If you’re looking for an associate degree that’s going to put you into a highly rewarding career that will really allow you to make a difference in your community, then you might want to research getting a public and social services associate degree.

What Is Public and Social Services?

Public and Social Services is sort of an “umbrella” term for agencies that work with our society’s most vulnerable people.

For instance, public service agencies help organize food drives.  They hand out food stamps, educate people about their Medicaid services, work in child welfare, run domestic violence shelters, manage government-run homeless shelters, and teach developmentally challenged adults the basics on personal care.

What You’ll Learn In A Public and Social Services Associate Degree Program

In public and social services, you’re probably going to work with an incredibly diverse group of people.  This means that your classes are going to focus heavily on teaching you the basics of psychology and sociology, as well as how to manage emotional or challenging situations.

Some of the courses you might take for this degree include:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Counseling
  • Addictive Behavior Counseling
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Managing a Non-Profit Agency
  • Developmental Psychology

Careers With An Associate Degree In Public and Social Services

An associate degree in public and social services is going to prepare you for several different positions.  You’ll have the skills to work as a human service worker, case management aid, life skills counselor, gerontology aid, community support worker, social worker assistant, mental health aid, and much more.

You’ll also be qualified to work in several different industries including physical therapy clinics, psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes, public services, at-home elderly care, rehabilitation services, and much more.

This may seem very like a mixed bag, and there’s no doubt that it is.  Public and social services are literally straining for people, and getting your degree is going to allow you to pretty much work in any of these sectors.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this field is expected to grow by 34% through 2016, which is great news because it means you won’t have any trouble finding a job once you’re through with school.

The average income for public and social services assistants is around $25,000.  But, this is a field where it will definitely pay for you to stay in school to earn your Bachelor’s Degree.  Social workers with a 4-year degree have a salary that starts around $45,000.

People who work in social services often have to travel for their job, but usually not very far.  You might have to visit people in their home or hospital.  However, the majority of your time will probably be spent in one spot.

Although public and social services can be emotionally challenging at times, you definitely have an opportunity to make a real difference in your community with this degree.  If you love working with people, this might be a great degree choice for you.