and could be referred to as nutritional science. These degrees study the scientific aspects of nutrition and food, and how it relates to human development and behavior. Graduates generally move into careers in food organizations, health education facilities and healthcare companies.

The curriculum usually includes courses on nutrition, food science, physics and biology, as well as the role nutrition plays in growth and development.

Another common area of human sciences at the bachelor’s level is consumer sciences. These programs are more geared towards giving education to youth and families and in resource management, living healthy and proper management of relationships. Some programs may feature teaching instruction so that you can become a licensed teacher when you graduate. Expect to take classes in nutrition, human development, education and human science.

Texas Tech University

If you want to obtain an online bachelor’s degree in human science with many different specialty choices, you should consider the Bachelor’s in Human Sciences offered by Texas Tech University. This is a bachelor’s program that allows the student to take courses from many different departments from the health sciences department.

Texas Tech University specializes in working with students who have previously earned college credits. You can greatly reduce your time to graduation by having your previously earned college credits count towards your degree.

Also, earning a degree in human sciences from Texas Tech will show that you can learn and integrate academic material from several different departments, and you will also greatly improve your communication, research, writing and critical reasoning skills.

You will have the opportunity to focus your health sciences degree in several areas:

  • Addictive disorders and recovery
  • Human development
  • Nutritional science
  • Restaurant and hotel management
  • Personal finance
  • Retail management
  • Health care administration
  • Education

Masters in Human Science

Some master’s degree programs in human science focus on child and family studies and human services, and take a strong research based approach to studying early childhood and how families interact.

The majority of these graduate programs require a research project or capstone project. Most students intend to work in human services, or possibly in academia and research in colleges or universities. Many of these programs have specialities available in family policy, lifespan studies, gerontology and individual development.

In food science and nutrition, a master’s in human science studies the science of nutrition and how it affects human health. The focus is on food science, nutrition, muman science and how nutrition affects humans at all stages of life.

Human science master’s programs focusing on consumer science train the student to become an expert in consumer science, and some programs are focused on dietary studies or possibly health promotion.

Northeastern University

The Master of Science in Human Sciences and Service at Northeastern University offers the chance for an exciting and rewarding career with nonprofits, government and NGOs. Professionals with this graduate degree usually work with vulnerable populations, and will usually provide direct services, supervise staff and personnel and even administer various programs and policies.

The primary goals of this two year, online degree program are:

  • Examine how human service policies and organizations develop
  • Explore leadership and organizational issues in many types of human service organizations
  • Learn how to improve community involvement and to engage stakeholders in partnerships so that communities can be improved and built
  • Understand complex social policy issues: welfare, mental health care trends, immigration, education and reproductive rights.

Required courses include:

  • Theory and Practice of Human Services (required as the first course)
  • Human Service Management and Development
  • Social Inequality, Social Change, and Community Building
  • Research and Evaluation in Human Services
  • Policy Issues in Human Services
  • Introduction to Employee Assistance Programs

How to Choose a Good Quality Human Sciences Degree

Earning an online bachelor’s or master’s degree in human sciences takes a lot of time and money. You must do the research to find out if a university and program are of high quality, and meet your career goals. As you consider which university to attend, we recommend that you keep in mind the following:

  • What exact area of human sciences do you want to work in? As you can see from the above information, human sciences spans a wide area of very different fields, from social services to retail management to nutrition and health. You need to determine what your major career interest is within human sciences, and find a quality program with that specialty available.
  • Is the school and program accredited? The university you attend should have at least a regional accreditation by one of the organizations recognized by the US Department of Education, which we describe in detail below.
  • Will you be required to do an internship of any kind? This is often a major plus in any human sciences degree program. If you do an internship in your local area, this could give you a major leg up in getting a good job upon graduation. Many companies today prefer to hire interns that they know have done a good job in the past.
  • How good is the school’s career services department? Check to determine how much help the university will give you to find a position when you graduate. This can be especially important for online students, who usually do not have the opportunity to network as much as on campus students do.

Accreditation

When you earn your human sciences bachelor’s or master’s degree, you need to know that the university has received its accreditation from one of these organizations:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Every university that has received such accreditation has met high quality standards for collegiate education. You will know that your degree will be recognized by potential future employers.

Summary

A human sciences degree is very versatile and flexible, and you can go in many directions, depending upon your career interests. Most of these different careers are showing strong job demand in future years, so your career is sure to be rewarding, once you determine which specialty within human sciences is for you.

Written by Robert Sanchez
Robert Sanchez is HealthGrad.com's Chief Editorialist. Robert Sanchez has over 10 years experience in the Healthcare field and more recently has become an avid writer advising on career and job topics in this exciting field.

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