Most Affordable Online Master’s in Human Services Programs 2021
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A human services degree features an interdisciplinary program in scope and by definition. It focuses on the timely and coordinated delivery of diverse services that bring about profound and lasting change for individuals and communities.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists several jobs under the community and social service occupations umbrella. These include social and human services assistants, rehabilitation counselors, health educators, and community health workers. The BLS projects the field to grow 12% from 2019-2029, much faster than the average growth of 4% for all jobs.
Graduates of a human services program can look forward to entering a growth-oriented job market with above-average salaries. Degree-holders may enjoy many opportunities for professional and personal fulfillment.
Master's in Human Services Questions
A human services degree often qualifies graduates for careers as juvenile court liaisons, community advocates, mental health counselors, and case workers.
Individuals wanting to help people with their physical, mental, and social well-being will find a human services degree helpful for their goals.
A master's degree in human services often qualifies degree-holders for top management and leadership positions. In these roles, they influence policy and implement institutional changes.
The highest-paid human services practitioners include school and career counselors, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists, and social workers. According to the BLS, these professions earn median annual salaries of $57,040, $54,290, and $50,470, respectively.
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What Are the Goals of a Human Services Degree?
Students can pursue a human services degree at all levels. At the master's level, some schools offer a master of arts while others offer a master of science. The latter focuses on specific arenas such as administration or healthcare management. The former offers more flexibility and focuses on topics such as abnormal psychology or ethics. Both program types offer concentration areas such as policy analysis, nonprofit management, and intervention and leadership.
Why Get a Human Services Degree?
Pursuing a master's degree in human services requires significant time and monetary investment. However, well-crafted programs yield a myriad of professional and personal benefits, five of which we describe below.
A master's in human service degree increases a practitioner's ability to implement and maintain progressive programs and access diverse resources more effectively.
Courses in Human Services
A master's degree in human services typically comprises 30-46 credits. Many full-time students earn the degree within two years. Some online programs follow an accelerated schedule, cutting completion time to as few as 18 months.
A well-developed human services master's degree expands learners' knowledge of the field while improving their research and communication skills. Culminating activities vary by program, but many require an internship and thesis. Some schools ask candidates to complete a capstone project proposing implementable solutions for existing challenges communities or organizations face.
While each program creates its own curricula, schools commonly offer the courses below in a master's degree in human services.
The class gives enrollees an overview of human services organizations. Through case studies and experiential activities, students learn how to manage human services agencies efficiently and effectively. The course immerses learners in topics such as resource development, diversity management, financial and strategic planning, and team building.
Social Services Administration
Learners examine the history of social welfare policy and the emergence of modern systems. The course helps enrollees develop an individual framework for human services professionals' roles in today's society. Students learn how legal and political systems impact social institutions and policies.
Social Policy and Human Services
The course develops assessment and communication skills needed to maintain a positive client relationship. Enrollees learn how to take advantage of common informal and formal assessment methods. The class includes a field component where students practice their interviewing skills with real clients.
Interviewing and Assessment Skills in Human Services
Career and Salary Outlook for Human Services
Human services practitioners work with diverse client groups including children, adolescents, and families. They help individuals struggling with mental health or addiction problems and elderly patients coping with medical conditions or end-of-life issues. Several factors influence the career and salary outlook for each specific human services sector, including the state of practice and the field's regulatory policies.
Social and Community Service ManagersA social and community manager's responsibilities include overseeing programs to ensure stakeholder objective adherence, writing funding proposals, and planning and implementing outreach programs. They also continually evaluate the needs of the communities and organizations they work for to identify necessary services.
Medical and Health Services ManagerThe specific duties of these professionals depend on their facility's size and type. Their work includes preparing and monitoring budgets, maintaining records of services rendered, and making sure their facility maintains relevant compliance.
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health CounselorsThese professionals work directly with clients and their support community to develop treatment plans addressing the addiction or behavior disorder. They make sure clients can access additional resources to aid their recovery and progress. These include job placement services, group counseling, and social amelioration programs.
|Career||Median Annual Salary||Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$67,150||17%|
|Medical and Health Services Manager||$100,980||32%|
|Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors||$46,240||25%|
Scholarships for Human Services Students
Institutions with master's in human services programs may offer financial assistance in the form of scholarships or fellowships. Professional associations and private nonprofits also administer human services financial aid programs. We list three such scholarships below to jump start your own search.
|Scholarship||Amount||Who Can Apply|
|Foundation for Community Association Research Byron Hanke Scholarship||$3,000-$5,000||The Foundation administers this program that welcomes graduate applicants engaged in community association related research. The organization requires applicants to submit a proposal demonstrating how their research supports and enhances The Foundation's mission.|
|National Organization for Human Services David C. Maloney Scholarship||Varies||NOHS accepts applications from students enrolled in a human services program at the associate, bachelor's, or master's level. Candidates must demonstrate excellent academic performance with a minimum 3.2 GPA. NOHS gives preference to applicants with a minority status or special needs.|
|NOHS Outstanding Human Services Student Scholarship||Varies||Student NOHS members demonstrating a significant contribution to the field qualify for this award. Applicants need nomination from a human services professional. Submission requirements include nomination and recommendation letters, a resume, and any other documents providing evidence of accomplishments.|
Most Affordable Online Master's in Human Services Programs 2021
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