How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Human Services

Do you want your career to be centered around helping others and making a difference in the world? If making your community a better place for everyone is a priority to you, then you might want to think about getting an associate’s degree in human services.

In the human services industry, you get to work directly with the people in your community who need help the most. Needless to say, it is an incredibly rewarding field to be in. For example, you might work for local or state agencies, or even governments, helping people apply for food stamps. You could also reestablish heat for those families who are not able to pay for heating bills. Adults who lack basic living skills will benefit from your help because you would be teaching them how to cook and clean on their own. Children who have abusive or absent parents will also be eternally grateful for your helping and placing them in adoption or foster care programs.

Human services is a field where you have the luxury of seeing the results of your efforts immediately. Most people who work in human services report a very high degree of job satisfaction. Ready to make a difference in lives of hundreds or thousands of people? Getting an associate’s degree in human services is the perfect way to get your foot in the door.

An associate’s degree in human services typically takes two years of full-time study to complete. However, if you choose to earn your credential online, you may be able to complete it earlier. Depending on how many classes you can take per quarter/semester, you may be able to finish a lot quicker.

If you are a busy person looking to attend school while still attending to your personal obligations, pursuing an associate’s degree in human services online could be a great option. Distance learning can work really well for those who are motivated and independent learners. It is essential to make sure that the college you choose is accredited so that the credits you earn can be easily transferred to a four-year college should you decide to continue your education. By virtually attending classes online, you will have access to all course materials and participate in class discussions just like you would normally in a traditional classroom setting. The main difference is that you would be able to log into the classroom portal from anywhere and anytime to complete required coursework and exams. Students can easily communicate with other students and their professors via chat platforms and email.

Common Associate’s in Human Services Curriculum

By enrolling in an associate’s degree program in human services, you can expect to take a wide variety of classes. Because you will be working closely with other people all the time, many of your classes will revolve around human interaction, like psychology and sociology. Some popular classes in the human services curriculum include:

  • Abnormal psychology
  • Child psychology
  • Crisis intervention
  • Management in human services
  • Counseling theories and techniques
  • Marriage and family

Of course, depending on the school you attend, there may be slight variations of the classes listed, and there may also be more for you to choose from. These are just some popular areas of study.

In addition to human services-related courses, students will also have general education requirements and electives to complete, which will vary from college to college. These classes will help you develop a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will be useful in understanding real-life situations and succeeding in whatever career you choose to be in. For example, you might take introductory classes in math, science, history, art, language, and more.

Associate’s in Human Services Careers

There are a plethora of career routes for those interested in human services. Most students who finish their associate’s degree in the field without going further to complete a bachelor’s degree usually work as a human services assistant. This role is critical in several fields, from child development to food banks to welfare agencies. With that said, there is a relatively high demand for assistants.

With our aging population growing faster over the years, more people are relying on social services to get by. In order to provide these services to the needy, human service professionals are needed to work at local, state, and government agencies.

Some places you could work at include:

  • Family services
  • Private senior care agencies
  • Group homes or shelters
  • Community hospitals
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Psychiatric hospitals

Once you have your degree, there are so many different places you can work at. Where you end up working will depend on your personal interests and strengths. For example, if you are good at working with the elderly, you may consider working at senior care centers. If you are into the health industry, you might find yourself fitting in perfectly at a community hospital. The options are endless!

As a human services assistant, you can expect to make an average of around $30,000 a year with your associate’s degree. Most agencies will provide job training in the form of workshops and seminars, so chances of you learning even outside of school is high.

Just like how it is with many jobs out there, you may be able to reach a higher income potential with a higher education. If you are able to stay in school and earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field, you increase your chances of earning more, and also gain extra qualifications that may land you in a leadership role, perhaps heading a department or agency.