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What is Human Services?
Human services refers to the area of employment and study that deals with individuals considered on the fringe of society and need of assistance. Groups often the focus of such assistance include the homeless, mentally ill, individuals with drug seeking behavior, the abused and more. Individuals working in this field will utilize a variety of methods to work with these groups and the individuals within them. This is accomplished through a variety of means, including direct assistance, policy change, long term planning, and more. Interaction and assistance is determined by the body or employer delivering such assistance, often through agencies at the local, state or federal level given a instruction to help ease the problems described above. Individuals in this field are often required to travel to various neighborhoods or regions that may be considered dangerous as part of their daily, weekly or monthly duties in order to provide assistance or perform a given service.
A degree in human services prepares students with the skills and knowledge to work with individuals and groups with social, behavioral, or mental problems. Students will learn about the various groups that human services assists, the methods used for such assistance, and how to communicate and work with individuals within such groups. Students in the studying human services may take additional courses to specialize their training. A bachelor's degree is typically required for entry level positions, with higher level degrees opening up jobs in supervisory positions and teaching posts. Education in this field requires a cross section of study, utilizing skills used by psychologists, researchers, social workers, sociologists and criminologists in an attempt to better understand and thus better assist a given group.
A curriculum in human services may include:
- Children and Social Policy
- Community Organization
- Wealth and Poverty
- Behavioral Science
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Employment Opportunities and Licensure
A career in human services may require licensing depending on the state. States requiring licensure will have their own requirements, and it is recommended that individuals identify such requirements for their respective states. Positions at the entry level will have the human services worker utilizing methods outlined by a programs objective to assist individuals in need as defined by the program. Target groups may be defined broadly, but typically involve with illness, poverty, substance abuse problems, physical abuse, and so on. Human services workers will have an understanding of the methods used for assistance as well as the managerial aspects of the program. Human services follow a similar line as social work, with the difference being on programs targeting groups in a given area rather than solely on individuals. Individuals in this field should be compassionate and sensitive, able to navigate through the various groups being assisted with ease.
Job Growth, Salary and Related Fields
Human services jobs are expected to grow faster than average as the need for professionals to assist in resolving social issues increases. Some limitations may occur for positions based on government funding due budgetary constraints, but the overall demand for such services will allow for the creation of new jobs. Work opportunities will most likely be higher in densely populated areas. The average salary for individuals working in human services is approximately $42,000 per year, with experience and education commanding higher salaries.