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What Degrees Should I Choose for a Career in Human Services?

Here’s how four online degree programs can prepare you to effect change and improve the well-being of others.

As a caring, compassionate person who is ready to make a difference in people’s lives, you’ve decided to pursue a career in human services.

One of the best ways to prepare for this fulfilling career is by earning a human services degree.

Human services is an interdisciplinary field, touching on everything from psychology and child development to criminal justice and crisis management. As a result, many degree programs offer a variety of courses and specializations to help students better understand the social structures they will work within.

Walden University offers four online degree programs for students interested in a human services career: a BS in Human Services, an MS in Human Services, a Doctor of Human Services, and a PhD in Human Services.

Here’s how each degree can prepare you for your future.

BS in Human Services
This online degree program can empower you with the skills to thrive in non-licensed, nontherapeutic direct service or entry-level leadership roles, including case manager, social worker, family services specialist, and residential counselor. The BS in Human Services coursework reflects rigorous professional standards set forth by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE). You will develop essential relationship-building and community engagement expertise and learn to ethically guide people to the services they need for a better life. Concentrations include:

Along with undergraduate courses, students have the option of taking graduate-level courses that may be applied to a future MS in Human Services.

MS in Human Services
Take the next step in your education with this highly interactive degree program. At Walden University, you will build real-world skills that are essential to supporting diverse communities and gain confidence to lead departments and organizations serving the greater good. The MS in Human Services coursework focuses on a range of topics, such as cultural humility and diversity, social change in action, grant writing, and applied research and evaluation methods. Specializations include:

The online master’s in human services program also features simulation technologies and other tools to help you master critical skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Academically, the program can prepare you for leadership roles at community health and support centers, nonprofit agencies, departments of health and human services, schools, and government agencies.

Doctor of Human Services
You can become a next-level practitioner and problem-solver with a doctoral experience designed to expand your understanding of human services leadership, professional practice, research, and ethics.

Through the practitioner-focused curriculum of Walden’s Doctor of Human Services program, doctoral candidates hone their leadership skills through one of two specializations: Leadership and Program Evaluation in Human Services Organizations or Prevention, Intervention, and Advocacy. And the Doctoral Degree Coach™ helps students stay on track along the way. With this digital tool, you can monitor progress, keep track of weekly goals, and stay in touch with faculty.

This online program can academically prepare you to pursue roles such as human services leader, researcher, or educator in settings that include universities, hospitals, government agencies, and social assistance organizations.

PhD in Human Services
An online PhD in Human Services will help you develop your scholarly expertise in human services delivery and practice while empowering you to drive social change. Walden University’s non-licensure program is aligned with CSHSE guidelines.

It offers two learning tracks based on your experience and goals. Track I is for students who hold a master's degree in human services, counseling, social work, or psychology from an accredited university. Track II is for students who hold a bachelor’s degree (in any field of study) from an accredited university or a master’s degree from an accredited university in a non-related field of study (any discipline other than human services, counseling, social work, or psychology). With this track, you can also earn your MS in Human Services as you progress toward your PhD.

With 10 specializations as well as a General Program to choose from, the PhD in Human Services program allows you to tailor your degree to your career and interests. This degree program can also academically prepare you for teaching, leadership, or research roles at colleges, universities, social assistance organizations, hospitals, and government agencies or organizations.

Earning a Degree in Human Services
Whether you are just beginning your human services career or are ready to advance your career with specialized skills, Walden University has a human services degree program to help you achieve success. The convenient online learning platform allows you to attend classes and handle coursework at a time of day that works best for you, from wherever you have an internet connection.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering BS in Human Services, MS in Human Services, Doctor of Human Services, and PhD in Human Services degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of these degree programs.

Note on Licensure: The MS in Human Services program, including its specializations, is not designed to lead to professional licensure, including licensure as a professional therapist, counselor, social worker, or psychologist.

Note on Licensure: The PhD in Human Services program, including its specializations, is not designed to lead to professional licensure, including licensure as a professional therapist, counselor, social worker, or psychologist.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,